SEPTEMBER 12, 2013
Lucerne, Engelberg & Mt Titlis
– What’s the best thing about Switzerland?
-Well it’s flag is a big plus.
bahaha, thank you to Shawn Arsenault for that very cheesy joke! <3
I was left speechless so many times on this adventure but Swiss towns and their spectacular mountain vistas are in a whole league of their own!
Today we were off to the beautiful lakeside town of Lucerne. The weather was a mix of clouds and light mist, but it did not slow us down. We woke up early ( a reoccurring theme on our ‘vacation’) and headed to the local Zurich train station to pick up regional tickets for our day trip. The train stations here were so wonderfully planned out. There was an entire shopping area located on 3 floors underneath the tracks. We stocked up on breakfast items for our train picnic.
On this day, Lindor was promoting their Open House event. At each major train station we went through, we came across ladies handing out handfuls of Lindor chocolates! I was one happy girl!!
The trains through Switzerland are far from boring. I the view outside my window was entertainment enough! The train to Lucerne was our first Regional train experience. No reserve seating needed. It was fun to watch the different kinds of businessmen commuting for their work day and the surprising amount of students who also travel between towns for school! We didn’t realize until half way through our trip what we were sitting in the first class car, oops!
The Medieval City of Lucerne
Lucerne is considered the gateway to central Switzerland, sited on Lake Lucerne and shows off an impressive mountain panorama. Most of the old medieval city has been declared a pedestrian zone, so you may walk around there without being disturbed by heavy traffic.
One of the city’s famous landmarks is the Chapel Bridge a wooden bridge first erected in the 14th century. It is considered to be one of the oldest, covered wooden bridges in Europe!
We had a lovely time wandering the quiet streets of Lucerne, It was easy to want to spend the entire afternoon there but we knew we would be returning that evening after our trip to Mt. Titlis.
Engelberg – Mt. Titlis, 3020 m Above Sea Level
We traveled about an hour on a narrow-gauge railway to the resort town of Engelberg. The moment we stepped foot on the open air platform we were blown away by the mountain views all around and the incredibly fresh air. Cute little Swiss cabins lined the foothills. You can only imagine how busy this place gets when the snowy weather arrives! Apparently they have an unusually long season, generally opening for skiing at the start of October and remaining open until the end of May!
Engelberg is the leading mountain resort in central Switzerland. In the Middle Ages, Engelberg was known for the educational accomplishments of its Benedictine monastery, whose school was well-known and regarded throughout the country. Today Engelberg is internationally known as a resort and spa, but is also visited as much for skiing as for its clean air. With its combination of modern sports facilities and alpine location, Engelberg is a magnet for both summer and winter tourism.
We went straight to the cable car station at the foothill. The journey to the top of Mt Titlis is famous for the world’s first revolving cable car. Only two rotating cable cars in the world .. the Second is in Capetown, South Africa!
The trip itself to the top took about 45 minutes via a cable car, then 2 separate types of gondola. It was amazing to glide through the air traveling up to the 3,020-meter-high mountain station Klein-Titlis!! Rob had a rough time hanging over the cliffs with his intense fear of heights! I have to admit I’m totally impressed how brave he was in facing his fears head on!
Disappointment slowly overcame us as we got closer to a ceiling of clouds. By the time we made it to the summit we were greeted by a wall of fog and snow. We definitely did not choose a good day to travel to the top. Even though our experience was not even close to what we ‘could have had’… it was still a really fun time and worth every penny. We will definitely return again some day!
Even though we could not see the stunning snow capped mountain views, we still had a fun time on the summit. We even got to explore a 350-meter-long path through an glacier cave. And there were lots of shops, including the worlds highest watch store, and places to lounge and get a bite to eat.
The snow gave me a false sense of bravery when I went outside alone in the blizzard to climb 100 steps to Europe’s highest suspension bridge. I was fearless out there alone. The snow & cloud was so thick at one point I could no longer see the start or end of the bridge. But then again, I could also not see how high up I was either! Perhaps if i could have seen my surroundings, it would have been scarier and I would have not jumped around and lean over so carelessly lol! Only when I waded through knee deep snow (on what i thought was a path back to the station..) did the eerie silence get to me. Reality kicked in that not one person was around out there, I couldnt see ahead or behind me.. and I wasn’t 100% I was on a path anymore lol. I made the smart decision to return the way I came!
What can be seen on a Clear day:
What we saw September 12th!
Rob and I stayed on the summit until the last call for the very last cable car down for the day.
An Evening in Lucerne
Once back in town we took the train back to Lucerne for the evening. We met some very entertaining photogenic swans. And enjoyed the colors of the setting sun over the town. Rob found the perfect souvenir for himself. With careful deliberation he decided on a very handsome Titanium Swiss made watch.