National Geographic : 1963 Jan
Across the Alps ma Wicker Basket By PHIL WALKER "L ISTEN," I ASKED. "Do you hear that sound?" There was a sound, so lovely yet so distant that it seemed almost a dream. It was the rush of waters flowing from Alpine glaciers, tumbling over precipices, falling through gorges thousands of feet below us. Otherwise all was still, there in the in credibly clear sky. Three of us-two Swiss and one American-dangled in an improb able wicker basket beneath the free balloon Bernina, as she drifted like a silver teardrop through the Swiss Alps toward Italy. Beside us rose the snow-clad Jungfrau, 13,642 feet high, one of the famous moun tains of the world (page 122). To the south west, the Matterhorn's bent peak pierced the sky. Just to the east lay the Greater Aletsch Glacier, whose enormous tongue licks 14 miles down the Jungfrau massif. We floated serenely, as if sightseers from another planet. Movement of the gondola was scarcely noticeable, a slow and irregular swaying. The balloon constantly revolved, and each of us in his own corner of the car Carrying a crew of three, Bernina drifts serenely above Lotschen Valley in the Swiss Alps. The photograph was made from a small plane. Swiss flag hangs limply from the balloon's rigging. EKTACHROME BY LORENZ FRIDLI © N.G .S .