Wednesday, April 29, 2015

europe trip 2014, day 2.

Finally, we were well rested and ready to do our first full day in Switzerland! Our itinerary worked out perfectly as August 31st just happened to be the final day to do the “Golden Pass” from Lucerne to Mount Pilatus.  The Golden Pass is only offered during certain times of the year, and is definitely recommended for the best Mt. Pilatus experience.  We were a little early for our boat, so we got to hang around out in front of the beautiful Lucerne Culture and Congress Center

After about an hour ride on Lake Lucerne to Pilatus, we boarded our first cogwheel train. This was definitely a cool experience (and one of many to come) as we made our haul up the mountain. The weather was not in our favor that day, but it still made the journey beautiful in its own way. Once at the top, we took in what views we could while shivering from the chilling wind. After snapping a few pics, we went inside and enjoyed a beer with lunch. Of course, it just happened to be the cutest damn beer bottle we had ever seen. Introducing our new Swiss friend, Eichhof.

Mere had lost her  Grandfather and Uncle within the past year and wanted to pay a little tribute to them at the top of Mount Pilatus. 

We then took a cable car down to the next stop, which we were really excited about. This is where we get to toboggan! If you ever make it to Mt. Pilatus, we highly recommend spending the cheap 8 Euros to do this. It was so fun, we almost did it twice. While no cameras were allowed, you can easily find a way to sneak it. Too bad I did not have a proper mount for the GoPro, but there are plenty of videos to see online. My only tip would be to make sure you leave plenty of space behind the person in front of you. I had to slow down many times, because there was a more timid tobagganer (made up word I think) in front of me. To get back, they pull you backwards up the mountain. This is when we got to see our first group of Swiss cows. It was such a neat experience.

For a larger version, check it out here.

There is a little concession stand where we got some hot chocolate to share, talk about our ride, and take in the amazing views. There were a bunch of mountain bikers riding the mountain, which made me very jealous. Once we were all the way down the mountain, it is just a short walk to get to the bus which takes you back to Lucerne. We took our time and did a little exploration around Kriens, which included finding a neat cemetery. Mere really does not like them, but I convinced her and she actually enjoyed the stroll. 

The Mount Pilatus trip did take up most of our day, but we did have some downtime at the hotel before finding dinner. This time, we really winged it and ended up at a pretty crappy bar…that was kind of a restaurant? I’m pretty sure they were serving us microwaved frozen food, but luckily we didn't really care at this point. What was more important? That would be our Vodka Tonic lesson, or maybe the first lesson out of a few about drinking in Europe. So, first thing is that it was almost impossible to get limes. Mere would even go as far as to say that she wanted green limes, which then progressed to “green lemons” but it was a lost cause. I know, small things right?! Freaking picky Americans. 

After our failed dinner, we were on a search to find some booze and ice to make our own drinks back at the hotel. Introducing our next lesson. Ice cubes are not always easy to find in Switzerland. We went all over the place. I even had a lady at the grocery that kept sending me to the ice cream section, and started making me unsure of my sense of normal. I finally found a liquor store that sold ice. They were very proud of this, as a 2 pound bag of ice was 5 Euro. I got a bottle of Johnny Walker Red and Mere got herself a bottle of some Absolute. In the end, I think the ice was the highest cost item in our drinks. Oh well, we were smitten in our hotel room with the windows open and looking out at Lucerne having our drinks and talking about our next adventure.

No comments: