So, what is the “Golden Round Trip”
The trip starts out in Lucerne where you take a steamer boat out across the lake towards Alpnachstad. Visiting Lucerne without taking a boat on the lake would be a crime so this is a great way to do that whilst going on a real journey!
Secondly you take the worlds steepest cogwheel train all the way up the side of the mountains, past meadows and sheer rock faces this is a 40+ minute ride you will remember for a long time!
After exploring the summit at your leisure its time to come back down. Firstly you take the huge panoramic gondolas down to Fräkmüntegg, the views from here are truly specular if not a little daunting too!
My awesome trip
Ferry across Lake Lucerne
I spent most of my time ducking in and out between showers as the landscape changed and became mesmerisingly mountainous. As we rounded the corner down the meandering leg of the lake Mt. Pilatus came into view. The top so high it was covered it clouds, I couldn’t wait to start the upwards journey!
My 75 minute cruise across this spectacular lake had been a beautiful, wild adventure. I stepped off the ferry already looking weathered and damp, but I had so much more fun than sitting inside eating chips and mayo!
The worlds steepest cogwheel Train
The train system itself is quite old and as the angle began to become steeper and steeper my relaxed attitude became one which questioned the safety mechanism on a train of this age clinging to a mountain side! Why didn’t I bring my harness, rope and climbing shoes instead!!
One of the cool things about the trains are the fact that the windows open pretty much fully, this means that you can really get a good look at that amazing scenery and not let a pane of glass ruin your view.
Pilatus Kulm/ Summit
Pilatus has several trails, tracks and also summits. Although the weather was pretty awful and the views clouded in mist I ventured on and if anything this made the experience feel much more wild and like a proper adventure. The mountain was quiet and I was alone walking the thin tracks, all I could hear was my feet crunching in the snow and the wind howling through the mountains.
Finally as I was traversing the dragon path the clouds parted, only for a couple of minutes but enough time to get a glimpse of that amazing view. It was really quite disorienting as I could see the blue sky through the valley below, almost as if the world had been flipped upside down. I summited at the main peaks of Esel and the highest of Tomlishorn after an hour long hike from the visitors centre.
Part of me was disappointed by my visit to the summit of Mt. Pilatus if I am honest, I came up here for breath taking views over the lake and beyond, but I mostly got mist and cloud! But, the views I did get when they finally came were still amazing and after hiking around the trails felt well deserved. But what I realised I had up here was a proper adventure in the mountains!
The first “Gondola” was huge, there were probably 20 people in here and it could have easily fit more in. The whole capsule was pretty much glass floor to ceiling! Not long after we had set off going we dropped below the lingering cloud on the summit and were treated to the view we had all desperately been seeking out. The whole car went from casual chatter to complete silence as we took in the magical alpine view.
Sure it was expensive but what an experience, I am so glad I just forgot the weather and went for it. It was what I came to Lucerne to do and I loved every second of it! It has gone straight up there into my top travel experiences, I just wish I could have shared it with Shorty (Paul)…but I did face time him from 4,650ft!
Prices/ Buying tickets
Here it is:
Golden Round Trip – Second Class: 106.00 Swiss Franc (£75.00)
Golden Round Trip – First Class: 120.00 Swiss Franc (£82.00)
There is also a cheaper option:
The Silver Round trip: This version takes the train to Alpnachstad instead of the boat.
Silver Round Trip – First Class: 88.80 Swiss Franc (£60.27)
For more info and booking visit this website: www.pilatus.ch/en/railway-cableways/golden-round-trip/
Have you ever done the Golden round trip?
Check out the amazing city of Lucerne that sits at the bottom of the mountain:
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