Today is Sunday 25th September. We’re having sleep in, we’re not leaving for Mt Pilatus until 8am, but the signs aren’t good outside, its drizzling rain and about 8deg C. The Navigator sprint/walks to the train station afraid a) that I’ll get lost b) we’ll be late for ferry and c) Option a) and b) which means I’ll really be in the gun. Its helpful that I actually know where I’m going, despite the commentary from the side suggesting otherwise from the real Navigator. This is proven later in the day when we are walking home and Genelle and Liz would have turned left and ended up back at Mt Pilatus rather than right to our apartment, but I say nothing, discretion means I might live another day. Normally I’d make a point but today isn’t the day, the glare in her eyes early in the day tells me that I need to be very careful.
First job is finding out what wharf our boat to the cog railway leaves from, initially we are told 5 but then its changed to 2. We chat to an elderly couple from San Franciso who look to be in their mid late 70’s and still doing interesting travel, good on them I say. We board our ferrym there are a lot of Asian’s, not sure where from but the language sounds Chinese so maybe Taiwan or Korea, not sure, and Americans. Lots of Americans, one woman shoved her hands in the toilet hand dryer above The Navigators at Mt Pilatus, its a wonder she still has a straight nose and all her limbs pulling that stunt – she clearly missed the signals.
Its pissing down rain as we wind around Lake Luzern towards the starting point of the cog railway up Mt Pilatus. Mt Pilatus cog railway was opened in 1889, at 48 degrees incline its still the steepest cog railway in the world taking about 30 minutes to get from the ferry at Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm (the top). The ride up the railway is safe but anyone who struggles with heights might have a bit of anxiety when you look down, it rises up to a bit above 7,000 feet. The location and the gondola ride down the other side were used in a James Bond film On Her Majesties Secret Service, its also a Swiss military base as well as tourist destination.
When we get up the top the clouds sort of clear, we can see over Lake Lucerne and Lucerne itself but clouds keep rolling in. There is no ice or snow up there so Liz is a little disappointed, she still hasn’t experienced snow but that might happen tomorrow when we go to the Jungfraujoc which is 11,500 feet high. The views are spectacular, we are so high.
A sandwich we made does for lunch, then the cable car ride back down the bottom. Its spectacular, with a small change in the middle. At the bottom of the mountain we walk for about 10 minutes to get the bus back to the Lucerne train station.
Before we walk home, or Pt Pilatus if certain people had their way, we go to the Swiss Railway travel office, we were told they are excellent and this proves to be correct, they sort out tomorrows trip to Jungfraujoc which involves 2 trains, a cog railway and cable cars and as well as that they change our train frm Lucerne to Basel on Wednesday to a more civilised leaving time from 5:30am to about 7:00am, a job well done.
There is a little shopping for dinner at the COOP supermarket in the train station before the walk home which could have been awkward if we’d taken Genelle (The Navigator) and Liz’s direction, but never mind all is good, no points to be scored, or is there?
Dinner is in house, pork and chicken, salad, a beer and a cup of tea.
Guten Abend from Luzern, Switzerland – Pauolo