The Ride to Engelberg and up Mt Titlis

[This is the third of three postings on our all-day bus tour from Zurich to Lucerne and Mt Titlis on May 11, 2012. See The Road to Lucerne for the first posting and Sight-seeing Lucerne in less than an hour for the second posting.]

It was a pleasant ride through the Swiss countryside to Engelberg. We encountered some interesting buildings, several waterfalls and lots of hang gliders on the way. After 45 minutes our bus stopped in a huge parking lot at the foot of Mt Titlis.

We drove across Lake Lucerne.

Entering Engelberg Valley

The buses have arrived! The Mt Titlis gondola is just a short distance away.

The view across the parking lot from our gondola

Scene near our gondolas

Mt Titlis is a tad over 10,000 feet high and is the highest mountain in the Central Swiss Alps. There are three different cable systems to get to the top and then there is a fourth system, a ski lift called the Ice Flyer,  that takes you over the glacier at the top. There is snow all year-round on the top of Mt Titlis.

The first system consisted of gondolas that fit four people comfortably. We jumped in an empty car and four more followed us. We were not comfortable. Thankfully, the ride did not take long. A third of the way up the mountain we transferred to a second system containing large cars that held 40 people each. When it is crowded you can only see the view right in front of you. Then two-thirds up the mountain we transferred to another system, the famous Mt Titlis Rotair cars, the only ski lift in the world that rotates as you go up, giving you a 360 degree view no matter how crowded it is.

On our way up My Titlis on a gondola

View of the Benedictine monastery in Engelberg

There are homes, cows and hiking trails at our first transfer point a third of the way up the mountain.

We reached the snow half-way up the mountain.

Views from our Rotair car

It took about 30 minutes to reach the top of Titlis.

You have to walk about 500 feet in the snow to reach the Ice Flyer chair lifts.

We reached the Ice Flyer without slipping!

Two solo travelers joined us on our Ice Flyer journey, a woman from India and another from Malaysia.

Some people call this rock the Hand of God.

The Ice Flyer ends at the Glacier Park.

Back up the Ice Flyer to the summit

Not too many skiers today.

The Rotair terminal at the top of Titlis

It felt strange to watch a large bird flying below me.

The view from our restaurant window. There were two restaurants plus a room full of vending machines. We chose the restaurant that offered pizza and beer and not much else. The beer was good. The pizza wasn’t.

After an hour or so on top of the mountain it was time to go back down.

What a day! We all agreed that our tour guide did an excellent job keeping us informed and organized during the day.

Anna, our tour guide

We drove back to Lucerne, picked up the couple who chose Mt Rigi, and then rode back to Zurich, arriving shortly before 7:00pm. We then shopped for awhile at the train station before hopping on a train back to the airport where we had dinner before hitching a ride on the shuttle back to our hotel. And soon we were sleeping and dreaming about the last two days.

Yesterday we saw Zurich. Today we saw Switzerland!

About crowcanyonjournal

I am a family man with interests in family history, photography, history and travel.
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3 Responses to The Ride to Engelberg and up Mt Titlis

  1. I loved seeing your pictures of your ride up the mountain. I definitely want to add this to our ever growing wish list of travel destinations.

  2. Florence Pangelinan says:

    What was the cost for the 3 different gondolas/chairlifts you took?

    • Hi Florence. The cost for the gondola etc. was included in our all-day bus tour from Zurich to Lucerne. The cost for a similar trip today would be about $180 per person. If you get to Engelberg on your own then the cost of a ticket would be about $100 per person (for the three cable car systems; the chair lift to the ski park is an extra $13). But there are several discounts available — 25% if you have an Eurail pass, 50% if you have a Swiss Travel Pass. Children under 15 also receive a 50% discount. See for more info. There is an additional cost if you want to go skiing. We paid in Swiss francs. One Swiss franc today equals $1.08.

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