Nearing weekend in Zurich, one of my colleague advised “If you are looking for adventure, go to Mt. Pilatus. You can get there through the steepest railway in the world“. That was enough to give me an adrenaline rush enough to push me to head to Mt.Pilatus, a journey which can easily be done as a day trip from Zurich.
To get to Mt. Pilatus one must take a train to Lucerne. There are frequent trains to Lucerne from Zurich Hbf station typically running once every hour. The tickets can be collected at any train station by expressing that one would like to go to Mt. Pilatus. As this is a tourist attraction you are given a package which includes the complete itinery with bus, cable car , boat and train ride to the mount and back , and the return train ride to Lucerne and your final destination. I was charged 76 CHF for the complete package.
My Journey to the Summit:
The First leg of my itinery was a train ride from Oerlikon station (this was the station closest to the place I stay) to Zurich Hbf which is the main station of Zurich.
From the bus station I was to take bus#1 to Kreins, and I was getting a bit restless on the bus with thoughts on what if I get down at the wrong stop. There was a kind old lady who was sitting beside me and tried hard to help me and reassure that I would get down at the right stop though she did not speak one word of English. Finally after she spoke repeatedly in signs I understood that I need to get down at the stop after one stop she gets off at. After I got off I followed a group of youngsters who also got off at the same stop as they were heading to Mt. Pilatus as well. I could make out that they were going to Mt.Pilatus as they seemed a bit clueless like me and they were talking to each other in English which made me realise that we belonged to the same party. As I was following them I came across signs pointing the way to Mt.Pilatus and thereby I knew I was on the right track.
At the cable car station one can show their package tickets and they will receive a ticket that allows entry into the cable car.
The cable car crosses couple of stations before reaching the station from where the Gondola begins. Hikers and bikers usually get off at one of the first 2 stations and go all the way down by walk or bike. The Gondola goes up all the way to the summit.
What can be seen from the Mount:
Views, Views, Views!! Need I say more… The stony mountains looks sprinkled with green thanks to the trees that have their abode there, with the bluest sky in their midst, is sure to take your breath away when the weather is right.
When the weather is right, you will see these extreme sport lovers taking to the skies. Their chutes adding more color to the scenary and a treat to the eyes. Some times though you may wonder if they could land on you, fear not, they know what they are doing as they gracefully glide high above you.
The eye exercise from staring so much and legs from walking around to get a 360 degree view of the place can make one quite hungry indeed. There are a few eateries in this place. An indoor restaurant and a restaurant at the roof top.
One can also find a bunch of people peacefully dozing in the beauty of the place. I wondered why these people came all the way to the mountain top to sleep. But I don’t blame them, that the cool mountain breeze must have lulled them to sleep.
Journey back to Lucerne:
For the ride down the mountain, I took the cog wheel railway. This is said to be the steepest railway in the world. The tickets provided at the cable station are to be used here as well. So after your cable car ride, make sure that you don’t throw those tickets away.
It takes about 1.5 hours journey by boat to reach Lucerne from base of Mt. Pilatus. However the journey will be entertaining as there are lots of lovely scenary around and there are high chances that few of your fellow passengers are social butterflies.
After reaching Lucerne, one can walk around the Lucerne lake which is a definitely a must do activity in Lucerne.
This is an important landmark in Lucerne and is one of the largest lake in Switzerland. Going around the lake is a must do for every visitor here. There are plenty of sights around the lake that can keep one occupied for a few hours.
Switzerland has many beautiful spots that are amongst the best in the world, Mt, Pilatus and Lucerne lake being a few of them. No wonder Bollywood choose Switzerland as their most popular shooting location for their movies.