A Photographer’s Paradise

I wish I could have this guy's view.
I wish I could have this guy's view.

Random Observation/Comment #176: Fuji-san was such a remarkable experience that I compare every hiking scene to the rollercoaster of hardships and appreciation for nature throughout the entire journey.  From the exhaustion and freezing cold to the final reward of watching that Heaven above all clouds, I had truly stretched my boundaries of emotions.  Every short-breath I took and lactic acid build-up I ignored was for that payoff; however, at the end of the day, it was the full experience that made that one of my most memorable 24 hours.  Schiltorn was a little different.  We walked for 30 minutes and then took a series of gondolas to the top where we proceeded to drink a beer in a revolving 360 restaurant on a clear day.  This was nothing short of mind-numbingly beautiful, but I missed the hardships of the climb.  I undoubtedly loved every moment, but now that I analyze the day, my tiredness was not because of this mix of sleep deprivation, exhaustion, and frozen limbs, but rather due to an over-exertion of my eyes as to not blink and possibly shaft myself from an extra millisecond.  This makes me wonder if I rather be lazy to see the reward or truly badass to follow the road with potholes, killer hitch hikers, and all.  For now, let’s remember that I’m on vacation.

Schilthorn is not the Top of Europe, but it was recommended over Jungfrau due to its 360 view of over 200 peaks on a clear day, the rotating 360 restaurant, and the chance of having better weather.  The entire week I was in Interlaken, Jungfrau was always cloudy (or at least not as clear as Schilthorn).  I think there is an ice museum of some sort at Jungfrau, but I bet spending an hour in that spinning restaurant is much better than any pictures of ice sculptures.  I have never been to the Top of Europe so I won’t pass too much judgment, but I can’t imagine how it’s better than what I saw at Schilthorn.

The journey to Schilthorn from the bottom of the mountain was as follows: 7CHF train ride to Lauterbrunnen, 14CHF tram ride to Grutschlap, walk to Gimmelwald across the snowed-in village, 36CHF for the tram to Birg and then Schilthorn.  This is expensive, but it’s totally worth it.  I decided to take it to the next level and spend 15EUR at the restaurant – I mean, you just have to.  The prices at the top weren’t even that expensive.  It was basically the normal price of $4 a beer, which is standard pricing from NYC.

Each tram ride to the intermediate stops made me think that this place could not be any more beautiful; every single time, I was proven wrong by the next station.  There are only a few things that follow this trend and they should all be cherished for following that exponential curve (graphed love of life vs time).  I hope everyone has the opportunity to walk around this platform and actually try to choose the direction with the better view.  It took some time after walking in circles a few times, but there was one side that just whispered serenity.  To make sure I covered my bases, I took a million (like, a million) pictures and a 6-part video series of walking around.  The camera does not begin to capture my happiness, but it does its job of reminding my senses to rush me back to that moment.

The 360 restaurant takes about 45 minutes for a full revolution. After being to quite a few fancy places around the world, this was – hands-down – the best view I’ve ever seen from a restaurant.   The beer even tasted better when complimented with this view.  Apparently, a James Bond movie was filmed here, but that’s just one of those details that can be stored as a small nugget of information after looking outside.  It’s difficult to find a seat on the outer edge, but I would suggest waiting for one.  A good technique would be to sit next to a couple that looks like they’ve done this a million times, but happened to land a good spot.  If you can’t spot this type of couple, you should at least avoid sitting next to foreigners with cameras – they’re definitely not leaving anytime soon.  With that said, we stayed for 1.25 hours and had an extremely enjoyable meal.  The cheese platter was not as large as we expected, but the thinly sliced Swiss cheese basically transformed into milk after touching your tongue and lips.  I jizzed in my pants.  This would be one out of many times for this day.  Dare I say, this was deemed a day long jizz extravaganza.  I think you get the point; this place was incredible.

Even without this experience, my week in Interlaken would have been worth every second, but by adding this day of just being immersed in a blanket of peaks, I could not have been happier with my choices and life in general.  It was that moment that I fell in love with mountains.  They remind me of boobies (I know that was completely uncalled for, but whatever).

~See Lemons Happy with Life

This was my favorite side of the 360 view
This was my favorite side of the 360 view

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