Guy - "What do you see when you think of Switzerland?"
Mac - "I see a chocolate Phil Collins, coming out of a clock every hour to tidy up his Nazi gold."
Has anyone seen Green Wing? Tegan introduced the tv show to me years ago (thank you) and this quote about Switzerland has stuck with me since.
We arrived in Lucerne around lunch time. The sun was shining...in fact everything was shining. Switzerland is so shiny and sparkly it makes you squint. Stunning views of the alps and lots of rich people with private bank accounts.
Oh, and lakes.
As soon as we dropped our bags off at our hotel, we ran down to the pier to buy our tickets for the so-called 'Golden Trip' up to the top of Mt Pilatus - a mountain which overlooks Lake Lucerne. There is a myth that there is a dragon who lives in Pilatus.
Since we had about an hour to wait for the boat, we decided to find some lunch. We soon realised that we were actually too poor to be holidaying in Switzerland. The only place we could really afford was the supermarket, so we took away some goodies for the boat ride.
We were soon on our way, and for 90 minutes were continuously ooh-ing and aah-ing over the vibrant greens and blues of the lake and the surrounding shoreline.
Vast mountain ranges...
And adorable little mountain villages...
And the clearest bluest water possible...
Seriously guys, so much more than what's on the front of your swiss chocolate box.
We docked at Pilatus Bahn, and boarded the funicular. I love that word. This particular one is the world's steepest cog wheel. It climbs up Mt Pilatus through lush meadows, blooming with Alpine flowers, past sparkling mountain streams and fascinating rock formations.
Is this a good moment to mention I have a fear of heights?
Can you see the apprehension on my face?
The funicular climbed higher and higher up the mountain, as did my blood pressure. As we made our way to the top, I simultaneously imagined myself plummeting to my death and being absolutely overawed by the beauty of the scenery before me.
Obviously we made it to the top just fine.
But as we made our way down the path around the edge of the mountain, my knees still wobbled as I came closer to the flimsy barrier which seperated me from certain death.
This is the one and only picture of me close to the edge. Success!
We were here on a relatively mild summers day. I imagine it would be absolutely brutal up here in the Winter.
Wild flowers of a hundred different gorgeous colours sprung from rock crevices or just in bunches through the meadows.
This is as close to adventure mountain climbing you will ever get me!
As we made our way back, we walked through the tunnels dug into the other side of the mountain.
Even though the sun is shining strongly outside, the tunnels are freezing and moisture drips down the sides and onto your nose.
The way to come down Mt Pilatus is by cable car. I hate this mode of transport even more than the funicular because as far as I'm concerned all it takes it a particularly unfortunate gust of wind and I'm cow food.
However, we made it down to the bottom, which is a town call Kriens from which your ticket allows you to hop on the No. 1 bus back into Lucerne.
We returned to our hotel with every intention of venturing out in the evening to see the other 'must-see' sights of Lucerne. But our long day had gotten the better of us, and so we just put it down as a 'next time' thing.