I love Switzerland. I think it might just be the happiest place on earth…. a country filled with shiny, happy people and the most millionaires per capita on earth. (No damn wonder they’re so happy.)

That being said, I’m not a big fan of heights. And that’s a problem when you visit a country containing the Alps. I have no trouble flying in an airplane, but ladders, tall buildings, mountains, are all things that can produce instant hives for me. That being said, when visiting Switzerland last year, I couldn’t help but feel drawn to those incredible Alps. Those mountain vistas, whose peaks seemed to end somewhere in the heavens just captivated me.

Luckily, our tour involved an ascent to the top of one of these grand masterpieces. What I didn’t take into account was how I was going to get to the top. I don’t know if I just didn’t think about how this was going to happen or if I thought I was going to do some sort of Bewitched nose twitch and magically appear at the top of the mountain, but clearly I hadn’t thought it through enough.

I soon found out that getting to the top meant taking three separate gondolas. Gondolas that go in the air. The air, which means height, which means instant panic for me.

Sitting in the first cable car I was fine… an ever-so-slight rocking motion as we slowly climbed up the hill. The view was amazing, well, it was once I looked up from the floor. I lost my breath when I realized that the houses I’d been close to minutes ago where now tiny squares.

The second cable car was… well… I have no idea. My eyes never left the section of floor under my feet. We were waaaaay too high.

The last car was the Rotair, a circular rotating gondola that you stand in while it ascends to the top of the mountain. That would have been fine except for the fact that I didn’t really trust my legs to hold me up. We were really high up. There were clouds outside the cable car. Normally if I’m high enough to be in clouds I’m strapped to my seat in a metal tube we call an airplane, not waiting for the doors to open to walk around in it.

My head in the clouds... literally..

I must’ve lost all color in my face because the man who operated the Rotair’s door was standing next to me and spoke to me in a calm tone. Maybe he thought I was going to faint. Heck, even I thought I was going to faint. He said something in broken English, and while I had no idea what he said his calm and soothing voice kept my mind off the ever increasing height outside this little rotating bubble. Thinking back he could have said anything, which is frightening, because I agreed to everything. I hope he wasn’t waiting for me to show up later on down the hill when he was done work to go back to his place, cuz I didn’t show.

Stepping out of the cable car once we reached the top was to me like what landing on the moon was to Neil Armstrong…. one small step for man, one giant leap for my anxiety cure.  I felt like a leper who was miraculously healed. This was amazing. I literally had my head in the clouds and it felt amazing. (Of course, looking back at it now, it was most likely just the lack of oxygen, but whatever. I’ll take what little victories I can.) At the top of this mountain was an area in which you could walk into the mountain itself and touch the walls of a real glacier. How incredible!

Inside the mountain... soooo cool!

I’m not sure that I really lived life until I experienced this whole Swiss Alp thing. (okay, I might be getting carried way here, but you get the idea.)

I envy those of you fellow bloggers who live amidst such incredible landscapes…

Ahhh Switzerland…. I love you! 

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