Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stanserhorn - A Heavenly Experience

I believe Stanserhorn is relatively new on the tourist front. That 'topless' cable car or the caBrio as it is called was introduced just last year. I signed up for this one mainly wanting to experience the ride on the open top caBrio , feeling the wind hitting my face. Spectacular views were promised and I was looking forward to that too but figured that it cannot be anything that I haven't already seen. After all , I have made trips to the Matterhorn , Interlaken , Appenzel , Neuchatel and the like. I figured that I have seen every beautiful view worth seeing in Switzerland and the rest would more or less be replicas . No cable car could possibly beat the ride or the views in Klein Matterhorn cable car , or so I thought. I was so wrong.

Nothing that I say here can aptly describe the view from Stanserhorn on a cloudy overcast day. I think this is the first for a review , but to everyone out there planning a trip here, do go on an overcast day. As we alighted from the train in Stans on the last weekend before the cabrio closes , I was a little disappointed to see rain clouds looming all over us. The funicular was pretty old , first built in 1893 and it cutely chugged up the hill . As you slowly climb up,  the beauty of the place starts unfolding . It was very cold and slightly misty which , combined with the lush greenery around , created a magical effect. After a few minuted we were dropped off at the cabrio base.
K was a little hesitant on letting me go up the top as I have a very low threshold to cold. A small breeze and I start shivering and this was a full blown ,open deck travel in biting cold to the top of a mountain. But I insisted. Somehow all the limits , threshold that I have get stretched beyond expectations when something exciting pops up. So off I went up and stood holding the railing , peeping out , impatiently waiting for the cabrio to start. As exciting it was to be here , I was a little disappointed that the promised view of 5 lakes will not be delivered to me as I had chosen a cloudy day to visit.

As the cabrio started moving up the view became more and more foggy and my face fell. After a couple of minutes we were completely enveloped with mist with absolutely no view. It was at this time that the gentleman managing the cabrio inside consoled us all saying that in a few moments there will be blue skies and sunshine all around . I don't think any first timer would have caught the meaning of what he said then , certainly I didn't. K seemed to get an idea though . And then we saw it. Slowly the view became clearer and we emerged out of the clouds to an absolutely blue sky and wonderful sunshine , the best part being that the clouds were all below us forming what looked like a fluffy cotton floor. And the mountains around us also appeared to be emerging out of the cotton floor. It was surreal to say the least. I don't know about the rest but I have never seen anything remotely like this in my life and I stood spellbound. I guess if we had been there on a sunny day then the view would be similar to the view from any other mountain top , it was the rain clouds that made all the difference. It reminded me of the devaloka scene from kannada movies , the kind of place that the apsaras danced while the pantheon of hindu God's watched.

Outside the sun was quite sharp on the deck as there wasn't a speck of clouds in the sky . Reason ? All the clouds were below us . hehe . What joy. Who would have thought such a thing existed .

There was a revolving restaurant that I guess didn't quite serve the purpose today. the clouds looked spectacular from every possible angle and you don't have to revolve to get to see the best possible view. Moreover , the revolving pane was fully occupied. Me and K took our order of Asian Noodles and sat at the first free table we could find. The dish was pretty good and prices surprisingly reasonable for a Swiss restaurant. After lunch , we strolled around , clicking the usual snaps and then headed to the restaurant again for a warm drink that was complimentary thanks to the SBB offer tickets.

Then we began the descent back. This time we knew what to expect but still it was enthralling . When we reached the funicular , we hopped on to the open seat next to the 'driver' right at the front . The 'driver' turned out to be a jolly good man, regaling us with stories on the place and himself.

On the way back to Baden we stopped at Zurich for some small shopping and the mandatory box of Sprungli's.
A beautiful day .

PS : I just realized that this post has the word 'topless' . I figure that my blog will get at least one hit now.

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