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For us the main allure of the small Swiss city of Luzern was the golden round trip – a boat trip and then ride on the steepest cogwheel train in the world up to Mount Pilatus and then a chairlift and gondola ride back down.
Luckily we were pleasantly surprised with the city itself and the charming old town.
As seems to have been the tone set in our Switzerland trip we were always running late everywhere and almost missed our boat ride, but made it just in time.
The ride was simply magical. There’s no body of water quite like a Swiss lake. With the mountains as the back drop, and a blue sky with a sprinkling of fluffy clouds; it’s simply the setting for a fairy tale.
After the hour long boat ride we were ready for the next part – the train ride up the mountain. How often can you say you took the steepest cogwheel train ride in the world right? Can’t say I had ever even heard of a cogwheel train before this, but hey riding the steepest one seems pretty interesting.
And so we slowly trudged along to reach the 2132 meter peak of Mount Pilatus. And we just so happened to be greeted with dense fog the higher we climbed.
Upon reaching the top this is the view that opened up before us:
Disappointing doesn’t even begin to describe it. We should have learned our lesson back in China — don’t even consider reaching the peak of a mountain if there’s a cloud in the sky. With fingers crossed we eagerly hoped a few clouds at ground level wouldn’t mean anything up top, but unfortunately the whole summit was covered in a thick white fog and visibility was downright awful.
We did still find a few hiking routes at the top to follow and even learned about the legend of the mountain itself.
The transportation adventures continued on the way down with both a chairlift and gondola ride.
It wasn’t until these that we finally started to catch a glimpse of the view beneath us.
But who doesn’t love a good gondola ride anyway right?
Back at ground level we continued our tour through the city itself and found it to be even more charming and picturesque than Zurich.
We finished off a long day of sightseeing with a pitcher of Swiss beer. A perfect end to the day.
We had a great time in Luzern and highly recommend stopping by to see the city and do the Golden Round Trip – though do make sure you go on a clear day so that you will have perfect visibility.
All information regarding the Golden Round Trip can be found on their website. We went with the 99 CHF tickets for the 2nd class boat (though we were able to get group priced tickets through out hostel which gave us a significant discount so check with your hostel first before purchasing tickets).
To get to Luzern we took the train from Zurich and it took around an hour.