Mount Pilatus is a great day trip from Lucerne to get up close to the snow-capped mountains. There are a few ways to reach Mount Pilatus and the Golden Round Trip is the highly recommended one. It begins by cable car ride to the summit of Mount Pilatus and backs down via the World’s steepest cog railway train before returning to Lucerne on a boat. But I opted to take just the cog railway to the mountaintop and back down. And so, we made our way to Alpnachstad station from Lucerne and waited for our turn to board the cog railway.
It’s amazing that the train climbs a maximum gradient of 48% and on the average of 35%! The ride passes through forested areas and tunnels before stopping at a halfway station. There are wooden houses and roaming cows around. The mountain views got better when we are approaching Pilatus Kulm station.
And Pilatus Kulm Hotel looks great with the amazing backdrop.
The amazing views from Mount Pilatus
The views of the Swiss Alps are truly amazing from Mount Pilatus. Although the fog will make occasional appearances to block these lovely views. Likewise, for the cold howling winds which make one shiver uncontrollably. But It’s definitely worth it with views as such.
Else the large observation deck is a good option to enjoy the views without bracing the cold.
The Oberhaupt viewing point with a height of 2106 meters can be reached by taking a trail of rocky stairs with railings. It’s an easy walk amid some uneven surfaces so do take note of that. There are a military radar and weather station in an out-of-bounds area.
I enjoyed the views from Oberhaupt and was thinking of exploring other trails. That’s when a thick fog came along and overstayed. It’s another reminder of how quickly the weather can change at high altitude areas.
Onwards to Harder Kulm
We took the cog railway train back to Alpnachstad and then head towards Interlaken. Harder Kulm stands around 1322 meters and is known for the wonderful views of the Jungfrau mountainous region. It’s a short walk from Interlaken-Ost station to Harderbahn station where a modern funicular sent us to the hilltop.
Harder Klum Restaurant has a castle-like appearance and a nice alfresco dining area. But the outdoor area was empty with the cold wind at its best that day. Likewise, the highly anticipated summits views of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau were almost impossible to see on such a cloudy day. Better luck next time!
Dinner at Wilhelm Tell Restaurant
The dinner was at Wilhelm Tell restaurant (Schiffrestaurant Willhelm Tell) on a retired old paddle steamer. Both the atmosphere and food were great! It’s a nice dining experience before we bid farewell to Lucerne.