Saturday 6 September 2014

Mt. Pilatus: tram, train, train, train, train, train, train, tram

Another weekend, another trip to Lucerne! This time for the first of many journeys to the top of a mountain in Switzerland :)

They started work on a new gondola just a few days earlier, so the golden and silver ticket options for getting to the top Mt. Pilatus were off the table.  No ferry, train, gondola, gondola, gondola, bus trip for us.  Probably for the best really, the kids were tough enough to manage on tram, train, train, train, train, train, train, tram (i.e. apartment-Zurich HB, Zurich HB-Lucerne, Lucene-Alpnachstad, Alpnachstad-Pilatus Kulm, and back again).  You probably shouldn't attempt this trip without the half price card, it's hella expensive.

Missing a link :(  We saw quite a few people that were walking the missing piece.  That would have been a great option without little kids...

While on the way to Alpnachstad I suddenly realised I was going to actually see the view that I missed out on over a year ago, during my bad weather tick-infested mountain bike ride.  On this weekend we had great weather to ascend the world's steepest cog railway.  This railway line doesn't screw around with switchbacks at all, it just chugs straight up the mountain, reaching a peak 48% grade at one point.

Alpnachstad.  You can buy tickets at Zurich HB or here, but you only get your place in line once you arrive here.  So you may need to wait for a bit, I think we waited about 45 mins.  Once you're up the top you get a ticket for a departure time.  Be warned, it might be late on popular days!  The earliest slot we could get was about 3 hours after we arrived at the top, I think the departure time was something like 5:45pm.

 You can also walk of course, hello switchbacks!  We saw at least a couple of people that seemed to have ridden their mountain bikes up.  Impressive stuff, considering the path has a non-significant number of steps.  AFAICT there was no way to take your bike up on the train.

Lots of paragliders launching from here. We watched them while waiting for Lyd, who came from Belgium to see us!

Spectacular views from 2128m

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