Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mt Rigi

Sunday dawned bright and sunny. Much clearer weather than I had expected. I was really a bit surprised. We checked the mountain webcams, and Mt Rigi looked clear and beautiful. We decided we would make the excursion out there. Monday is supposed to be quite rainy, and will be a better day for old town Lucerne, and the art museum. So off to Rigi we would go.

It's a short walk from our hotel to the boat dock, which is bustling with lots of people, families,and all sorts of tourists headed off to various parts of the lake. We wait a short while, then board, heading straight upstairs to the first class level. We find a nice spot outside on a bench where I can take photos over the rail. It's not long before we start pulling away from the dock. I take a few shots of Lucerne receding behind us. It's like a fairy tale city.

After a few minutes, a conductor comes around to check for tickets. We flash our Swiss Pass...something we'll be doing a lot of in days to come. We watch as the conductor banishes quite a few folks to the lower deck,as they have 2nd class tickets. All of a sudden the upper deck is a lot less crowded.

The day is still warm and mostly sunny, and Lake Lucerne is incredibly beautiful. This is, I believe, Mt Pilatus, wreathed in clouds.

We're on the boat for about an hours. We disembark at Vitznau, where we go straight to the cog railway which will climb up the mountain. It's a pretty slow ride, but the views are spectacular.

And there are chalets, and cows along the track. What must it be like to live perched up in these hills? I find myself thinking of Heidi.

Soon we reach the top. It's started to get a little hazy now, but we still have a great view of the snowcapped peaks.

Here's the train we came up on:

We decided to have lunch in the self serve restaurant at the top. Todd has bratwurst, and I have a bowl of creamy vegetable soup. It's pretty good, and reminds me how bad food at American tourist attractions can be. The Europeans in general do a much better job with little caf├ęs like this.

While we eat, the clouds roll in and the view completely disappears. We are encased in white fog, and can see nothing. Then, as suddenly as it came in, the clouds disappear, and we can see the peaks again, although there is still a fair amount of haze around them.

After lunch, and some exploration, we decided to head down. We get back on the cog rail, but only descend part way. We get off, and walk across a platform to the cable car down to Weggis. This is a little faster, and a bit more vertiginous. Sadly the car is crowded, and I'm pressed up against the pictures. You'll just have to take my word for it, it's a great ride.

A little more to come, but I will post this now.

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