I'm back to continue with the trip report. Been busy with work.
Day 12 Pilatus Kulm- Thursday 14th September
Caught a train to Alpnachstad, to take the cogwheel train to Pilatus Kulm early in the morning (8am) as weather forecast predicted that the clouds will roll in around 11 am. The weather was superb in the morning with sunny and clear skies. Reached Alpnachstad and I couldn’t resist a quick cross over to Alpnachsee because it was just so beautiful and calm. See link to picture of the lake.
Pilatus Bahn - www.instagram.com/p/BZ BGsC4j4pF/?taken-by=bensumw
Went to the ticket counter and got a free ticket with my STP. There was already a decent number of people there, including tour groups. Speaking to others waiting for the cogwheel train, I was made aware that the cable car from Kriens was not working due to strong winds. There were 3 separate waiting areas with tour groups segregated from individual tourist / families. There was no proper queue as it is a general waiting area after you scan your ticket and pass the turnstile. I was incredibly annoyed when there was one final space available as they tried to fill up the cogwheel train and an Asian woman from behind just went straight pass people in front of her (including me) to the gate and said she wanted the final space while saying she has a ticket. Hello? like everyone else didn’t have a ticket but her ? I am still fuming while writing this. What made it worse was her smirk and how shameless she was. The attendant there who allowed this to happen didn’t really care who got on as long as the final space was filled.
Managed to get on the next cogwheel train and it was a beautiful ride up. Reached Pilatus Kulm and it was very windy at the top. Could see grey clouds rolling in soon. Beautiful 360 degree panoramic views of Lucerne (flat), Lucerne Lake, Mt Rigi, and the great peaks of Bernese Oberland in the distance.
Steep cogwheel section : www.instagram.com/p/BZ BG3yWjQVL/?taken-by=bensumw
Short video of the ride up : www.instagram.com/p/BZ BHQzlDsOJ/?taken-by=bensumw
View from Pilatus Kulm- www.instagram.com/p/BZ BHkX2DGuk/?taken-by=bensumw
Soon, it began to rain. But I met a young American couple, and we decided to do the trail to Tomlishorn, yes, in the rain. It was windy and foggy. We did it in 20 minutes each way. On the way back, we saw a mountain goat and its young, just casually traversing an incredibly steep section and they were moving so quick! Managed to grab a quick picture as they move really fast !
We were slightly soaked from the rain and waited for the next cogwheel train back down and to Lucerne. Weather forecast showed rain but good weather in the evening, which turned out to be accurate.
Had a late lunch at Manor, which is very reasonably priced and a great variety of food available. Went back to the hostel, and the initial plan was to have a much needed afternoon nap. But I spent too much time on my phone using the wifi that the weather became sunny again around 4.30 pm. So I didn’t take a nap (bad decision that would affect me later on). I went to the 5 star Hotel Château Gütsch, taking the elevator / funicular up. Amazing panoramic view of Lucerne and loved the forest there as the sun was shining through the trees and it was a nice and quiet getaway.
I then proceeded to Musegg wall around 6 pm. Be warned, lots of steps, or maybe I was tired and rushing as I read that they close at 7 pm. Climbed the 1st tower and was rewarded with more great views of Lucerne and continued along the entire length of the wall and climbed up and down the other towers. On my way back, behind the wall, there’s a running track and a football field, where people were playing football and I saw the team was not even, meaning the other team had 1 person less, so I asked if I could join and played football with them. I played only around 20-25 minutes as I had to get back to the hostel in time to catch dinner before they shut at 8 pm.
Day 13 - Rigi
Woke up early again and caught the boat cruise to Vitznau. Blessed with splendid weather, clear and sunny skies. Arrived at Vitznau and saw a number of St Bernards with a tiny wooden keg around their necks for an event. I think it was Barry and Friends from the Barry Foundation? I dropped by to have a look around, but nobody came to engage me so I left and hopped on to the cogwheel train towards Rigi Kulm. Again, more spectacular views along the route, and noticed that this is how they deliver post to the residents along the route.
Boat cruise - www.instagram.com/p/BZ DwVoKjppW/?taken-by=bensumw
View from the cogwheel train - www.instagram.com/p/Ba zxcSMDZkZ/?taken-by=bensumw
Reached Rigi Kulm, as expected magnificent views all around and towards Mt Pilatus, which the peak was covered in clouds and below it was clear! So those who were there unfortunately, could see nothing but clouds. Walked up to the TV tower and around. Found a secret spot away from the crowds and just relaxed there. The only thing that disturbed me was a helicopter, a hiker and some clouds. I also met the cutest Bernese Mountaindog puppy, just adorable. I initially thought it was a St Bernard puppy.
View from my secret spot : www.instagram.com/p/BZ riEA-DPv9/?taken-by=bensumw
Cutest puppy ever : www.instagram.com/p/BZ EDgzFj3X2/?taken-by=bensumw
Rigi Kaltbad spa : www.instagram.com/p/BZ EFAdKD-9d/?taken-by=bensumw
Cable car down to Weggis: www.instagram.com/p/BZ Ewk-AjAuu/?taken-by=bensumw
Took the cogwheel train to Rigi Kaltbad, for the cable car down to Weggis and boat cruise back to Lucerne. I saw the spa at Rigi Kaltbad and I was so tempted to just book a well-deserved spa after being on the go and hiking daily for 13 days. But I didn’t have the time or budget. Back in Lucerne and again grabbed a late lunch at Manor and then got my luggage from the hostel and took the train to Zurich. Got a little disorientated at the Zurich train station, but eventually managed to get to the hostel.
After checking in, went back to the city center for a quick walkabout and planned to get the boat and get off on the next stop which is pretty near the hostel. But I realised that they imposed a CHF 5 fee on top of the ticket price for each passenger, which would have been worth it if I was doing a longer cruise but I was only getting off on the next stop. So I didn’t take the cruise, as the tram was free with my STP. So my record of cruising on the lakes stopped there having covered Geneva, Thun, Brienz and Lucerne with my STP.
As you can imagine, everyday has been a long and tiring day, and it began taking its toll. Should have taken that afternoon nap. Started to feel a little unwell while having my dinner and went to bed early hoping to get better the next day. Didn't help that 1 of my roommate was a smoker and i'm very sensitive to cigarette smoke.