Today we took a trip to Mount Pilatus. Mount Pilatus is also known as Dragon Mountain and overlooks the medieval town of Lucern. My sister drove us Lucerne station. The original plan was to buy a round ticket that would allow us to take a boat across the lake, a cogwheel railway (currently noted as the world’s steepest cogwheel railway) up the mountain, the gondola down the mountain and bus back into town. However it turns out this is only available between May and October. This was somewhat disappointing but nothing we could do to change the situation – I will definitely have to come back in the summer for the full tour. We bought a ticket for Bus number one, cable car and gondola and soon found ourselves atop a mountain. All I can say about this was that it was a cold day to complete this venture! My sister, husband and I stayed less than ten minutes admiring the views because the wind was so harsh and biting. I was so cold that my teeth hurt (something that appears to be a frequent feeling on my 2019 holidays so far). So we quickly escaped sought refuge in the self-service snack bar where we hurried ate ‘lunch’ (for me macaroni cheese Swiss style with onions and apple purée) and took the penultimate gondola back to the ground. It felt like a speedy trip but I suppose when it is that cold, there is only so much ‘wow!’ one can take in.
When were were driving back home, only then did I take the time to do a little reading about Mount Pilatus. It is part of a mountain massif (a massif is basically a group of mountains. I mean there is a better technical geological explanation but I’m not a geologist and it hurt my tired brain to really think to deeply about it!). There are a number of ‘stories’ about the origin of it’s name. One story it that it is the place that Pontius Pilate was buried after he was banished there for his ‘crimes against Christ’. The second is that the mountain is named so because it looks like the belly of a large man, Pilate, lying on his back. The third is that the name could come from the Latin word pileatus meaning “cloud topped”. The symbol for the mountain appears to be a dragon which I could not quite understand but I read that this is due 17th century medieval legend about dragons with healing powers living on the mountain.
Even though it felt like a short trip, I really enjoyed myself. It was nice to get out, I feel quite lucky.