Part 3 of Switzerland: Day Trip to Mt Rigi
It was our second day in Luzern, and after a good night sleep we were up early and ready for our next day trip. We decided to head to Mt Rigi and do some hiking. Mt Rigi massif rises up like a pre Alpine peninsula - between Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug and Lake Lauerz. The Mt Rigi extends over nine communities in the cantons of Lucerne and Schwyz. The summit of Mt Rigi is at 1800m above sea level and is considered one of central Switzerland’s beautiful vista points. It’s also said that from the top on a clear day one can spot no fewer than 620 Alpine peaks, 13 lakes and 24 of 26 swiss cantons.
We hopped on a boat towards Vitznau, one of the major train stations to get to the top of Mt Rigi. Interestingly our boat ride was a unique one because we learned that it is the oldest steam boat in operation in the world and the engines which power the boat were built in 1901.
Once we arrived at Vitznau, our cogwheel train was waiting for its ride to the top of the Rigi mountain. The Vitznau railway is considered to be Europe’s oldest mountain railway which was opened in 1871. Our plan was to get of at the first stop and hike and explore the mountain. The train made a steep climb, as it slowly arrived at our first stop. It took about 20 mins to arrive at Rigi-Kaltbad First.
Our plan was to hike from Rigi First to the Rigi Scheidegg summit. It was a total of 5 miles. For the entire hike, we were the only people on the trail. The quietness and lots of greeneries around felt refreshing and soothing. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures along the way because every few minutes the scenery changed. It was true what they said about Mt Rigi, it’s truly the queen of the mountains. In terms of scenic views, I would rate this as the best hike Meera and I have ever done. In order to give an example of how quiet it was, all we could hear was the sound of the bells around the cow’s neck ringing against the light breeze. The pictures below don’t do justice but just give you an idea of how beautiful the hike was.
After approximately hiking for 2 hours 45 minutes we were at the top of the summit of Rigi Scheidegg at 1600m. The views were incredible at the top. After we soaked in the views it was time to go towards our next stop which was the summit of Mt Rigi at 1800m . Although hiking was an option, we were a bit exhausted so we chose the cable care + cogwheel train option. From Rigi Scheidegg we took the cable car down to Krabel. We were the only two people on the cable car. From Krabel, we took the cogwheel train towards the summit of Mt Rigi.
After 45 minutes we arrived at the summit of Mt Rigi. We found an empty bench and sat there watching Lake Zug sinking all the views. The afternoon sun was shining bright and a light breeze was in motion. We picked up a Movenpick passion fruit and mango cream ice cream to beat the heat. We had plenty of these throughout our Switzerland trip. They were just delicious and we couldn’t resist.
We grabbed a quick bite and spent an hour on the summit. After that we hopped on the Vitznau train back to Rigi Kaltbad First. From here we took a cable car ride down to the tiny town of Weggis. From here we had our connecting boat which took us back to Luzern. Our entire trip for the day was covered by Swiss Travel Pass. There was still plenty of day light left and we spent the rest of the evening exploring the city of Lucerne. It was a good day and we did a lot of walking. When we checked our watches it seemed like we had walked over 12 miles. We watched the sunset, grabbed dinner and crashed for the day.