I awoke to an overcast day which was rather fitting for my mood. I was feeling a little melancholy as today marked the final day of this grand adventure. I looked back on all the great events of the week and the new friends made and still found it hard to believe that it was already at an end.
The morning started in the usual way though we had a bit of a breather as we didn’t have to get going until 8:45am. At that time we were on the bus and heading to Mt Pilatus (Dragon Mountain).
We were to reach our destination via cogwheel railway, but this would be no ordinary journey. The train used to get to the top of Mt Pilatus has to traverse the steepest incline in the world at a jaw dropping 48% meaning that the train is almost traveling up a straight vertical line.
It was quite a pretty view as we came chugging around the mountain. But nothing compared to the view from the top. Mt Pilatus contains two peaks and between them lies some of the prettiest scenery this side of Heaven with forests, valleys, distant mountains, and villages. It is also a popular hiking spot and we saw people hiking up from the very bottom of the mountain.
I climbed both peaks and even found a little side exit that led me to a knoll where I did a little free climbing and just sat in and soaked up the view.
At 11:30am, we began the journey down via gondola, boarded the bus, and headed back to the bus where we were driven back to the hotel.
We had 15 minutes to put our colder gear away before Brane took us on a walking tour of the “old town” of Lucerne. We walked across the famous Chapel Bridge and stopped into Jesuitenkirche, a Jesuit church. As our afternoon was going to be free, I thought I might be able to catch a service, but this church did not offer a Saturday night mass.
After our brief walk, we were left to our own devices for the rest of the day. I walked along the river and wandered about the streets before returning to the hotel. I spent the afternoon reorganizing my luggage for the trip home, taking a small catnap, filling out my Globus questionnaire, and getting cleaned up for dinner.
We had a farewell dinner in our hotel where we supped on seasoned leaf salad with a homemade dressing, a main course of wild garlic risotto and braised tomatoes, with a dessert of chocolate mousse and cream served over fresh fruit.
Once more it was a pleasant night of conversation as we regaled each other with stories of the week. As I write this as I once more feel that slight twinge of sadness to be leaving this country and this remarkable group of people whom I may never see again. Marty & Val. Mr. & Mrs. James Bond. Bill & Bonnie. Carol & Perry. All the rest. It was a joy to share this adventure with you.
I have many fond memories of this trip, yet I look forward to the next time my little corner and I visit another country. But for now, it’s back to the homestead.