We woke up early this morning to take the train to Lucerne. Our goal was to see the city, specifically Kapellbrucke, the most recognizable symbol of Lucerne, Lake Lucerne, hike around Mt. Pilatus, and see Lion Mountain.
Once we arrived we headed for the campground to make sure we had a place to stay for the night. We stayed at a place called Camping International Lido Luzern. Rather than pay for the campsite, you pay per person, so the campsites in Europe were pretty expensive, this one was no exception. Although they are all well maintained and included a shower, something a lot of campgrounds in the U.S. can’t claim.
After getting our campsite organized we headed for Kapellbrucke. This is a covered bridge that spans the Reuss River in the old part of town. It has flowers along it’s railings on each side with hand painted triangular roof panels on the ceiling. The images depict important events from Swiss history and mythology. At one end of the bridge is a water tower with Mt. Pilatus in the background. It is definitely worth spending some time to see.
After seeing the parts of town we wanted to see we took a 1 ½ hour boat ride on Lake Lucerne to Mt. Pilatus. The ride was free with our train passes. We crossed the river to arrive at Alpnachstad. Mt. Pilatus is named after Pointius Pilate. Mythology claimed it was haunted by the ghost of Pilate and was illegal to climb for centuries.
It was windy, cold, and rainy for most of the afternoon. It rained almost every day we were in Switzerland, but it made the scenery very green.
From here we took a cog railway, which has a 48% incline, the steepest railway in the world. At the top we had some great views over Lake Lucerne, the countryside, and the surrounding cities.
We must have spent an hour or so at the top. There were a lot of hiking routes you could take, some around the top to see different views. There was a small tunnel/cave you could walk into, a restaurant, and longer hikes that led to surrounding cities. Switzerland is very well designed for hiking, but the hikes are very steep. Luckily, they have cable cars connecting most of the country as well. You cold literally cross the country by cable car, with a few portions of hiking in between.