We woke up early today and as I was finishing getting ready Marlin headed down to talk to the concierge about a possible tour today. We looked through the booklets and found a couple that looked good, but leave it to us to come on the only day that they switch from summer schedule to winter so things change with each tour. He made an executive decision and as I met up with him it was decided we were going to Mt. Pilatus. It was worth the entire 9 hrs. Yes9, but to have someone drive you around and tell you in ENGLISH what is going on...it was priceless! We met the bus at 930 at a parking lot about a 5 minute walk from the hotel. We chose our meal and were put on a tour bus that was filled with a mostly Asians. The majority of people spoke English which was great!! We took off and did a quick tour of Zürich on the way out to some back roads to the mountain. On the bus were 3 separate tours, each with their own tour guide
. We had Evillynn. She spoke English well and smoked like a chimney. As we made our way out of the city we were greeted with the most dense fog that I have ever seen. You could not see in front of the bus. They kept telling us that we were going to have a beautiful day. I was skeptical. As we went up and down some winding country roads we started to see daylight. There were cows and a nature preserve with large deer....and the Asians went wild! Cameras clicking! We made our first stop was Rigi. This was just north of Lucern. Some of the fog was lifting and we took some great pics of the big lake with fog and it was very still. I got off the bus as a few people were being released on their tour. It was beautiful. I was taking pictures and I heard this noise that was growing louder. As I turned around I was being followed. The expression "more cowbell" must have been started here. They were so loud and they seemed to almost be beating to their own rhythm. I am pretty sure they are deaf as well. I know my ears were ringing. We got back on the bus and headed to Lucern. Holy amazing. As we approached we saw the mountain we were going to go to the top of. They said it looked like "cat ears". I will make sure I put a picture of that up! Jackie Keiser told me Lucern was a must....she was so right! We made a stop at the Lion monument and took plenty of picture. It was so old and beautiful and calm. There were lots of people milling around and the flowers were all still blooming. It is right on the lake and had a major waterway flowing through the middle. The pictures you see in books are spot on, but being there was incredible. We took lots of pictures, walked the bridge and took it all in. We had only an hour, not long enough but plenty of time to get a taste of the city! We met back at the bus and continued the journey to Alpnachstad
. This is the little town at the base of Mt. Pilatus. There were 8 of us on this tour and the rest went to Mt. Titlus. There tour went to 10,000 ft. They had snow and people were skiing there! Our tour took a cogwheel train to the top of the mountain. At times it was a 48degree climb. The train was comfortable and actually an amazing view. Our pictures once again do no justice to how big of an incline we were on, but trust me it was crazy. It took 40 minutes to get to the top. We saw cows and goats and actually some people were dropped off half way up and walked the rest of the way. I was torn up that I did not bring my walking sticks and boots...NOT! We reached the top and had 2 hours to wander. We first went out on a walking trail to the 7000 ft mark. My ears popped about 3 times and I had trouble looking up and walking so i just stared at my feet. Marlin was practically skipping. He was having no problem. The railing to keep us safe looked like wire fence and steel rods. I stayed close to the rocks! Pictures were great and I had to use my sunglasses over my camera lens in order to get a picture of the Alps. Yes, we saw the alps. It was breathtaking and each step you took the view changed. We made our way back after and hour and walked through what was called Dragons Path. Apparently the people that lived at the base of the mountain thought dragons lived up there and that they became angry at the change of seasons because warm winds from the mountain would come down to the lake and people feared the dragons were coming down
! It was so cool! We saw people sunning themselves. Literally men without shirts and women with tank tops on. There is a hotel there too. I can only imagine the sunset. We got lunch as part of the tour due to the season change. We were supposed to have a cable car ride (yeah the span of that was a bit too much for me) and a boat ride, but due to season change we got lunch and a train ride. Wen we headed back in I stopped in my tracks. It was a man playing the alp horn. We took a video. Awesome!!!!! Our lunch was sausages with onion sauce and rösti potatoes. Marlin had a local beer and I had a local cider! Super yum!!! We enjoyed the view until we had to take the train back down. We sat next to some people from nashville that were here for 2 weeks as well. When we got to the bottom we had a beer with them and chatted about home. Made me miss it! We took a train back to Lucern where we had a half hour before the bus would be back with the other groups. We sat at a bar and had a beer with our tour guide. She was a trip! The bus ride back was very quick and we were a bit tired. We got back and headed to the hotel to ask about a good place for dinner. We knew we had to get moving or we would be out for the night. We ended up walking to an Italian restaurant and had a nice dinner outside. I had a ravioli with spinach and ricotta and Marlin had risotto with shrimp. Nice change from fried meats!! We stopped in our way back for some gelato (Swiss chocolate for me and Carmel for Marlin). I think we were back 15 minutes before it was lights out!! What a day!!