After posting on Monday about my search for a chocolate factory tour in Switzerland, I'm on a roll now. Today I'm looking for a panoramic cable car, gondola, or railway to a mountain peak or observation deck in the Bernese Oberland region. Again, I'm encountering obstacles.
Obstacle #1: We will be in Switzerland in the dead of winter. Snowstorms, blizzards, and avalanches are definite obstacles to a mountaintop excursion. Many of the mountains will be closed.
Obstacle #2: The best day for us to squeeze this into our itinerary is January 1st. New Year's Day. If they're not closed for the winter, they'll definitely be closed for the holiday.
Obstacle #3: Holy cow - some of these trains are expensive! The ride up to Jungfraujoch, known as "the top of Europe," costs 125 CHF per person! Years ago when my husband and I were in Grindelwald we eschewed the journey to Jungfraujoch precisely for this reason. Nevermind though, Jungfraujoch closes from November through May.
Anyway, now I'm investigating some other scenic trams. There's the Männlichenbahn that travels up to Männlichen from Grindelwald and offers stunning views of the Jungfrau, Mönch, and Eiger mountains. I've done that and it's gorgeous. There's the Harder Kulm vantage point accessible by funicular from Interlaken. It's just a 10 minute ride and only costs 15 CHF. Also near Interlaken in Wilderswil is the cogwheel railway up to Schynige Platte, but it's only open in the summer. And lastly, I'll have to check out the Schilthorn and Rothorn mountain cable cars in a little more detail. (This is half the fun of traveling for me - the research and planning!)
Note added later:
We ended up traveling to the top of TschentenAlp, and it was a bargain and a beauty!