A thing I really liked about Lucerne is that it’s very easy to have the city as a main base and take short day trips by train or boat. On our first full day here we got up early and enjoyed a very nice breakfast at our hotel. The we strolled through the streets of Lucerne and down to the docks by the lake, about to head out on a day trip to Mount Rigi.
We get on a boat that take us to one of the neighbouring towns along the lake shore.
As we get off the boat* in Vitznau we meet up with our guide Bruno and I immediately take a strong liking to him, he is very nice and funny and we immediately start having a lot of interesting conversations. Together we get on a cogwheel train that will take us to the top of Mount Rigi, our excursion goal for the day. During the ride we talk about a lot of things, but I also sit and stare outside the window as the views keep getting more and more magnificent the more the train ascends. I desperately struggle with trying to capture photos through the window though, battling with movement, reflections in the glass and trees being in the way.
*You can buy individual tickets for transportation, but both the boats and cog wheel train accept the Swiss Travel pass: An all-in-one transport ticket that entitles you to unlimited travel on consecutive days throughout the rail, bus and boat Swiss Travel System network. It is available for purchase for 3, 4, 8 or 15 days and you can read more about it as well as order it here.
Bruno Meyer, mountain guide
Qui va piano va sano e lontano (he who goes slow goes healthy and far)
It’s windy and cold at the top, but the views are great and it feels so good to be outside and on top of a mountain. We go for a short hike towards our lunch stop, and in the meantime the interesting conversations with Bruno continue. He is retired but since he knows the mountain quite well he decided doing occasional guiding is a great way to get out to exercise and meet new people from all over the world. He used to work for a big company travelling all over the world, and when I ask him what his favourite place is he doesn’t even stop to ponder before quickly replying “home”.
After a short walk, with some stumbling through the newly fallen snow we reach Chäserenholz, a typical alpine farm owned by Franz Toni. Here we get to eat some proper, home made Swiss food. Veera has been talking about alpine macaroni for a long time and luckily they have one portion left. I have a lovely soup and a home made sausage, served in the most rustic way: alone on a plate with a tube of mustard.
I also find some local beer to try and after lunch Bruno introduces us to a lovely, warm drink that is wonderful to enjoy during the cold winter months. Kaffe Szwetschge: Strong coffee mixed with a lot of hot water get’s poured into a glass together with some prune schnapps & sugar. It’s a very typical drink in the central of Switzerland. There is also a cheese cellar here and Veera picks up a lot of cheese to bring home. I am the only one with room for it in my pack though and it shortly starts to reek of cheese…
With our bellies full and my backpack smelling, we continue our hike back to the cogwheel train. It is time to head down the mountain again and catch a late boat back to Lucerne. It’s been a very relaxed but nice outing, a close by adventure just the way I like them!