Flying high above Grindelwald First

September 6, 2010, 1 Comment


Switzerland doesn’t really do roller-coasters but it has a much more exciting alternative: the First Flyer. You are tightly strapped into a harness-like seat that is suspended from a cable. Then the gate opens and you shoot off down past the cable cars towards Schreckfeld, 210 metres lower down the mountain. The wind batters you from all sides, the harness bounces a bit as you gather speed (up to 84 km/h) and you feel a little exposed dangling 45 metres above the ground. But the views are amazing, with the Eiger and the rest of the Bernese Alps as a backdrop; you don’t get that in Disneyland! The ride is 765 metres so only lasts 45 seconds and you come down to earth with a bump. Great stuff!

It’s called the First Flyer (or First Flieger in German) not because it’s the first zip-rider attraction in Switzerland but because First (pronounced roughly like ‘fierce’ with a T on the end) is the name of the peak that is the starting point. It’s up above Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland, and easy to reach with public transport: direct train from Interlaken to Grindelwald then a cable car up to First. The ride costs 25 francs, but it’s cheaper if you get an all-in ticket with the cable car. And be warned: if you look too thin (under 35kg) or too fat (over 125kg) you will be asked to step on the scales to make sure you are within the limits!

The First Flyer runs until 24 October and then again from 11 December this year. Just come early – by lunchtime there’s usually a long queue. My videos above give you a taster of what it’s like, both on the ride and watching from below. I loved it.

One Comment on "Flying high above Grindelwald First"

  1. Jenny Bewes Monday September 6th, 2010 at 12:51 PM · Reply

    Eek! Not sure I could cope with that. But the children would love it, a must for their next visit.

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