Up high at Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
One of our resolutions for this year was to share as many stories as possible with our fellow readers, however with so many things happening in our life apart from the travelling, we have lacked behind in updating our blog posts. These past few weeks have been hectic one for us as we moved back to our hometown from Mumbai to spend time with our family. If you guys have had a life on constant move, you will definitely agree what a hassle it is to pack all your stuff and move to a new place. After going through the ultimate torture of unpacking and sorting through all our stuff, we have finally succeeded in settling down and are happy to be working on our blog.
Anyways getting back to today’s post, we want to share the experience from our visit to Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland. Although visit to the mountains wasn’t actually planned by us sisters and was a result of some confusion between our dad and the travel agent, we have to say it ended up being the favourite memory from our vacation. We had visited Switzerland couple of years ago with our parents and back then we had covered Mt. Titlis and Jungfraujoch and we totally loved both the places (even though it’s a bit too touristy). While planning our second visit to this beautiful country, our little brother was joining us and we decided to take him to both these places. Sadly, instead of making arrangements for Jungfrau, our dad mistakenly booked a trip to Pilatus.
Mount Pilatus, located at central Switzerland in Lucerne is famously known as the Dragon Mountain, as ancient legends often described this as a home for mythical dragons. One can reach the top of the mountains through the aerial cableways, gondolas, cogwheel trains or one can also combine all three of these along with a boat ride across Lake Lucerne (the ride is called as Golden Round Trip). We made the journey through the train from Alpnachstad, which is said to be the steepest cogwheel railway in the world, yet again an experience in itself.
Initially when we started the train ride, we were quite clueless and skeptical about the whole journey, and first five minutes of the journey we had to listen to our brother complain how slow the train was. But as the train made its ascent every one of us was literally spellbound with the beauty of the mountain. The lush greenery all around was simply stunning like a picture out of a beautiful countryside postcard with cattle grazing on the meadows, tiny cottages and distant view of the Alps. The train ride further up offers yet another stunning view of the rocky terrains with remnants of the snow from the winters spread across. As we passed through the narrow tunnels we were jumping in excitement in our seats, anticipating what lay next in this journey.
The 30-minute ride through these mountains is a captivating experience as the train makes the journey of 4618m with the steepest ascent being at 48% gradient. The best way to enjoy this train journey would be by sitting at the front row, as you will able to get a clear view of the steep tracks. Also do remember the cogwheel railway is open only between May to November, while rest of the rides are open all around the year.
Once we reached the top, we were surprised to see that the place was pretty crowded with people milling around the open terraced area enjoying the view and clicking pictures. Before taking the tour of the place we decided to grab a quick-lunch at one of the restaurants. We then strolled around the terrace completely in awe of the view we were witnessing. From the top, we enjoyed mesmerizing view of the Lucerne Lake with picturesque mountains on the background. At a height of 2,132 meters, Pilatus offers an uninterrupted view of the Swiss Alps ranging across the Mount Titlis, Jungfraujoch upto as far as the French Alps. Watching this fabulous view of the mountains, it felt like we were standing up high among the clouds. We spent good part of our afternoon lounging in the open terrace, feeling lucky that the weather was just as glorious that day.
Around late noon we took the train ride to get back to Alpnachstad and further moved on to explore Lucerne city. We had decided on earlier to stay back overnight in Lucerne with the sole intention of exploring the beautiful city and as we wanted to visit Mt. Titlis the next day, this seemed to be a perfect option for us.
Even though it wasn’t a highly anticipated trip in the beginning, the visit to Mount Pilatus was a perfect stress-free day out for our family and also gave us an opportunity to explore yet another beautiful side of Switzerland.