Tuesday, 5 September 2017

I woke up and the black out curtains were still pulled shut. When I opened them I could see that it was a beautiful day in Lucerne. Yesterday afternoon when I arrived it was mostly cloudy, but still a stunning view from my room onto the lake. This morning, it was fantastic!

After coffee and pulled myself together, I went down to the front desk and asked what boat tours and rides up to the Pilatus mountains they recommended. Imagine my luck when they had a package deal that included a boat ride to Alpnachstad, a cogwheel railway up to the Pilatus and down the other side via an aerial cableway and then a gondola ride too back into Lucerne. All in one ticket that could be presented along the way. Perfect! And a free bus ride to the train station and boat terminal where the adventure was to begin.

After a short bus ride to the boat landing at the Lucerne Bahnhof, since I hadn’t really had a breakfast (two bananas didn’t cut it), I saw a Burger King. In my defense, I waited at a food stand but they didn’t seem interested in taking my order, so I left. My payback was that a burger, four chicken strips and a bottle of water costs $21! I know, welcome to Switzerland.

The boat arrived and because I paid $13 more, got to sit up on the 1st Class deck. As we left the dock, I took a couple of pictures of Lucerne.

The guy running the concessions came by and asked if I’d like anything to drink. We talked about what I was to expect from the ticket that I bought. He explained how the ticket worked and what to expect. Found out that he was a German who lived for quite a while in Australia. I couldn’t place his accent, but then I could hear the Australian in his English, but also a little German as well. Guess that is why people can tell I’m American when I speak (or try to speak) German.

We made several stops along the lake as we headed towards Alpnachstad. People got on and off the boat at each stop. I took many pictures of the lake and the surrounding hills. What a perfect day to be on this scenic lake!

After about an hour, we arrived at Alpnachstad (at the far end of the lake) and were guided to a point where we received a paper ticket to use for the cogwheel, the aerial cableway and gondola. Not everyone was excited about riding the cogwheel and one person got off. It looked a bit steep then found out that it was the steepest cogwheel railway in the world. Check out the link below.

Link: https://www.pilatus.ch/en/discover/golden-round-trip/

Swiss Cow with Bell

When we got on top, I saw that we were at 7,000 feet.

As we arrived, some paragliders were just taking off. Meanwhile, clouds were starting to roll in. I explored most of the viewing platforms thought decided not to go up the ones that involved climbing a bunch of steps. My view was just fine from where I was.

Breathtaking from every angle. Hence the number of pictures that are included in this post.

Eventually, I looked for the ride down, the aerial cableway. The line was short and the next car was ready to take us down the mountain. Again, more pictures.

 Our aerial cableway ride ended at another rest stop further down the mountain and we could then board the smaller gondola that holds up to 6 people. I had a gondola all to myself. We reached another point that said to stay in the gondola but I saw an exit sign so I got out. (I should have paid more attention to the “stay in the gondola sign”.) The stop was actually for people who wanted to get out and hike the rest of the way down the mountain. But that didn’t sound like me, so waited for an empty gondola and continued my ride to the bottom of the hill. More pictures…

I was to find a bus to take me back to the train station to catch the bus to the hotel, but didn’t find the bus. So walked for a little then decided to see if the bus driver on the next bus would honor my free pass from the hotel or the golden ticket. He didn’t care about either and welcomed me aboard.

On the bus ride back to the hotel, I misread the stop name and got off the bus. It was one stop too soon, so walked the rest of the way. It gave me an opportunity to take a picture of the hotel where I’m staying.

This whole experience took about 5 hours. What a day! The views! Absolutely perfect and was more that I could have expected. Tomorrow I’ll explore more of the city. The weather report calls for a little rain so very glad that I got the opportunity for the experiences today.

 

 

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