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Mt. Pilatus: a voyage on a boat, train, cable cars and a bus

view of Mt. Pilatus from Lake Lucerne
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view of Mt. Pilatus from Lake Lucerne

On our second day in Lucerne we used our Swiss Travel Pass to ride a classic steamboat across the lake to the world’s steepest cogwheel railway at Mt. Pilatus

Lucerne, Switzerland
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Lucerne, Switzerland

steamboat from Lucerne to Mt. Pilatus
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steamboat from Lucerne to Mt. Pilatus

Our voyage would include the boat ride, the cog railway, a Dragon Ride, cable car, and bus.

round trip to Mount Pilatus , Lucerne, Switzerland
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round trip to Mount Pilatus

We disembarked from the boat right at the Pilatus Bahn station.

Pilatus Bahn
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Pilatus Bahn

What a ride to the 7000’ high summit!  There was a bird’s eye view of the lake and city, sights and sounds of mountain streams, and a stop to watch cows grazing on alpine flowers.

cows grazing on Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
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cows grazing on Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

There’s a panoramic view from the summit and Visitor Center of over 70 peaks and five lakes.

Visitor Center, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
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Visitor Center, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

Visitor Center, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
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Ibex mountain goat, Visitor Center, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

view from the summit of Mt. Pilatus
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view from the summit of Mt. Pilatus

view from the summit of Mt. Pilatus
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view from the summit and hiking trails of Mt. Pilatus

We could see the Alps from the terrace of the Visitor Center and watched as tandem paraglider geared up and soared through the air.

paragliders, Mt. Pilatus
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paragliders, Mt. Pilatus

paragliders, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
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paragliders, Mt. Pilatus

paragliders, Mt. Pilatus
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paragliders, Mt. Pilatus

paragliders, Mt. Pilatus
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paragliders, Mt. Pilatus

There are scenic picnic spots and seven restaurants on the mountain.

outdoor dining, Mt. Pilatus
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outdoor dining, Mt. Pilatus

Options range from picnics to the elegant Restaurant Queen Victoria Restaurant.

summit of Mt. Pilatus
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summit of Mt. Pilatus

Restaurant Victoria, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
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Restaurant Victoria, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

A wall of the popular Cheminée Saal dining room is lined with photographs of alpine flowers.

Cheminée Saal dining room, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
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Cheminée Saal dining room, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

The summit’s historic Pilatus-Kulm Hotel was built in 1890, times when a servant was sent ahead to see whether a room was available before making the trek. Together with the 20 room Hotel Bellevue, this site offers the utmost alpine panorama, stunning sunrises and vibrant starry nights.

Hotel Pilatus-Kulm, Switzerland
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Hotel Pilatus-Kulm, Switzerland

Drachenstein suite, Hotel Pilatus-Kulm, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
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Drachenstein suite, Hotel Pilatus-Kulm

Drachenstein suite, Hotel Pilatus-Kulm, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
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Drachenstein suite, Hotel Pilatus-Kulm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was refurbished in 2010.  Its banquet and conference facilities make its a unique choice for conferences, special events, and weddings. There is a chapel on a steep peak and alpine games like dragon head ball throwing for groups.

chapel at Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
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chapel at Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

We walked through tunnels and peeked out lookout points hand cut from the mountain.

tunnel walkway through Mt. Pilatus
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tunnel walkway through the summit area of Mt. Pilatus

view through one of the cutouts in the tunnel through the summit area of Mt. Pilatus
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view through one of the cutouts in the tunnel through the summit area of Mt. Pilatus

We stopped in the tunnels to read the plaques about area dragons. Stories about the mountain’s fire-breathing dragons abound. One is said to have left behind a healing stone after being spotted in 1421 by a farmer who fainted at the sight. A cooper who had been missing for some time old of falling into a cave and being cared for by dragons. One, he said, flew him back near his home on its tail.

dragon legends, Mt. Pilatus
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dragon legends, Mt. Pilatus

dragon legends, Mt. Pilatus
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dragon legends, Mt. Pilatus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dragon legends, Mt. Pilatus
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dragon legends, Mt. Pilatus

dragon legends, Mt. Pilatus
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dragon legends, Mt. Pilatus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hikers were on paths above us.

hand-carved cutouts offer views from the tunnels thorugh Mt. Pilatus.
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hand-carved cutouts offer views from the tunnels thorugh Mt. Pilatus.

We also spotted the occasional sure-footed mountain goat.

mountain goats, Mt. Pilatus
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mountain goats, Mt. Pilatus

mountain goats, Mt. Pilatus
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mountain goats, Mt. Pilatus

All too soon, it was time to head back. We snagged a front-row seat for the new Dragon Ride aerial cableway, a 3 1/2 minute experience that feels like flying in a cockpit.

Visitor Center, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
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Dragon Ride area, Visitor Center, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

We snapped this photo of passengers going in the opposite direction.

Dragon Ride, Mt. Pilatus
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We passed a group ascending Mt. Pilatus on the Dragon Ride

Before boarding the next gondola ride we stopped at the adventure playground to watch children and teens on the aerial ropeways and monkey trees.

Pilatus Rope Park, Kriens/Lucerne, Switzerland
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Pilatus Rope Park, Kriens/Lucerne, Switzerland

Pilatus Rope Park, Kriens/Lucerne, Switzerland
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Pilatus Rope Park, Kriens/Lucerne, Switzerland

Families at a casual restaurant there were talking about the thrills of the power fan on the Dragon Jump trail and fun on the longest summer toboggan run in Switzerland.

cable car ride from Mt. Pilatus
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cable car ride from Mt. Pilatus

After the next cable car ride there was a short downhill walk to a bus that took us back to the city center.

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