Stephanie Anestis Photography travel
We love to travel with our kids, and are lucky enough to have opportunities to do so every summer. My family is Greek and we visit Greece almost yearly, and now and again make a stop someplace in Europe on our way. After much research, last year we decided to stop in Lucerne, Switzerland, which is just outside Zurich (easy access from the airport via rail). We chose Lucerne because we wanted our kids to see a landscape they had not seen before, namely the lush mountains and clear lakes that are quintessentially Switzerland (in the summer, at least! :)). What follows are photos of the city, a day trip up Mt. Rigi, and then a day trip up Mt. Pilatus. I highly recommend this trip with kids, as there is so much to see and do in the area (not pictured are a great day spent at the Museum of Transport, a paddleboat ride on the lake, several playgrounds in the mountains, and CHOCOLATE). I’ll include a few notes interspersed among the photos…
To access the mountains, you take a ferry to one of many little villages along the coast of the lake (Vitznau), then choose your method of transportation for going up: hiking (only for the intrepid, and fit!!), cable car, or cog wheel rail–Europe’s first, built 1871! We chose rail to go up and cable car to go down (can you see the cable car lines going into the clouds in the first photo below?). This set of photos is from our first mountain excursion, up to the top of Mt. Rigi. We passed through the clouds on our way up, which really heightened the experience! We were so lucky that the clouds cleared while we were up there, so we had a magnificent, sheep’s eye view!
There are a few little stations along the way up where you can grab a bite to eat (French fries, yum!), and our boys found a small playground with their playground radar ;-). We hiked down a few stops, stopped to observe some GIANT slugs, then took a 30-person cable car back down to the village below. I tried not to show my fear as it swung out (rather violently!) into the open space!
The following three photos were taken in Weggis, a quaint lakeside village with a few shops and restaurants and a beautiful view of the lake. After dinner we boarded a ferry for the 45 minute ride back into Lucerne proper.
The final set of photos were taken on our day trip up to Mt. Pilatus. It’s a higher peak than Mt. Rigi (7000 ft. for Pilatus, 6000 ft. for Rigi) and very different scenery–more rocky, and because it is surrounded by other peaks, you can actually see snow-topped mountains in the distance, even in summer. We watched a parasailer take a running start off the mountain and took several nail-biting cable car rides down (you have to stop and switch cable cars as you progress downward). That’s a giant 20-person cable car that actually looks tiny! Not pictured is one of our trip highlights, a 1.3 km summer toboggan ride down the mountain (you can see part of the track in one of the photos). Every day of this trip was special and all four of us highly recommend Switzerland as a travel destination!