Mt. Pilatus

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Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Lucerne » Kriens
April 14th 2012
Published: April 14th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

After breakfast we took a stroll to the tourist information centre and purchased our tickets to visit Mt Pilatus (at the usual exorbitant Swiss rates).

Unfortunately the weather was not going to be kind to us today. The webcam at the top of Mt Pilatus showed total whiteout, although that was easy to see with the naked eye from Luzern. Even worse, the famed Golden Round Trip - Cog-wheel Railway, Gondola ride and Ferry ride through Lake Lucerne was not going to be possible, with the cogwheel railway out of service due to weather and ice and the ferry not operating until Summer. We are here just too early in season, which is a real shame because the view would've been amazing.

Nonetheless, we are in Luzern for only one full day and we were not going to miss the opportunity to take a gondola car ride to the top of Pilatus (over 2,000 metres above sea level).

So we hoped onto Bus #1 to Kriens, took a short stroll to the gondala car base station and were on our way. No queues, no people, nice and quiet, clean, organised and, we guessed, typically "Swiss-German".

Mt Pilatus, in the Swiss Alps, is known as the Dragon Mountain. The myths surrounding Luzern's mountain are that it used to be inhabited by Dragons.

There are two stops to get to the top of Mt Pilatus - Krienseregg where there is a playground and BBQ area, and Fräkmüntegg where we needed to change to a larger cable car for a short but very steep ride to the top. After the first stop, it was pretty much total white out. For the first time on our holiday, the weather had gotten the better of us.

The top of Pilatus is over 2,000 metres above sea level. Unfortunately we were pretty much confined to to the enclosed hotel areas at the top as it was way too cold, snow-covered and icy and lacking visibility outside. Most areas were shut. We did manage to take a walk through the icy Dragon Path, so all was not lost.

On the way through to the dining area, we came across some Alphorn blowers entertaining the small crowd. Nick managed to get invited by one of the Alpenhorners to try out his musical instrument, which was quite funny.

At the refreshment area, we found Swiss prices taken to ludicrous heights. A bottle of still water was 5 Swiss Francs. This was the same price as a Braugold beer and 1 Swiss Franc more than the hot chocolate being sold. Insane.

We made our way back to Luzern, did some shopping for souvenirs and then back to our hotel for a break before going out to dinner at La Terrazza. Food was ok but don't ask about the cost, Damian is still crying.

Tomorrow we are back on the trains and headed for Paris.

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


Dragon Path Rock GalleryDragon Path Rock Gallery
Dragon Path Rock Gallery

That wooden "fence" is all there is between an icy path and a vertical cliff face. Thank goodness we couldn't see anything!!
Alphorn blowers at Mt PilatusAlphorn blowers at Mt Pilatus
Alphorn blowers at Mt Pilatus

Somehow Nicholas managed to get in on the act during one of the performances. He needs to improve his playing substantially, however, to get a full time gig.
Swiss Army KnivesSwiss Army Knives
Swiss Army Knives

Unlike everything else, Swiss Army knives, swiss watches, and the like, are reasonably priced. This is an actual Giant Swiss Army Knife. It could be purchased for 1,200 Swiss Francs, which is still cheap compared to the price of coffee.

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