Last week we took a trip to our local mountain. As you enter the boarding station there is an exhibit of the old chair lift that used to transport you to the top. I remember family Anglo Swiss often travelling on these hanging chairs. It was an adventure for me, and for the kids, being suspended over fields and trees. There was even protection from the weather with a leather cover which was only used when necessary. This chair lift sytem was installed around 1950, but nothing remains young. The whole system was geared to these chair lifts, but like everything parts need replacing. Even I need a few new parts.
One day there came a day when the parts were no longer available. The system was out of date, old fashioned. Today you do not go on a chair ride to the top of the mountain, but you have a comfortable ride in a cabin. And so it was decided that the whole system must be rebuilt.
There was an uproar in our local area. This was unbelievable. The well known, if quaint, chair lift system was out of date and like other out-of-date objects it must disappear. An organisation was formed for the preservation of our chair lifts. Visions of steel modern cabins were seen by those that like things to stay as they are. A committee was formed, votes were cast. “Save our chair lift” could be read in the local newspaper, but all to no avial. Perhaps common sense won over nostalgia.
And so Mr. and Mrs. Angloswiss made their way up the mountain last week in a comfortable gondola with plush covered seats. We were only 2 people in the cabin, but on busy days it could easily carry 6 people. The old chair lift system was demolished, the supports removed from the montain, although you can still see the remaining squares of concrete where they used to be when you look down. I just noticed on this photo you can see the railway tunnel in the background. The cable cars always began near the local station of Oberdorf. Now our journey is dignified, comfortable and above all modern. The new system took about 5 years to build, although it was at a time when I no longer travelled to the top of the local mountiain. Mr. Swiss and I were busy with other excursions on our holidays and we never really thought of it.
Until last week Mr. Swiss said it is now of never. We had been talking about the journey with the new system for at least a year and last week we did it. A short journey to the ground station by car, and a 20 minute ride to the top and we were there. Of course, one of those occasions when you really ask yourself why you waited so long. Of course we can no longer take long walks at the top if the mountain as in the days when the kids were still kids and we even lit a small fire to toast sausages on the way.
We were now travelling with dignity, on soft seats, protected from the winds, and with wonderful large panorama windows to see it all. There are times when I do have a little nostalgia for the good old days. Here is a photo where you can see the pylons of how the cable railway climbs the mountain, taken from one of our local roads.