Thursday, March 6, 2008

Queen of the Mountains

No not me, Mount Rigi that overlooks Lake Lucerne is also known as the "Queen of the Mountains" and that is where I went after recuperating from Fasnacht.

On Thursday, another picture perfect day, Radka, Cedric and I met up with my aunt Amay down by the wharf on Lake Lucerne. We got on a boat that took past the picturesque towns until we arrived in Vitznau, where we boarded a cogwheel railway that would take us up to the Rigi Kulm (peak). In 1497 humanist Albrecht von Bonstetten referred to the Rigi as "Mons Regina" and its description by the local population as the "Queen of the Mountains".

After reaching the top we took a walk around the peak, had a lovely lunch and hiked part of the way down the mountain. One thing I find fantastic about Switzerland is that there are lots of well marked hiking trails every where. The are actually called a "wanderweg" or a wander way. I would almost call hiking the national sport, everyone does it, old and young. The Swiss call it wandering, which seems to give it a more special sentiment than just "hiking". Wandering and exploring versus the effort of a "hike". Interesting.

Anyway, once we reached the point where it was too steep for us to walk further, we stopped off in a little village on the mountain where we had a rest, a cup of tea and a horse pulled sleigh ride. The sleigh ride was great. The four of us sat in this classic sleigh that was pulled by two massive horse and we jingled through the town and forest a bit.

As the light was fading and the air was getting colder, we finally hopped back on the cogwheel train, back on the boat and were back in Luzern.

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