Mount Pilatus, Switzerland and Innsbruck, Austria

Sunday, September 11, 2011:

Today we go up Mount Pilatus.  Why is it called Pilatus?  Legend has it that the body of Pontius Pilate is buried at the foot of this mountain.  The Alps are gorgeous, I can see why people are so impressed with them. We board the steepest cogheel railwail to reach the top, this railway at times is situated at a 45 degree angle!

Good Morning Switzerland!

I was sitting facing the scenery as we went up and soon the houses down below were tiny dots.  If you don’t like heights, I don’t recommend a journey up this mountain πŸ™‚  We rode the railway but there were a few people who decided to hike all the way up!  Kudos to them!

Gonna ride this thing up

Snow on the Alps

Town down below

One thing I found oh so cute and charming were the cows.  I don’t have a picture of one but all along the mountain side you see a cow, not the black and white ones, but they are more like a grayish brown color, and they are eating grass.  Nothing cute about that I suppose but these cows have bells around their necks.  Huge cow bells!  And they cling and clang as they walk and eat and nuzzle each other.  SOOOOO cute!!

See the zig zag trail up the left side of the mountain?  Hike trails

Almost to the top

How cool is that…scary as heck.

Beautiful Alps

View from the top

Um…that’s how we go halfway down

 Josh climbed to the summit which was maybe another 100 steps, but for some reason, I couldn’t breathe.  My nose was still clogged and my chest felt tight and I was afraid to pass out so he went up, not that the view was different…haha…

To go back down the mountain (and you can do this going up or dow), we boarded a gondola that held 50 people.  Of course the women in my tour group screamed in fright when we started moving, can you blame them, we are suspended in the air with just a cable holding on to our cable car!  Half way down the mountain we exited the gondola the separated in to groups of 4 and rode down the smaller ones.   The 15 minute ride is quiet, serene and once in awhile you hear the cows and their bells.

 After our mountain adventure we boarded our bus once more and made our way to Innsbruck, Austria where we would stay overnight before our journey into Italy.

 Since it’s Sunday, the streets of Innsbruck are quiet but I like it!  If ever I come back to Europe, I would need to visit Vienna.  Our hotel in Innsbruck is small and old.  It’s clean, but only 2 people can fit in the elevator, 4 if you don’t mind being squished.  And there is no air conditioning, which we didn’t look forward to because it was still a warm day.  Why do they not have A/C?  Because they hardly have hot, warm days in Austria, so what was the point?  I kind of enjoyed it because our room faced the street and we had breeze coming in.  Plus, I could dry my laundry!

Pretty streets of Innsbruck

Imperial Palace (Hofburg)…I believe it’s a museum now

The Golden Roof

Rococo art style represented in this building

More rococo style evident in this Cathedral

Swarovski crystals have their headquarters in Innsbruck, but I didn’t get to look, instead Josh and I held hands and took a leisurely stroll through the streets.  And then I just had to have a gelato, Stracciatella flavor which is vanilla with chocolate shavings.  YUM….!!

Dinner at the hotel was nothing special, I was just grateful to have food and that fresh tap water from the Alps.

I haven’t written much about our tour group because there is just too many to mention but I will say this. They were the nicest bunch of retired people ever! πŸ™‚  I loved how they gave us advice about career, kids, marriage and just life.  They commended us for taking a trip like this while we were young and could walk without any ailments hindering us.  And they were always buying treats to pass around on the bus πŸ™‚  Plus, their children were our age, so I think most times they thought of us as their children.

Another side note about the hotel room in Innsbruck…the partition for the shower went only half way…meaning the floor could get pretty wet if you didn’t stay really close to the shower!  The tub was also very deep.  The bed was hard as rock (but I love hard beds…Josh doesn’t) and I slept really well despite there being no a/c.  Actually in the middle of the night, it started raining and I had to shut the windows.  It was the best sleep I’d had since the tour started!

So we barely had time in Austria to explore anything but it was a nice rest stop.  The next stop on our tour is Italy…and when I think about Italy now…I shake my head but I can’t stop a smile from appearing on my face.  You’ll see why in my next post πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading!

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