We wanted to spend at least one of our four days in Switzerland experiencing the Alps and so we signed up at our hotel outside Zurich to take an all-day bus trip to Lucerne and then ride on cable cars / ski lifts all the way to the top of a 10,000 foot high mountain. We decided to do this on Friday because the weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday called for clouds and rain while Friday was supposed to be sunny all day. And it was!
A bus picked us up at our hotel (we were lucky — not everybody received this service) and drove us to the tour’s departure point which was about a block from Zurich’s central train station. We were also the first to climb aboard and so we chose the first seats up front so that I could take photos through the front windshield of the bus.
We were told that the trip would take 9.5 hours and would end right where we started . We were on our own, then, to get back to our hotel. The Best of Switzerland Tours advertise that they have three different all-day tours to Lucerne, one for each of the three prominent mountains in the vicinity: Rigi, Pilatus and Titlis. As it turned out there would be only one bus tour today. One couple would be dropped off at Mt Rigi and a lone passenger at Mt Pilatus. The rest of the 30-odd passengers were going to Mt Titlis. When the Pilatus passenger heard that the cogwheel train was closed down because of snow and there therefore would not be any boat ride on Lake Lucerne and furthermore she would be alone without a guide she changed her mind and joined the rest of us for Titlis, thus giving the rest of us a little more time to explore old town Lucerne before moving on to Titlis.
Our tour guide informed us that it takes about 45 minutes to take the train from Zurich to Lucerne and about the same time if you drive the expressways all the way. It would take about an hour for us, however, because we would be taking the scenic route over Albis Pass. It was an interesting hour as we enjoyed the scenery and listened to our guide rattle off facts about both Zurich and Lucerne and she also threw out tidbits on the history of Switzerland and its cantons. We learned, for example, that Zurich is a Protestant canton and its major churches are Protestant. Lucerne, on the other hand, is Catholic and most of its churches are Catholic. The Swiss also love their flags and they proudly display the banners for their villages and towns as well as their cantons.
Most of the following photos were taken through the front windshield of the bus. The cross that shows up sometimes at the top of a photo is from the bus driver’s rosary beads hanging over the rear-view mirror.
Tomorrow I will post some photos of our short walk around Lucerne before moving on to Engelberg and Mt Titlis.