From the Lauterbrunnen Valley south of Interlaken, you can take a series of cable cars up to the peak of the Schilthorn, across from the Jungfrau massif in the Bernese Alps. Silent, effortless, costly, and worth every Swiss Franc, you float up past cliffs, villages, chalets, tinkling-bell-clad cows, and finally, up into the clouds.
At the 2,970 m (9,744 ft) summit, a revolving restaurant commands views of the Berner Oberland. Instead of taking the cable car back down, I hiked—from being on top of the world back down into grass, back down to the cows, descending to tree line, and finally, into the cluster of chalets that make up the village of Mürren.
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No Heels in the Alps, Please
One warning you'd assume would not be necessary: Please don't wear high heels on the rocky, icy trails of the Swiss Alps. But at the nearly 10,000-foot summit of Schilthorn, at the Piz Gloria restaurant and viewpoint, that's exactly what I found. In the summer, you can hike down from the summit all the way to Murren. But it's quite a trek. I prefer the gondola that descends slowly to the Lauterbrunnen valley, with three stops along the way. However you make the trek, the views from the top are worth it! Just remember to wear comfortable shoes.