Dawn breaks over Mt. Pilatus and Lake Lucerne.
The goal today was the "Golden Round trip." The journey to and up Mt. Pilatus by boat and cog railway and return by aerial tramway. DSC_0336
Mt. Pilatus, 6,982 feet (2,128 m) overlooks Lucerne. Our objective today was to travel to the peak. Yvette mapped out the route for us, a combination of boat, cog railway, aerial tramway and bus! What an adventure!
Boats plying Lake Lucerne depart from the quay across from the railway station at 0:38 past every hour. We arrived in time for the 9:38 boat, the first of the day. The Lake Lucerne boats are both sightseeing craft as well as providing transportation from Lucerne to nearby communities, including Hergiswil and Stansstad. In between is a breathtaking scenic panorama. The rain of the previous day had abated and the morning was sunny, providing a clear view of the Swiss landscape and numerous villas with boathouses. Mt. Pilatus itself continuously unfolds in differing aspects as the boat rounds the base of the peak. The last stop of the trip is Alpnachstad, where the traveler meets the Pilatusbahn.
The Pilatusbahn is an electric cog (rack) railway leading from Alpnachstad 2.9 miles (4.6 km) up the side of Mt. Pilatus to its summit at 6,081 feet (2073 m). The ride takes about 30 minutes. Along the way, one sees hikers walking up the mountain
Wilhelm Tell, a 1908 Lake Lucerne sightseeing steamer repurposed as a floating restaurant on Lake Lucerne. Schiffrestaurant Wilhelm Tell. Schweizerhofquai. DSC_0355
and close-up views of the rock formations. At its greatest incline, the railway operates on a 48 per cent gradient, making it the world's steepest.
At the top station, Pilatus Kulm, are a hotel, restaurant, gift shop and observation platforms. There are also trails up and throughout the peak. Our first stop was, of course, the observation platforms. Amazing views are offered down to Lucerne itself, over the expanse of Lake Lucerne and neighboring lakes, out across the relatively flat landscape to the north, and the ridge of the Berner Alps to the east. An added treat was an alpenhorn player performing on the mountaintop!
The Restaurant Bellevue offered cafeteria-style service. We both selected the schnitzel, accompanied by frites (French fries) and mixed vegetables, for lunch on the peak. After lunch, the
Drachensweg (Dragon's trail) was inviting. (It was believed that dragons lived on the mountain.) This trail led inside the mountain, with viewing ports at intervals. One new sight from this angle was the Klimsenkapelle, an 1861 mountain chapel that was once associated with a hotel. (The hotel is now gone.)
Time to return, but our descent was on the other side of the mountain
Mansion on Lake Lucerne housing the Schweizer Schiesssportverband - Swiss Shooting Sport Federation. Lidostrasse 6. DSC_0367p1
by aerial tramway. A system of two different aerial tramways takes one down from the mountain. The first one, known as the Dragon Ride, had a large cabin and operates every 15 minutes. Passengers disembark at Frakmuntegg. Connection is made with a second aerial tramway, the Panorama, that operates continuously. Passengers step on the six-place cars as they slow down. An intermediate station allows passengers to stop at restaurants or use a zip line and ropes course. (There is a lot for locals to do on the mountain besides hike and enjoy the views.) At the bottom, we had reached Kriens. A series of directional signs led us, at a bit of a distance, into the center of town and the bus back to Lucerne. A fine days' outing!
This trip, popularly known as the "golden round trip", will require the better part of a day to complete and thoroughly enjoy. I definitely recommend it to all visitors to Lucerne.
That evening we ventured to Fondue house DuPont for a Swiss fondue dinner.
Tot: 0.038s; Tpl: 0.021s; cc: 9; qc: 24; dbt: 0.0084s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb