Floating in a Glass-and-Steel Bubble of Joy

For over 30 years I’ve been taking groups into the gondolas high in the Alps. Whether filled with skiers in the winter or hikers in the summer, there’s a happy energy in that glass-and-steel bubble of mountain joy–especially when the Swiss Alps are out in all their glory. The Schilthornbahn takes us effortlessly (in four stages) to the 10,000-foot summit of the Schilthorn in the Berner Oberland. For about $50 per person (there’s a double discount for the group rate and for an early morning departure) we ride up and down. Sure that’s a lot of money. But when you’re surrounded by cut-glass peaks and breathing fresh mountain air, it’s one of Europe’s great deals. From a value point of view, remember that–all over the Alps–early lifts are discounted and, because of weather patterns, the early birds enjoy the crispest views. The lesson: Pay less and see more by ascending early.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.