Lucerne

Our final stop in Switzerland was the city of Lucerne, in the heart of the country. This was quite a difference experience compared to the rest of Switzerland that we’ve enjoyed, in that Lucerne is a relatively large city in a country where most of the attraction is nature, open spaces, and landscapes. I suppose it compares to touring downtown Vancouver versus spending time camping in rural BC.

Chapel Bridge, with Mount Pilatus in the distance

Chapel Bridge, with Mount Pilatus in the distance

But that’s not to say that we didn’t enjoy Lucerne — it’s an interesting and friendly city with more nature nearby. We spent a day at Mount Pilatus, which included some time at a high ropes course (we paid for it with sore arms the next few days), and an awesome summer luge track that you can go down on a custom sled (note that helmets were neither provided nor required).

The high ropes course on Mount Pilatus; great fun for three hours, but we paid for it the next day

The high ropes course on Mount Pilatus; great fun for three hours, but we paid for it the next day

A view of the summer luge run from the cable car. The straight track on the right is the rope tow that brings you back up when you've reached the bottom

A view of the summer luge run from the cable car. The straight track on the right is the rope tow that brings you back up when you’ve reached the bottom

The top of Mount Pilatus has excellent views, of course, and it’s unique in that you can ascend it two ways (well, three if you include hiking, which I don’t): cable car or train. The train is particularly impressive — it’s a 48% incline, making it the steepest railway in the world.

The view of Lake Lucerne from the top of Mount Pilatus

The view of Lake Lucerne from the top of Mount Pilatus

A cogwheel train making its way up the mountain

A cogwheel train making its way up the mountain

Great view of the Swiss Alps looking Southwest from Mount Pilatus

Great view of the Swiss Alps looking Southwest from Mount Pilatus

photo façade for the Mount Pilatus cogwheel railway, the steepest in the world

photo façade for the Mount Pilatus cogwheel railway, the steepest in the world

On our second day we visited the Swiss Transport Museum, which was impressively big and interesting if a bit nerdy. The girls liked that you could go from one building to the next using freely available scooters. With some hotter weather here again (32°C) we tried to keep in the shade and air-conditioned indoors.

Scootering at the Swiss Museum of transport

Scootering at the Swiss Museum of transport

We also spent some time walking through the city and touring a ‘glacier garden’ which chronicled the history of the region going back to the last ice age and how the glaciers developed the current landscape. With Rachel having done a geology course last year, this was right up her alley.

Three weary travelers at the Glacier Gardens museum

Three weary travelers at the Glacier Gardens museum

A very old, and very impressive hall of mirrors exhibit near the Glacier Gardens museum

A very old, and very impressive hall of mirrors exhibit near the Glacier Gardens museum

Connie and Heidi driving the paddleboat (they managed about 10 minutes and then swapped with Mum & Dad)

Connie and Heidi driving the paddleboat (they managed about 10 minutes and then swapped with Mum & Dad)

And so that ends the major portion of our trip in Switzerland — we have all really enjoyed this country and would certainly come back. Next up is a single day at the EuropaPark theme park in Germany before heading to our final city of Prague.

Posted from Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland.

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