Lucerne, Switzerland Day 39

I had an absolutely amazing day today! I got up early (for me) and had breakfast at my hotel, which was included in the price. Then I headed to the train station to get my ticket for what they call “The Golden Round Trip.” The highest point in central Switzerland is Mount Pilatus. It stands at 2132 metres (7000 ft) and it is HIGH. I was literally in a cloud, unfortunately. It’s kind of hard to see the view when you are above the clouds and/or  in them, but it cleared every now and then for some peek-a-boo views. It was fun just getting there actually! First, I took an hour and a half boat ride from Lucerne to Alpnachstad.  Then once you get there you go straight to the cog railway and take a ride on the steepest cogwheel railway in the world. And let me confirm, it was steep. I could see people far below hiking up, and it looked tough. I liked my ride(-:
This is the Chapel Bridge. It was constructed in the first half of the 14th century as part of the city’s fortifications. In the 17th century paintings depicting Swiss history were added. Unfortunately a fire broke out on the bridge in the mid 1990’s, and 88 of the 111 paintings burned, so they have since been repainted, but it’s not quite the same, is it?
The boat ride to Pilatus.
The bottom of the cogwheel rail.
Getting closer to the top.
I think I can, I think I can!
The hotel on top of the world.
I got to the top and it was pretty clouded in. I did the short steep hike up to one of the lookouts, hoping for a clearing, but no luck. Then I went on a great little hike where they identify the wildflowers. They aren’t all out in full force yet, but there were a few blooming. Apparently there are ibex and chamois in the area as well, but all I saw of them were their droppings. The walk along the mountainside was beautiful though, and at the end you are at another viewpoint, but this one was also clouded in. It was full on sunny down in Lucerne I’ll have you know, so that tells you how high the mountain is! So I wandered around for a good 2 hours, then made my way back down to Lucerne. The trip is a loop, so you don’t go down the way you came up… first you take a 5 minute cable car (looked just like the Grouse sky ride) to Frakmuntegg, which is where Switzerland’s longest summer toboggan run is! See the 40 things tab for more info. on that…. Lastly it’s a 30 minute gondola ride down to Kriens then hop on the bus to Lucerne. It was so much fun, and so beautiful. It was pure Switzerland ! And the thing I liked the best about this tour is that it wasn’t cheesy or touristy at all, not even the 2 yodeling women and their male friend throwing his large flag around!
There were all of these birds up at the top. They looked like crows except they had yellow beaks and orange feet. They reminded me of Whisky Jacks because they were such beggars!
The wildflower hike along the side of the mountain. If you have vertigo, do not go.
Likin’ the lichen. (You know I had to say it!)
Looking over the edge into a cloud.
The gondola on the way down the mountain.
Back in Lucerne. Look how many swans there are!
This was a restaurants logo, I just thought it was darn cute!
The Lion Monument. This was described by Mark Twain as the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world, and I’d have to agree. It’s a memorial to the Swiss mercenaries who died at the Tuileries

 in 1792. I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve been enjoying watching the tourists take silly pictures of each other in front of every monument known to man. Most of the time I’m OK with it, heck, it’s entertainment for me! But in front of such a beautiful tribute as this, I was finding it offensive. There were people doing stupid poses like they were being attacked by the lion. Did you READ the plaque people? The lion is DYING! It’s actually called The dying Lion of Lucerne! I just thought it was a bit disrespectful, it’s a monument to people who have died, not The Louvre pyramid. Save your silly for that, OK?

I had the most delicious cheese pie here. Check the foodie section for photo. I love cheese…
The Hof Church. It’s the main cathedral in town and was built in 1645 after a fire destroyed the original.
Before I met Paul I was going to call my blog “The Quest for George.” It was just a silly joke ,but a couple of people thought I was being serious and were like, “Do you really think you could get George Clooney?” Yeah, that’s right, I could soooo get George. It’s a joke people! So, I did find him, but it wasn’t quite the way I expected it to be. So sad. (Yes, STILL a joke!)
There must be something in the air in Lucerne, because I met more people in this one day, than I practically have on the entire trip so far! Canadians, Americans, a family from India, and a woman from Zurich. I actually met up with her later in the evening for a drink, it was lovely! We sat at one of the outdoor restaurant patios overlooking the river and lake. Lucerne may be expensive, but it delivered a lot of bang for my buck.


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One Response to Lucerne, Switzerland Day 39

  1. Anonymous July 15, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    I had a dream about cheese pies and found your blog searching for a recipe. I’m jealous that you recently had one. My search continues.
    Enjoy your trip!

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