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SwissTour Tour de Alps - Switzerland Mt. Pilatus - Cruise on Lake

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2005 Date: 9/24/2005

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Email: greg@cruisingreview.com

TEL: 608-238-6001

Saturday Morning

Engelberg

After a nice buffet breakfast downstairs at the Waldegg, we took the courtesy van downtown and locked up our backpacks while we took in the Saturday morning outdoor market and giftshops. This is a great place to buy chocolates.

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Movie - Swiss - Day 10 - Cogwheel Train Start

Departure

Train Station at Engelberg

After some last-minute shopping, we got our packs out of the lockers at the train station and got a bus schedule to leave town. The train station looked to be in good shape, but the rail was still washed out a bit lower in the valley. Engelberg is at the bottom of a number of alpine mountains, and all the water flows down to the village. Our bus took us to the train station at Dallenwill where we caught the train to Hergiswil, just on the outskirts of Lucerne. We then caught a train to Alpnachstad where the base of the cogwheel train was for Mount Pilatus. Pilatus is the towering mountain that shadows Lucerne, and can be summitted by climbing, cogwheel, or aerial cablecar on the other side.

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Movie - Swiss - Day 10 - Cogwheel Train

We arrived at the train station and traded our advance purchase tickets for those issued at the station.

Since there was a 30 minute wait, we tried to find a place to lock up our packs - there was none, so we paid a local shopkeeper to keep our packs until our return for about 10 CHF. This is a photo of the inter-lake service station for tour boats.

This is a great photo of how the cogwheel trains work. They literally climb up the mountain. Motors are electric.

View of the Pilatus Bahn cogwheel train that climbs at times 48 percent grade.

Boarding the train. It was completely full. It was the last weekend in operation before the season end.

Climbing through a tunnel on the way up.

Here is a photo of the dramatic climb up the mountain.

The sheer rock faces are frequented by climbers that scale the walls.

Final climb to the top.

Movie - Swiss - Day 10 - Cogwheel Train Pass

The top is at 7,000 feet - the same height as the Riffelalp Resort. It doesn't seem high, except that you start far below at lake-level.

Movie - Swiss - Day 10 - Alpine Horn - Atop - Pilatus

View of Pilatus Kulm, one of the hotels at the summit.

Movie - Swiss - Day 10 - Pilatus Stop

Alpine mountain horns.

Movie - Swiss - Day 10 - Pilatus Station at 10

Mount Pilatus information in .pdf format.

Example of a train ticket up to Pilatus.

View of the top observation area - it's crowded on weekends.

There are some trails around the top - be prepared for some huge drop-offs. Stay on the observation platform in you have a fear of heights.

Pilatus

Pilatus

Here is a view of the other hotel at the peak. This is the cablecar and cogwheel building as well. It was recently renovated.

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Movie - Swiss - Day 10 - Pilatus Kulm

Tour of Lake Lucerne

Inter-lake Boat Service

After we took the cogwheel down, we boarded the boat service for a tour of the lake after a light snack while waiting for the boat. The ticket is included with the SwissPass. It was a windy, but beautiful and warm day at lake level.

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Movie - Swiss - Day 10 - Boat Pan

The boat started out about 1/3 full with most people out on the stern area. There is a first and second class seating area.

It was a beautiful sunny day on the lake.

Little villages dot the shoreline.

You get little surprises along the way - this is a photo of an ancient tower.

View of some hotels that overlook the lake.

Village along the shore.

The boat service stops at many locations along the lake - in our case, continually picking up people and dropping a few off.

Heading into Lucern.

Sailboat on lake.

Another small ferry boat.

Downtown Lucerne.

Getting off the boat in downtown Lucerne, we just walked across the street to the huge train station.

Lucerne Train Station

Train Station

After our lovely boat ride on the lake, we boarded a train to Zurich.

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Train to Zurich

Intercity Train Service

Once again, our SwissPass afforded us ease of travel. We boarded the train to Zurich for a 30-40 minute ride to the main station, and then to the airport station.

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Movie - Swiss - Day 10 - Lucerne - Boat Cruise on Lake

Zurich

Airport Hilton

Once at the Zurich airport train station stop, we found the hotel courtesy phones, and inquired about available rooms. Deciding on the Airport Hilton, we found the courtesy van and arrived at the hotel about 10 minutes later. The room as new, clean and modern - probably the most modern we had on the trip. After a wonderful dinner buffet, we retired early for our flights back home on Sunday.

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Movie - Swiss - Day 10 - View of Boat with Bridge Astern

CONTACT TEL: 608-238-6001 Email: greg@cruisingreview.com