Sunday, November 13, 2005
Both Devin and Darbi had told me that I absolutely had to go up Mt. Pilatus. I got up early Saturday morning so that I could get on my way. When I walked out of my hotel, I found the entire lake rimmed with market vendors of every sort. It was absolutely beautiful - people all over the place and such a positive feeling. I browsed around a bit, got some breakfast, and then began to explore how to get to Pilatus. I bought a ticket that handled transportation to the tram center and then all the way up the mountain. The one picture of me precariously leaning on the cable railing was a real test of my wits. Had I stumbled or slipped, I would have dropped no less than a thousand feet off the cliff. The top of Mt. Pilatus is 7,000 feet in the air. The pictures give you some feeling of how high it is but it really doesn't do it justice. There are a few buildings up toward the summit - one the little white church which is very near a rock slide area that I assume will eventually take it. I can't imagine who thought of building a church at this altitude and I have further trouble imagining who attends it.
The Swiss Alps are in the distance behind Mt. Pilatus. Most of the people who go up spend several hours at the top hiking around. I met numerous people and struck up wonderful conversations. Without exception, the Swiss are very warm and welcoming people. They are curious about the U.S.A. and no one made even close to politically-oriented comments. Everyone was a delight. I loved being at the top, although I have to admit that my fear of heights was a bit problematic. Suffice it to say, I stayed close to the inside of all the trails.