Up and Down…Pilatus

28 Jun



Mount Pilatus, the top is more than 7,000 feet above sea level, and on good sunny days you can look down on Luzern, Switzerland and the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake of the Four Forest Cantons). Today was cloudy. I took this while standing atop one of the peaks and looking down on the observation area and one of the TWO hotels located up there. (Don’t you wonder how they build something that big on the top of a mountain? I know I do. Oh well, the Incas did it.) It is good that there were clouds and I couldn’t see how high up and open things were. I am afraid of heights. As it is, I always kept my eyes focused only a few inches ahead of my feet. These were the conditions around noon today. Here is how we got to the top…

It began with a 45-minute lake steamer ride to Alpnachstad.  A beautiful ride, the lake was like glass.


We made several stops along the way. All lake steamers fly a large Swiss flag.


These steep green hills met the water on all sides, clouds hanging very low.


Then we arrived at the Pilatus Bahn, the steepest cog wheel train in the world, a 48 degree gradient.


Here we go, rising very fast from lake level.


And higher when the trees disappear.


Nearing the top we have risen above much of the cloud cover. You can see the railway line and even a red train slicing across the high alpine meadow.  There are also hiking trails.


Now we have reached the snow and you can see the incline of scree to the right.


We walked up the steps into the observation area which includes two hotels (one a luxury hotel), three restaurants, a gift shop, and several paths to take to various peaks, even a tunnel with look out windows.


Here is the luxury hotel.


We stood on top of one of the peaks looking toward the observatory.


I used my zoom lens to capture this ascending cogwheel train.



As I stood in the tunnel looking out a opening in the rock wall, the clouds parted enough to reveal this tiny church on the high alpine meadow.


Tiny white flowers grew out of the rocks up here.



We walked through some snow before we began our descent and we did not go down the same way that we came up.



Seilbahn…cable car. We had to take two different cable cars to get to the bottom. The first cable car was huge and carried about thirty people.



We were smashed together standing in this hanging box so I had to hold my camera above my head to get any photo at all. That’s the lake down there.


Then we switched cable cars  at a station, and these were smaller with two facing benches.


And we were on our way down again over very green hills and meadows.


Then Luzern came into view now totally sunny in the mid afternoon.


One of the supports for the cable system.


Finally at the bottom station in Kriens. Then we still had to take a bus to get back to the Hauptbahnhof where we had started our trip. Even with the cloudy conditions, it was a wonderful excursion. Cold and invigorating at the top. I’m glad I went.



14 Responses to “Up and Down…Pilatus”

  1. Jim McElroy June 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    The pictures are incredible and your lovely narrative invites us along with you on your trip. Thank you for sharing with us.

    • Rosemarie June 28, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

      Thanks, Jim. And that was only the first excursion of the day. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so I had to get all my outdoor stuff done today.

  2. john e. anglin June 28, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    That really looks like fun. I would have preferred to see the heights rather than the clouds but either way it looks like you’re having way too much fun.

    • Rosemarie June 28, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

      I’ve checked the weather report for next week and it looks like the rain will follow me all through the hike in the Dolomites. It is even predicted for Venice when I am there. The report for today from the Dolomites was snow.

  3. hitandrun1964 June 29, 2013 at 1:12 am #

    Wonderful photographs of beautiful places.

    • Rosemarie June 29, 2013 at 4:59 am #

      Thank you and yes, the places are incredibly beautiful.

  4. NW Frame of Mind June 29, 2013 at 1:33 am #

    What a wonderful day! I always like taking pictures of flags on boats. 🙂

    • Rosemarie June 29, 2013 at 5:07 am #

      The big red flags can be seen at a great distance as the boats churn across the lake. Quite beautiful.

  5. Pat Kozemski June 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    Wow! It’s like walking into fairy castle land.

    • Rosemarie June 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

      It was a wonderful excursion and I met a lovely couple from Melbourne, Australia (Margaret and Bob) to share it with.

  6. colormusing June 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    Wow! Simply stunning scenery, and your photos are brilliant!

    • Rosemarie June 30, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

      It is an amazing excursion, even better if the sky is clear.

  7. naomimgruer July 2, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    The air must be so clean and fresh!

    • Rosemarie July 2, 2013 at 5:09 am #

      Very invigorating, but now I’ve managed to catch a cold.

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