Lucerne, Switzerland & Rhine River Cruise travel blog

Eating fresh pastries while waiting for ferry

The little white dot on the mountain crest is where we went...

The ferry ride was great

This is what we rode up a 48% grade to the top!!

We were greeted at the top with these guys playing the Alpenhorns

This is the car ahead of us about 3/4 of the way...

We made it to the top in one piece!! Great views

Lake Lucerne on the north view

Hiking trails on the east side of the mountain. We saw several...

Margaret and Kathy hiked to the top of the Esel

What a great place for lunch.

What a great day we had for our adventure to the top of Mt Pilatus. We took the ferry from Lucerne to Alpnachstad where we boarded a cogwheel train (its 48% grade is the world's steepest) and went up the east side straight to the summit. We spent several hours there where Margaret/Kathy walked up a steep zig-zag trail to the top of the Esel (Donkey) which commemorates the pre-cable-car days when Queen Victoria came up Pilatus on the back of a donkey!! Later after lunch at the cliff site terrace restaurant, the Deatzs/Rineharts walked the Dragon paths through various tunnels. Below the summits on several sides, there are circles in the rock that looked like concrete – they are actually imitation camouflage and behind them are an impressive part of Switzerland's anti-aircraft defense system with modern missiles pointed at the skies!! The biggest radar in Switzerland is on the summit and is an off-limits military zone.

Mt Pilatus is supposedly named for Pontius Pilate whose body legend says is in one of its lakes, kicking up a fuss if disturbed. It more likely comes from a Latin word meaning cloudy. It's also said to be infested with dragons.

Mid-afternoon we started our trek back to Lucerne by taking a gondola then a cable car down the side of the mountain to Kriens, walked to the center of town and caught a bus that brought us back to where we started. Afternoon ice cream was then in order with a little shopping afterwards. The weather stayed perfect for us although at the summit every so often a cloud would envelope us. It would swirl around and then move on. Talk about having our heads in the clouds!!

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