Moderators - please feel free to move this if posted in incorrect forum.
I went on the Mt Pilatus trip on Monday 8/8/16 - we were advised at the Boat Quay at Lucerne station that there was a 2 hour wait to get on the cog wheel railway (this was around 11am) and to try going in the opposite direction via Krienzs. We took bus number 1 from the station and used the two cable cars/gondola to get to the top of Pilatus and this worked very well. We decided to try for the 3pm cog wheel railway down the mountain to allow us enough time to catch the ferry at 16.37 - this is where things started to go wrong. We joined a long queue half way up a set of stairs at 2.45pm which then went up the stairs and eventually beyond - whilst waiting many people pushed into the queue at the base of the stairs - there was no organisation at all and this created many unpleasant scenes and remarks. No employees tried to manage the queue or provide some form of barrier to help sort this problem out. We eventually got on to a rail carriage at 4pm and on arrival at the base of the journey had to run to catch the ferry.
So if you are planning this trip please be aware that your proposed timings may slip but it is worth the trip for the great scenery and the unique journey.
The combination of high season, nice weather, and the time of the day (late morning in particular) can indeed cause tourist attractions to get really crowded. I'm surprised about the lack of organisation. The staff can predict this too I would think. Starting earlier, or much later may help avoiding the busiest times.
I'm glad you were still able to enjoy the trip. Thanks for sharing your experiences!
Thank you for your reply Arno - I too was surprised by the lack of organisation at the summit of Mt Pilatus for the cog wheel journey down the mountain. On a positive note I found the ticket office at Lucern Bahnhof very helpful and gave us very clear instructions how to use the local bus to get to Krienz after checking the wait times up the mountain by the cog wheel train.
We will be taking this trip Sunday, 25-Sept so will this be after the high season so we can avoid this amount of congestion. Our plan is 10:38 boat, 12:20 cog rail, cable car/gondola, bus back to the train station.
September is , as far as I am concerned, the best time to visit Switzerland.
August is hot in the cites, and any popular destination with a famous name is full of tourists.
Did you see the Pilatus pictures here? Anjan posted some great pictures:
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