You don’t need wings or a paraglider to experience a guaranteed adrenaline rush on the “flight” up to the top of Mt. Stanserhorn near Lucerne on the world’ first Double Decker open-air cable car. Cabrio, the name of the new Double Decker cable car means ‘convertible` as in convertible automobiles (in German). This space-age ultra modern cable car is a radical departure from the 19th century funicular that used to make the trip all the way to the top of Mt. Stanserhorn as well as to the former 20th century cable car which was replaced by Cabrio in May 2012. Cabrio Double Decker Cable Car — Photo courtesy of Sonja Holverson
However, today you still need to take the delightful 1893 funicular from Stans (17 minutes by train from Lucerne) to the Kätli station. You arrive suddenly into the 21st century and board the cutting edge Swiss technological achievement that becomes your wings to your Alpine adventure. View of Lake Lucerne from Cabrio — Photo courtesy of Sonja Holverson
As you ascend, you feel the fresh Alpine air filling your lungs and blowing through your hair as you gain altitude and look down to admire the scenic beauty below and beyond. The views in all directions are so overwhelming from the very start that you forget to take photographs! You see the sprawling lake of Lucerne with steep mountains jutting straight down into the water and narrow shores dotted with tiny Swiss villages in the pasture areas. You are so close to Mt. Pilatus that it seems like you could shake hands with other adventurers hiking and climbing over there.
After a 6 minute and 24 seconds ride when you arrive at the top of Mt. Stanserhorn at 1’850 m (6’069ft) it is more like an outer space “docking” experience and you realize immediately that surely you must be in a James Bond movie.
Believing that you have seen the best views in the entire world on the “flight” up from Stans, you are not prepared for the jaw-dropping scenic beauty that waits on the other side of Mt. Stanserhorn. An entire 100 km long (62 miles) chain of the most famous Swiss Alpine peaks stretches out before you including Mt. Titlus, and the Bernese Oberland peaks: The Mönch, The Eiger (of North Face fame) and the Jungfrau.
Bernese Oberland Alps Switzerland — Photo courtesy of Sonja Holverson
Astonished, you stop in your tracks on the terrace to get your bearings and forget all about the long hike you had planned. You pull up a chair, get out your binoculars and enjoy a leisurely drink and take photographs to amaze your social media friends.
Stanserhorn Rondorama Restaurant Terrace — Photo courtesy of Sonja Holverson
The Mt. Stanserhorn region has always been an Alpine hikers’ paradise with trails for all levels and all ages – easy and short, long and more challenging. However, many good hiking plans have gone awry on this very terrace which also has a cafeteria and an indoor all glass revolving restaurant. Perhaps at least you make it up to the very top of the mountain which is a short walk to the 1’900 m (6’300 ft) platform for a 360 degree view that could include the Black Forest in Germany and the Alsace region in France.
Mt. Stanserhorn Hiking Trails Switzerland — Photo courtesy of Sonja Holverson
Perhaps you decide to hike back down to Stans (about 2.5 hours depending on which trail you take) or perhaps you decide to “fly” down for the best 6 minutes and 24 seconds in your life.
The Cabrio is open again from April 13 2013 until November 17 2013, It departs every 30 minutes at least and every 10 minutes in high season.