May 18th, 2005 Lucerne, Switzerland En route to Lucerne
Today was a enjoyable day of driving through beautiful Austria and Switzerland.
- Ate breakfast at the Contiki Hotel.
- Ate lunch in Leichtenstein. I tried a kebab and it was delicious!
- Ate dinner at the Contiki Hotel at the top of Mount Pilatus. To our hotel at 7000ft!!
- We left Hopfgarten and drove through Leichtenstein into Switzerland.
- The scenery was beautiful. It was very green and the mountains were spectacular.
- The Swiss Alps really reminded me of the Rocky Mountains. The Swiss Alps are a bigger but not a lot.
The scenery along the drive to Lucerne was absolutely breathtaking. Huge mountains constantly dwarfed us as we weaved through the hills and valleys. Often we were driving on the edge of huge gorges overlooking rushing rivers below. Lucerne was a huge contrast to Paris. Small and peaceful, it was situated by a lakeshore and surrounded by mountains
- We arrived in Lucerne and proceeded to take the gondola up to Mount Pilatus. Mount Pilatus is the name of the hotel and the mountain it resides on. It’s Europe’s highest hotel.
- It was a very long gondola ride in a tiny car. :) It provided very nice views of the surrounding area. the top of Mount Pilatus, a mountain that overlooks Lucerne 7,000 feet above sea level. Our tour manager purposely had us wake up extra early so we could make it in time for the last gondola up the mountain. After going up halfway in 4-person cable cars, we all piled into a larger tram and continued up to the top. All the way up, we saw brown cows grazing in the fields with their ringing bells around their necks. In the larger tram, we passed over a sharp cliff that dropped off so quickly and far below that many stomachs inside the tram did somersaults
- After checking into the hotel, we went for a short hike to the Matterhorn II Peak near Mount Pilatus. It was an awesome little hike. It was somewhat strenuous as there was a short descent from Mount Pilatus and then a strong ascent to the to the peak. I found it tough to hike in my running shoes but I really loved the activity..
- We took a lot of pictures at the top of the The Matterhorn II Peak but it was a little overcast.
- The mountains and surrounding area really reminded me of the Canadian Rockies.
- After dinner, we had a group theme party called “dress your head up night” everyone did something different to be unique with the theme.