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Lucerne was the city I liked the most, primarily due to its surrounding terrain. We were offered an optional
excursion that included a boat ride across the lake and a cog railway road to the summit of Mt.
Pilatus, a local 7,000-foot peak. I took this while my son elected to visit the lake's local beach.
We all had plans to shop in Lucerne, however it turned out that our full day there was a national holiday
- that of Corpus Christi. A few tourist stores were open, but most of the good stores were closed.
Lucerne still retains a stretch of the original town's defensive wall, and cannons were fired from there
at various times (hourly but not every hour, plus the occasional volley at half past). The photo below
was taken from the top of that wall.
The real treat for me (a mountain climber) was the trip to the top of Mt. Pilatus. We took a boat ride
on the lake, stopping at several points. We then took the steepest cog railway in the world, with some
streteches as steep as 48 degrees. At the top of the mountain was two hotels, along with trails, tunnels,
and a few military radar/radio installations.
The peak was 7,000 feet tall, offering a stunning view of the Alps. Or, rather, it would have if the air
pollution wasn't so bad. I could see the peaks in the distance, and with the help of a sign even identify
them, but I was limited to maybe 30 miles of very hazy visibility. Since I was used to the mostly clear
skies in the Colorado high country, I was disappointed in the Alps so I'll have to go back and give them
We went to dinner at a Swiss Folklore Show. It promised fondue, and the cheeze fondue was excellent. However,
sadly missing was a chocolate fondue for desert. Since the Swiss make a big deal about their chocolate,
this absence was surprising. The entertainment was interesting, and included dancing, singing, and music
made with traditional instruments like the alpenhorn and a broom (yes, a broom...must be a consequence
of being cooped up at home all winter).
Copyright © 2009 by Dana
Last Updated Monday, April 06, 2009
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