14 April, 2020
This was my first ever trip to Europe. We had spent five days in Switzerland in June, but then traveled to Italy and France for ten days. We then came back to Switzerland, where we stayed with my husband’s family. His cousin took us on this lovely day trip, up Mt. Pilatus. My daughter and her boyfriend, joined us on this leg of our European trip.
The day started early with us leaving Lucerne by boat. I don’t remember the specific name of our boat, but it was very clean, comfortable and fast. It was so hot, I had no idea that I’d actually feel quite chilly at the top of the mountain. This first part of the trip, was scenic and calm. The lake was exquisite and the sights, breathtaking. There were so many people all around the lake, doing what holiday makers do in the short European summers. Everyone was tanned and looked healthy. You could literally feel summer in the air.
The crystal clear water of the Lake, was beautiful. Actually, the name of this body of water changes from where we boarded the boat in Lucerne, called Luzerner See, then over the large body of water called Vierwaldstattersee, and then you travel into the channel called Alpnacher See. Once there, it’s not long before you dock at Alpnachstad. This is where the second part to the journey up Mt. Pilatus begins.
The second part of the journey, begins at the base of Mt. Pilatus in a cogwheel train that chugs up the side of the mountain. This part of the trip is not the most comfortable, but it is incredibly scenic. The rich, grassy slopes of the mountain, provide grazing for some gorgeous Swiss dairy cows. Everything is in vivid shades of green, ranging from a lovely, pea-green to rich, darker hues of emerald. Of course, traveling from Africa, we really do appreciate how clean Switzerland is in general, but this ode to Mother Nature, going up this mountain side, is nothing short of spectacular! This part of the trip is also the longest, but it gives one the time to appreciate the beauty and drink it all in.
Whilst at the summit of Mt. Pilatus, we walked around and drank in the mountain beauty all around us. Although a bit chilly, if you go in mid-summer, a lightweight knit or jacket, would be more than sufficient. We walked down steep, natural stairways. Well, they aren’t naturally there, but they are created from natural materials. We walked along these stairways, to take photos of the delicate mountain flowers and grasses that are in abundance. The beautiful views of the mountains around, and the chugging, cogwheel trains coming up the mountain side, all made for great photography practice. We decided to have lunch at a reputable restaurant here with the most ostentatious chandeliers. We did sit near a fireplace and warmed up nicely, as although not cold, the mountain breeze did cut through us. The fire provided just the right amount of warmth. For the life of me, I do not remember the name of the restaurant.
I myself, did not wear sneakers, but I would advise it for this part of the trip. The stairways were moist and slippery and there were lovely, mountain trails that I couldn’t walk on, because I wore a pair of sandals. My husband stayed with me, taking in all the beauty and keeping me company while I filled up my SD card for the day. My daughter, her boyfriend and my husband’s cousin, did a walk along one of these trails. I’ll take their word for it that it was stunning.
The third leg of the journey is the first part down the mountain. We did wait a while in the queue at the top, as each cable car, doesn’t take too many people at once. For some reason, we got to the queue together with a group of people on a tour together. It didn’t deter me. Whilst waiting, we shopped in a little curio shop at the top and I purchased a few gifts for my children at home. I also found the views from the cable car station delightful. Again, just outside the windows, there were a host of tiny, perfect flowers, dancing in the mountain breeze. I cannot reiterate enough that there is so much natural beauty around.
The cable car goes down the mountainside to a little stop called Frakmuntegg. There we got out and again I was snapping away, getting more shots of the beautiful scenery. The fourth leg, is a gondola which takes you down the rest of the way to Kriens. While at Frakmuntegg, I just had to capture an unusual water feature just outside the cable station. The gondola is definitely not as streamlined or advanced as the cable car, but the surrounding beauty, is of course just as arresting.
Once you arrive in Kriens, you can take a bus back to Lucerne. We however, missed the bus by a few seconds, so decide to walk around Kriens and take in the quaint charm of this little town. We eventually got to the train station where we were able to get back to Lucerne, where we’d left our car parked for the day.
If you are going to Lucerne at all on a Swiss holiday, this day trip is so absolutely worth it. Of course, it doesn’t have to take a full day, but we wanted to make it last as long as possible. With so many sights and views, it’s best not to rush it. I’m actually grateful we didn’t make the bus for that part of the trip, as the walk through Kriens was so worth it. Have a look for yourself.