Saturday, 20 August 2011

Alf climbs Mount Pilatus

One of the great things about starting this blog (apart from meeting some uber nice fellow bloggers) is that I have been making more an effort to go out and discover new places and to document all these adventures to share them with you.

Last Tuesday, Alf and I went on an impromptu little trip to Mount Pilatus, near Lucerne, after receiving a text message from our lovely neighbour Heather inviting us to come along on her afternoon trip. Standing at 2132m above sea level, Mount Pilatus supposedly derives its name from the myth that the corpse of Pontius Pilate was flung into a lake on the mountain.

We drove to Lucerne and started our journey at Kriens from where a gondola rises to Fräkmüntegg where you jump on a cable car to the summit. The ticket for the gondola and cable car is expensive but you get your money's worth considering that total travelling time is around 30 minutes and that the views from the top are out of this world.

Start of the journey at Kriens

Leaving Lucerne and its lake behind

It is also possible to take a train from Lucerne to Alpnachstad, from where the steepest rack-railway in the world runs at a gradient of almost 50% directly to the top of the mountain. Not for the faint hearted!

Fräkmüntegg is quite a popular destination in the winter where you can borrow sledges and sledge down to the bottom of the mountain. In the summer, there is a tree-climbing type adventure park there as well as a giant toboggan you can slide down. It looked awesome!

Toboggan tracks, don't tell me you wouldn't be tempted!
From there, we climbed into the cable car to go to the summit, and quickly found ourselves travelling through clouds! Although the clouds spoiled the views a little bit, I was actually quite thankful that there were there. I am not so good with height, and not being able to see the sheer drop under my feet really helped making the journey pleasant!

We were lucky that some of the clouds had dispersed when we reached the top as we were welcome by this when we got off the cable car into the Klum hotel lobby.

Isn't this the best hotel view on Earth???
By this point, Alf and I were very excited to go and enjoy the views minus the glass so we ran outside!And I snapped away before the clouds returned!

I must admit that I never thought of myself as a mountain-girl before moving to Switzerland (I'd seldom been near one) but the more I visit Switzerland and its mountains, the more I am amazed at how beatiful they are! There are constant reminders at how dangerous they can be tough, as this cross below shows, a testament of someone losing their life on this particular summit.

There were cows grazing in the pastures below and an Alphorn player: the perfect Swiss moment!

From the terrace of the hotel Klum we were on, you can walk up a steep staircase to the highest point of the mountain where you can get a 360 degrees view of the mountains surrounding Mt Pilatus.

By that time, the clouds were closing in so my photos did not turn out as nice as I'd wanted them to. Although impaired by the clouds, the views were still breath-taking!

Paragliders in action (on the right): not convinced it was the best day for this??!

Yours truly (green top) on the summit of Mt Pilatus
Even Alf posed on top of the summit for a photoshoot!

Out of all my Swiss adventures so far, I think this is the most memorable. Despite the clouds and the obstructed views, the feeling you get on top of Mount Pilatus is not something I can really describe with words. I was literally blown away, the world lying at my feet...

A must for anyone visiting Switzerland!


zsazsazsu said...

enjoyed this post !

Anonymous said...

I am sooo jealous of you being able to live among all this stunning scenery! Love little Alf ;)

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