One March week in Switzerland

Spend much time in the Alps and it's easy to think the wow effect of the mountains will wear off. Not so, in my experience. Here we were in the Swiss Alps for the gazillionth time - and the view was like none I'd ever seen before. Piercing a sparkly blue sky, the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau presented a magnificent mountainous trio in a never-ending sea of rippling snowy summits. Alpine choughs flew past at our altitude; the air was crisp and the sun, warm. I looked down, but the view wasn't quite so dreamy: beneath the glass walkway, the ground tumbled away in a raging torrent of rocky outcrop. Yikes.

Mum and Nigel had come to visit, and we were braving the Skyline Walk, a steel grill and glass walkway suspended off the Schilthorn in the Bernese Oberland. Vertigo aside, it offers perhaps the best views of the famous trio you could hope for. We clambered off the walkway and continued via cable car towards Piz Gloria at the top of the mountain - at almost 10,000 feet above sea level. It is perhaps most famous for its appearance in the James Bond film 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service', but it also offers a more cost-effective and less-touristy way of seeing the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau than the Jungfrau railway.

We enjoyed lunch in the rotating restaurant at the summit, where we watched, mesmerised, as the landscape unfolded around us: the lowlands rose in geological formation into the Alps; the North Face of the Eiger glowered menacingly. It seemed almost crass to be munching away in the warmth admiring a mountain that has claimed so many lives.

The dramatic scenery was quite different to other places we had seen during the week, including Einsiedeln, an awe-inspiring Benedictine monastery dominating hillocky green countryside, which also breeds the oldest horse breed in Europe, and Bollingen at the southern end of Lake Zurich, where we went looking for Carl Jung's Bollingen Tower. Here, the scenery was rolling and almost coastal, with reeds rustling in the choppy water.

One-and-a-half rotations around and it was almost time to depart. A weather front was moving in over the Alpine ocean and threatening to engulf the mountains; the blue and cream landscape now silver and steel. Outside, the wind howling around the summit was like ice. No, the wow effect of the mountains will never wear off. Their beauty remains but their moods are ephemeral, lending them a new outfit and personality from one moment to the next.
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