From a Chairlift in Switzerland

Walkway near the chairlift in Switzerland

I was on a chairlift in Switzerland when my phone rang. It was Chris Ilsley, host of Perth Tonight for Radio 6PR in Perth, Western Australia.

Time to record my usual Friday night Travel Bug segment. It was 9.45pm in Perth and mid-afternoon in Grindelwald, Switzerland where I had just arrived, walked up a hill and boarded a chairlift for my ride up to First, on a section of the Jungfrau mountain.

If I was going to broadcast live from a chairlift in Switzerland, this was the right time to do it. The ride started off serenely enough as we glided over green meadows and the attractive Swiss houses.

Back in good old Perth, which averages eight hours of sunshine per day for 365 days of the year it never snows. About one minute into my broadcast those verdant meadows gave way to snow, soon it was falling steadily, and it continued like this throughout the journey up to First. I’m fairly certain that my excitement was detectable to my 6PR audience who were listening back at home.

Surprisingly, it was a long journey up that mountain, and my broadcast had finished by the time I reached the end of the line at First.

It was now snowing really heavily and I was just wearing a t-shirt, light jumper and jeans. Did I care? Of course not! I don’t often get the chance to play in the snow, so I was running around like a child having the time of my life.

Likewise when it came to attempting the cliff walk which involved navigating along a quite narrow metal walkway. There was a complete whiteout so I couldn’t see a thing. Apparently, on a clear day, many opt of doing the walk due to the long drop. I couldn’t see any drop so had a ball walking along the icy path. It was a fabulous experience.

The thrill of the experience prevented me from feeling the cold.

Going back down to Grindelwald I was on that chairlift in Switzerland reflecting on what a great time that I’d had, not knowing that I was in for another treat.

We had disembarked and were walking back into town when I heard some very loud cracks, looked up to see three distinct avalanches falling down the cliff across the valley.

That just capped off a magic day.

Listen to the audio to discover more about my wonderful time in Switzerland.