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Keith and I are picking up to move to Pécs, Hungary for one year. He has never been to Europe and the furthest east I've been is Switzerland.... Our Hungarian language skills are...well, we know some phrases. Come follow us on our adventure!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mount Pilatus

The highlight of the Swiss trip (aside from feeling like a Disney princess and not helping small children blow their noses...) was the excursion atop Mount Pilatus.

Mount Pilatus from the train

Legends & Myths
The rugged cliffs above Luzern have been enveloped in mysterious myths and legends for eternity. In the Middle Ages, people believed that dragons with healing powers and spirits inhabited the rocky crevices. It was also believed that the restless ghost the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, found his lasting peace in Lake Pilatus. And so for a long time it was forbidden to climb the mountain - for woe betide any one who disturbed Pontius Pilate!

So basically, a flying dragon with healing powers and the ghost of Pontius Pilate live atop the mountain. Unfortunately, Keith and I didn't see either of these creatures, but we did get to ride on the world's steepest cog wheel train and see some pretty fabulous views of the Alps.

Keith's blog will probably talk about the dragons and other legends...so you can read about it there...


The cogwheel train that carries passengers up and down the mountain first opened on June 4th, 1889 as a steam operation, and became an electric operation on May 15th, 1937. The max gradient is 48% and the average is 38%, making it the world's steepest cogwheel train.
View from the train

I didn't take any video of the ride up because I was too busy trying to pop my ears so I could hear Keith's commentary.


Also, perhaps because I was a bit scared.

On the way down, I stopped caring. The view was incredible. Because of the grade of the decent, it seems like we're going much faster than the 9km/hour the train travels
video


Once we got the to top, the view was breathtaking. And obviously, one of the first things Keith did atop the mountain was throw a snowball...(please forgive me, I still don't know how to rotate video clips)


video

Other ways Keith enjoyed the snow--ensuring he gets hypothermia.




On a clear day, supposedly you can see Zurich from here.

The view is best captured with the video we took.

video

Keith tried to do a Vlog entry atop the mountain, but I was too busy trying to eat my sandwich to really want to participate...you can see my mouth full of food, then a "friend" tried to join in on the fun.


video


Two things:
#1: When the bird landed on my head, it felt like it lasted a LOT longer than what it looks like in the video clip--it was traumatic
#2: I like the confusion with the camera at the beginning, so I didn't edit it out.

After some running around, we discovered the cave/tunnels with various lookouts. It was awesome.

oooo....a cave!


The non-alps side of the mountain








and I need to include one mushy picture...

awww...we're so cute!

Anyways, post cave exploration, marveling at mountains, and having my lunch threatened by a stupid bird, Keith and I went to the restaurant atop the the mountain for a drink. Shortly after sitting down, this group of people who were probably in their 70s sat down with their spoons and accordions and jammed out. It was too cute! Shortly after we started recording, the batteries died, so we didn't get the best parts of the jam session...but I think you get the feel for it.


video


And that t'was our day atop Mount Pilatus!

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