The world’s cableways: Part 4

  • 11 January 2013 | Kate Rau

Think you don’t have a reason to travel to Armenia? Think again. Armenia is home to the world’s longest non-stop double track cableway, the Tatev Aerial Tramway.

Designed by Garaventa (Switzerland), the World Record holding 5.7-kilometre cableway connects Halizor village to the secluded and medieval Tatev Monastery, traversing the Vorotan River Gorge.

Armenians have their own unique alphabet too – invented in 405 AD – but that’s another story.

In our final write up about cableways of the world, we look at a tramline that runs in a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, an aerial link to one of the New7Wonders of the World and a cable car in Malaysia famed for providing passengers panoramic views of the island.

Huangshan Cableway, China

The mountain of Chinese paintings the world over. Image courtesy wikitravel – user: Ben Miller

China’s Yellow Mountain, or Huangshan, is in Anhui Province. Featuring on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the granite massive has 36 separate peaks that rise some 1 800 metres.

You don’t have to visit China to know what Yellow Mountain looks like – it’s the  mountain in many popular Chinese paintings. Jagged peaks shrouded in mist and speckled with rhododendron and giant pine trees that cling to the rock face, Huangshan’s spectacular landscape has been captured over and over again on canvas.

To reach either of the two stations of the Yuping and Xinyungu Cable Cars visitors take a shuttle at the foot of the mountain to Tangkou. Once on the top of the mountain, travellers can enjoy quite a few walks, including the infamous Fairy Bridge.

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, Cape Town

The aerial cableway offers splendid views of Cape Town’s iconic landmark. Image courtesy 
flowcomm

 

Since the launch of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway in 1929, more than 22-million people have taken the trip to the top and back to explore Cape Town’s natural wonder. Among them were some famous royals, including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

Oprah Winfrey, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Margaret Thatcher and Michael Schumacher have been guests of the cableway too.

Now an official New7Wonder of Nature, Table Mountain represents Cape Town’s backdrop in granite, a massive table-shaped elevation that attracts visitors all year.

The cableway operates weather permitting. Visitors are transported up and down in Rotair cable cars, each of which can hold up to 65 passengers, with revolving floors that allow passengers a 360-degree view of the Mother City and the mountain.

Klein Matterhorn Cable Car, Switzerland

Icy views up ahead. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

A cableway ride to challenge its distant cousin in Armenia, the Klein Matterhorn Cable Car (the last stop of a multi-stage cableway trip) takes passengers to the highest point in Switzerland’s Zermatt-Cervinia ski area – a giddy 3 883-metre peak.

An average of 550 000 visitors travel via cableway each year to reach the peak platform and Ice Cave, a chilly grotto with a view into the glaciers below.

Panorama Langkawi Cable Car, Malaysia

Enjoy 360-degree views of the island. Image courtesy Wikimedia commonsUser: Rob

 

Situated on Langkawi Island in Kedah, Malaysia, the Panorama Cable Car links Burau Bay Resort at TelukBurau to the peak of GunungMachinchang Mountain – this via 2.2 kilometres of aerial cable.

The cableway has three stations. From the base station at the foot of the mountain, passengers are transported up 1 700 metresto the middle station and can then walk up to the top station.

The views on the way up are spectacular,showcasing lush green forests, the TalagaTujuh or Seven Wells waterfall and the swirling sea below. Two viewing platforms are at the top of the cableway, where passengers can refresh themselves at the upper level café.

Imagine a trip around the world exploring the hundreds of cableways and aerial trams across the planet… What an adventure!

As a start, why not begin at home and travel up the Harties Cableway, the longest of its kind in Africa.

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