The world’s cableways: Part 3

  • 18 December 2012 | Kate Rau

An aerial cableway is known by a different name in countries across the world.  Also called an aerial tramway, a cable car, a ropeway or an aerial tram, this lift system by definition uses one or two ropes for support and another rope for propulsion to propel a cable car (or cabin) from one end of the line to another.

In part 2 of our cableways of the world series, we featured the Tochal Telecabin in Iran, the Shinhotaka Ropeway in Japan, Israel’s Masada Cableway and the most recent edition to the family – the Emirates Air Line in London.

Take a look at this week’s featured selection: 

Gibraltar Cable Car, Gibraltar

Historic views across the Strait of Gibraltar are to be had on this cableway. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
User: Giorgiomonteforti

The Teleferico de Gilbraltar, or Gibraltar Cable Car, is truly a one-of-a-kind cableway. Originally built in 1966, the line ferries passengers up and down the famed Rock of Gibraltar, historically the landmark that pinpointed the end of the known world.

From its base near to Alameda Gardens, the cabins travel to Ape’s Den midway up the Rock and then to the top of the historic landmark – a trip that takes around six minutes.

Views from the top are astounding and stretch across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco. The top level is home to the Calpe Suite (Calpe being the term used by locals to describe the granite monolith), a wedding venue with a view.

Gangtok Ropeway, India

Gangtok Ropeway, located in the Himalayan Hill Station on Sikkim. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons -  User: Kalyan3

Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim, a Himalayan Hill Station frequented by tourists and travellers looking to scale the famous mountain range. A three-way ropeway, the cable car at India’s Gangtok is famed for its great views of the capital – from Gangtok market to the Assembly Hall of State.

The one-kilometre ropeway has three entry points – the lowest at Deorali market, the midway mark at Nam-Nang and the pinnacle at Tashiling. Visitors can board and exit a cabin car at any of the three points.

The journey between the three points takes around 15 minutes.

Hafia Stella Marais Cable Car, Israel

The cable car offers magnificent view of the sea. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons - user Gilabrand 

 

There are two ways visitors can reach the Stella Marais Carmelite Monastery located on the slopes of Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel – either on foot, or by cable car.

The cable car runs from the Mediterranean coast at Bat Galim to the top of Mount Carmel, where visitors can disembark and tour the 19th century building and settlement.

Collectively labelled “Stella Marais”, the settlement at the top of Mount Carmel comprises a monastery, “Elijah’s Cave”, where the Old Testament prophet is purposed to have lived, and a monument to those French soldiers who died on Mount Carmel following Napoleon’s retreat. A must-see for history nuts who like a smidgen of adventure.

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Way, Hong Kong

Views from the skyrail stretch for miles. Image courtesy Wikimedia - user: Toby Oxborrow

 

Located on Lantau Island, Hong Kong, the Ngong Ping cableway is an excellent means of exploring the island. The cableway links to the public transport interchange, where visitors can disembark from the cabin cars and board a bus for further exploring.

Hong Kong’s famed cableway has something very special, too – the Crystal Cabin’s glass-bottomed floor offers astounding views of the sea and the mountain as the line traverses the 25-minute strip from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping Village.

Here travellers are urged to explore the tourist highlights in the area: Big Buddha, the Po Lin Monastery and the Wisdom Path walkway.

In our next (and final) installment of cableways of the world, we’ll look at cableways in Armenia, Switzerland, Malaysia and Cape Town. In the meantime, make sure you’ve travelled Africa’s longest line – our Harties Cableway.

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