Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 2: Mount Pilatus, Switzerland

The second day was probably my favorite day of the whole trip. I was fortunate enough to experience the Swiss Apls in all their glory and they were breathtaking. It's like the weather gods knew we were planning to see the Alps on this day because the sky was clear and unlike the previous day, no rain! The transportation in Switzerland is supposed to be one of the best in all of Europe (discovered this from my online research) and I would have to agree. We got on the bus from our hostel to the main station, transferred to another bus, we then walked to the Pilatus station to go up on the panorama gondola, and then made our way to the top on the aerial cableway. On our way, we took a quick stop in the middle of the mountain, there they offered snow opportunities like sledding or skiing. We took some quick pictures of the view of Lake Lucerne and Pilatus. Afterwards, we finally made it to the top of Mount Pilatus. It was like a dream, a very, very cold dream but luckily I had my mittens on stand-by. 

The mountains were nothing I had ever seen before. Yes, I took lots of pictures, but at the top I made a conscious effort to not be so concentrated on the pictures. I wanted to remember everything I saw up there because I did not know when or if I would be back. It called for a moment of reflection and appreciation. I am so appreciative that I was able to see a view like this, I only wish I was able to share this experience with my loved ones. I made a promise to myself up there that one day I would come back with the people I really cared about and loved. For the day, the company I was with would do I suppose... lol Anyways, I cannot explain in full what it was like to be up there and see that view on both sides. One side, the Alps. On the other, a view of Lucerne and Lake Lucerne. I could be up there all day if I wanted to, but my little fingers would freeze off. We decided to go inside for a while to thaw for a bit. I forgot to mention on the top of the mountain there is a hotel. Yes. A hotel. There we found a cafe and I got some hot chocolate. I think it was one of the best cups of hot chocolate I have ever had, definitely hit the spot. 

Swiss Alps
Lake Lucerne
Afterwards, I discovered an entry way to a mini cave wrapping around the mountain. Along the way, it outlined the story behind Pilatus. I do not remember it word for word but the main gist is a mythical story of dragons. That's all I remember, my apologies. At the end, I stared at the view of the city. I really hope one day I can come back. We decided to finally descend after a couple hours and go sledding. This was definitely one of the highlights as I have not been sledding since I was younger. They were old wooden sleds and the trail went all the way towards the end of the mountain. We loved it so much we did it twice. Of course, being clumsy and getting a little too cocky with my sledding maneuvers, I crashed into the snow a couple times. However, I was a professional by the second time, kicking up my feet and going full speed down the mountain. I was even in first place for a while. Sledding was probably the cheapest thing we did in Switzerland and worth every Swiss-Franc penny. We finally made it back into the city, much more tired than we did starting off the day, which means it was successful. We walked along the Chapel Bridge, which was even more beautiful at dusk. Finally, we went home to our warm beds.

Aerial Cableway and Lake Lucerne
The cave and I
Cutest little boy eating a pastry in front of a bird who wanted a bite
Being a daredevil...on the easy trail


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