Last Switzerland post guuuuyyyssss!
You really can’t visit Switzerland and not go for a hike. And if you’re not very active, there are ways around that too. We hiked through Mt. Rigi, the trail to Trift Bridge, and walked through Aare Gorge.
So we planned on hiking Mt. Pilatus, the tallest mountain in Lucerne, Switzerland, sitting at almost 7000ft. above sea level. It also has the world’s steepest railway, however, our Airbnb hosts recommended we hike Mt. Rigi instead for more trail options and the ‘winter wonderland’ feel. If you have the Swiss Travel Pass (highly recommend, see why here), the boat ride, the railway system, and the cable cars are all included with no extra charge on Mt. Rigi. On Mt. Pilatus you do get a discount with the Swiss travel pass but it is not fully covered. If you are interested in hiking Mt. Pilatus, check out these guys, there is some pretty fun activities you could do like paragliding, toboggans, Pilatus rope park. Again, I would highly advise going when it’s warmer out if you want to enjoy all of these activities but if you want snow, you may not get that on Mt. Pilatus in the summertime.
When we hiked Mt. Rigi, it was raining/sleet/snow and everything in between! What I loved about this hike was that you can get on and off the tram as often as you want. There’re stops every so often and if you’re tired you can hop right back on. So we started in Lucerne and took a boat ride to Vitznau. From there we took the railway about halfway to the top and hiked the rest of the way up to Rigi Kulm, in horrible weather (climbing uphill in the snow/sleet was rather difficult). I don’t remember exactly what trails we took but if you look at this map you can see all the different ways you can go up and down.
The view from Rigi Kulm was all white/foggy, we couldn’t see anything but they did have a nice restaurant with the BEST hot chocolate! From there we took the railway about half way down and walked the rest of the way to Vitznau, which took waaaaayy longer than expected. Totally worth it though because the views were to die for and the sun finally made an appearance!
The whole adventure took about 13 hours, I think, lol. We woke up at 6 to catch the 7am boat (I believe they go hourly & from Lucerne to Vitznau is about an hour – you can also take the boat to Weggis, which is 45 minutes) and we didn’t get back until around 8 or 9ishhhh (when most shops/restaurants are closed).
I think my favorite part was seeing all the homes that people have built in the middle of the mountains, and all the cows walking around with their bells. It was so peaceful and beautiful and I highly recommend walking for part of your hike to get a better experience! Taking the railway upViews from about halfway up to Rigi Kulm BTW, ALL water is safe to drink in Switzerland, unless there’s a sign that says don’t drink!As you can see, everything was white at the top & I am enjoying the world’s best cup of chocolate, lol #elfThey love each other… These homes are a dreeeaaammmmTrift Bridge…where do I even start?!
I guess we can start with saying that I am deathly afraid of heights and I just discovered this new word, ‘cleithrophobia’, which is the fear of being trapped. I fear being trapped on a mountain… lol.
Trift Bridge is the largest pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the Swiss Alps. It is located about an hour and half south of Lucerne, in Gadmen, Switzerland and we just used our handy-dandy little travel pass to take a train there. From there we had to take the cable car half way up the mountain, which as you can tell, I was not very happy with (the cable car was discounted with the travel pass but not free). From there you just hike about about 2 hours up to the bridge and, let me just say, it is NOT a walk in the park ! You don’t need a map or anything because there is only one trail. There are a few forks in the road but there are signs that will point you in the right direction. Then you just take the same way down. I think. I don’t know if there’s a trail on the other side becauseeeeee… I didn’t cross the bridge, lol.
So the trail was pretty difficult, doable for an average human, BUT it was scary for me. In fact, I even cried…twice, lol. Real talk for a second, some parts of the trail, you had to climb up the rocks or shimmy your way around the edge of the mountain, etc. and for someone who is deathly afraid of heights, ya it’s a little too much. Although it made my hikes on Mt. Rigi and the Appalachian Mountains look like a piece of cake.
So anyway, I made it about 80% of the way to the bridge and then planted my bum down and waited for everyone to come back…fail, I know. I wasn’t going to cross that bridge even if I made it there anyway, lol. Narcis didn’t cross it all the way either, because it was all icy (so come in the summer). Views from the cable carThis is where the cable car drops you off and there’s a narrow staircase you walk down and then cross a mini bridge and begin your hike.That’s how little the trail was, even smaller at times. Can’t deny that it was beautiful… the mountains… not me, my hair was hideous, lol. The death bridge I made videos while waiting for everyone to come back…This is the cable car pick-up/drop-off station, and there is a bathroom here as well. I planned this whole trip so I really did all of this to myself. On the way home we stopped at Aare Gorge, since they are close to one another. I sooooo did not want to go anymore because I was sooo exhausted and cranky (as you can tell, I didn’t even want to smile, lol). It was also a little nerve wrecking walking on that little wooden trail over the river but it was beautiful and definitely worth visiting. It’s sort of a cave-like section that the river carved through and it only takes about a half hour to walk across (discounted with Swiss travel pass but not free). They have a nice gift shop here and I got this little stone that holds my toothpicks, you can see it in this post if you scroll towards the bottom. The End. I know this was a long post(s) but I hope you enjoyed it and if you’ve been or are planning to travel to Switzerland, shoot me any other questions you have and I’d love to hear how your experience was! It really is a beautiful country and it should be on everyones bucket list. Again, let me know what you guys think or what you’d like to see more of on here!