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Published: July 10th 2019
I had to pick one mountain to do near Lucerne (weather is supposed to be too overcast tomorrow, so no views), so since I have the "1/2 fare pass" and since I was excited for the cogwheel, I headed off to Mt Pilatus which looms not far over Lucerne.
Tickets were a bit of a shit show. I woke up early to take the first cogwheel up the mountain. I already had my ticket, but then when you arrive in Alpnachstad you need to exchange your ticket for one with a scan code... if you go later in the day they have a separate line for this, but since it was just opening, I was stuck in line with people buying tickets and asking questions. I missed the first ride, sigh. 40min later, I was finally on my way lol.
Worth it. I made sure I was near the release door (lol you wait in a pen), so I was first on the 8:50 one - I positioned myself right at the base of the train for an impeccable view down the tracks as we went up. And boy does it go up! It's the steepest cogwheel in the
world at 48 degrees. Up and up we went - it was amazing seeing the track below, the lake, the cows (!!) and then of course the peak above.
The views from Pilatus are stunning, not much else to say. You can feel the air is a little thinner that high up (7000 ft) since you climb so quickly with the cogwheel, but that quickly goes away. The little paths aren't that difficult - the "Dragon" one takes you thru the mountain itself (which is a nice and cold experience lol - it's already chilly enough up there, nevermind in the damp shade). You get nice views of the valley. You can also climb up to a better vantage point with the full 360 view. My fav was looking towards the snow capped mountains...nothing beats that in terms of landscapes.
There are also a ton of these cute little black birds - I always love watching the birds. I had quite a few friends while I ate my sandwich... I didn't share, but it was fun to watch them.
The ride back was by gondola, on the other side of the mountain. I have a love/hate thing
with gondolas... I mean, I love the bigger ones, but I could do without the "sway" that a lot of the tiny ones cause. I keep thinking back to Slovakia and the Tatras... I legit thought I was going to die every time the little ones went over a post and it would jolt the cab ahaha. Thankfully today was a somewhat smoother ride. On the way down I was happy to pass over a field of cows - I love that they wear the bells here, so you can hear them chime and you know to be on the lookout.
Arriving at the bottom, in Kriens, it's very well laid out in terms of finding your way back to the bus to get back to Lucerne - so many signs along the path proving once more how tourist friendly it is here. Back in the city I did a bit of shopping (I caved!) and went on the hunt for a good cheap meal (tired of eating pasta). I found an asian spot - big container of fried rice, veggies and chicken to go, sat by the lake and did some reading. Ah, that's the way to do
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