Finally after landing in my dream country, with limited time on hand, I chalked out a plan to fill all my senses with Switzerland’s irresistible awesomeness. Point number 1. No, I was not at all going to get clicked with the DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ) poster. No! So to start off with, I chose to ride the world’s steepest cogwheel railway.
Train travel is Switzerland’s way of life. It is the primary way of travel in most European Countries, but Switzerland has its own charm, having comfortable distances, lovely trains and stunning views to accompany the journey. After having done research for over hundreds of hours, I can second the fact stated by all travellers : The Swiss Travel Pass is the best way to see Switzerland. The word ‘economical’ does not exist in the Swiss dictionary, but it is convenient as it covers almost all trains, trams, ferries and buses even in the Swiss countryside. An extensive map easily explains how the Swiss Pass works.
I hopped on to the train to Lucerne. The view from the window was as green as you could scan till the horizon. Triangular roofs, square windows, pretty flower racks placed wherever possible and gorgeous chimneys was the usual scene. It is almost as if the Swiss have taken the responsibility of making your eyes feel good at each and any frame that you look at. At points when the train passed through an underground patch, it made me feel a bit sad, as i had missed that part of the scene. It was like watching an entire nature themed movie. I quickly got into my next connection to Pilatus.
Tha Pilatus Bahn is a delightful little station, which if you look at first, it is impossible to imagine that the world’s steepest cogwheel railway goes from here. The cogwheel ride to Mount Pilatus is mesmerizing with stunning views all over. The view from top of hikers and mountain bikers on the trails was captivating. The ascend and the angle of uphill climb is truly visible each moment of the train ride. Since the day was a bit cloudy, I could not witness the vistas from the peak but the climb up to the viewpoint and the atmosphere was worth visiting.
I had seen the Alphorn in pictures but witnessing it for the first time made it special. The sound of Alphorn resonating with the cold winds on the cloudy day on top of the peak felt like being in a movie. For descend to the first station, I got a good view in the big cable car which had seats in the front and standing space at back. It was a ride through the clouds as the cable car cut through them and we could see the stunning mountain suddenly.
At the first station, I suddenly saw my bucket list top item. The Alpine slide or the Summer Toboggan Run is a ride in which you slide down with the help of altitude down the most scenic mountains. Mount Pilatus has one amongst the most exciting Toboggan Run. It was a small walk form the station and I could sense my excitement building. The Alpine slide is one of the most thrilling experiences I have ever had. The feeling of sliding down while looking at the breathtaking mountains listening to the cowbells and the chilled wind making your hair dance was epic! Photos or videography is strictly not allowed while on the ride for security reasons, but this experience is captured in my memories forever.
After you reach the base of the mountain sliding on the toboggan, a hook attached to your ride pulls you up. It was while going up that I could give my camera the much desiring clicks.
The second Golconda ride down to Lucerne was an equally interesting one, where I met two Swiss men and we chatted about mountains and peaks in the world. When I told them about the Highest Motorable Road in the world from Ladakh, they were quite interested to visit it! After a bus ride from the Cable Car station to Lucerne, exploring the Lucerne City Centre was next on the agenda. One of the oldest wooden bridge in Europe, the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) is a covered pedestrian bridge built in the 14th Century. The rood is painted with the legends of Lucerne. A part of the bridge is a pretty tower which stands on the waters of the river Ruess.
The promenade along the river is a gorgeous path decorated with pretty lined trees on both sides. This boulevard is a host for a lot of pretty cafés and restaurants. The river has a lot of boats crossing from the number of piers and also a few lingering around. I enjoyed the walk along the river, inhaling the fresh cool summer breeze.
Some museums and ancient churches and monuments are at a walking distance along both sides of the river. I also came along a beautiful dome shaped performance stage along the walk.
Lucerne was a perfect start to discovering Switzerland. The Toboggan was the zenith of excitement all along the trip and stays to be till date. More of the Swiss Sojourn in the upcoming blogs.
Find some more charming Swiss frames on Instagram here.
P.S. We live on a beautiful planet. Please do not litter. Be a responsible traveller