A beautiful December day in Switzerland sailing on Lake Lucerne with the skyline dominated by Mount Pilatus (Mont Pilate) is a fond memory of last year.
The weather was pretty benign, blue skies with some dark clouds but this only added to the drama in any pictures that were taken. A cruise on the Lake from the quay at Lucerne is a great way to visit some of the local villages and mountains. Pretty lakeside towns like Wengis or Vitznau are lovely to visit and the views from the Rigi Kulm are quite spectacular.
Mount Pilatus is unmistakable, comprising of several separate peaks, the highest of which is Tomlishorn (2,128 m) and is located at the northnmost end of the Alps overlooking the Swiss city.
There are a few legends surrounding the mountain, including that the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate is buried here, explaining its name. It is also known as ‘Dragon Mountain‘ because it was once believed a dragon lived in a cave on the mountain. The dragon symbol appears at train stations and the following account was described as long ago as 1619:
‘as I was contemplating the serene sky by night, I saw a very bright dragon with flapping wings go from a cave in a great rock in the mount called Pilatus toward another cave, known as Flue, on the opposite side of the lake’
The Golden Round Trip which involves using various forms of transportation. First taking a cruise, cog railway to the summit, aerial cableway down to Fräkmüntegg and then gondola would take you down to Kriens before returning to Lucerne by bus is a popular way to take in the mountain. Remember to check the weather prior to leaving however as alpine weather is notoriously unpredictable.
On this particular day I just enjoyed the cruise on Lake Lucerne, and a trip up to the top of the Rigi via Vitznau descending through Wengis. With the aid of the weather it made for an extremely pleasant day trip from Lucerne.
More from Switzerland – Benedictine Kloster, Engelberg – A Monk’s Life