Lately I’ve been having the urge to head to the mountains. To breathe in the cold crisp air and feel the wind on my cheeks.
There’s something that always seems to draw me back to the mountains. It must be my childhood connection with the mountains. My problems become more insignificant the higher I climb and when I reach the top of a mountain, I feel more at peace than anywhere else. The mountains always have this calming effect on me.
I feel at home in the mountains.
I also love getting away from all the noise, the people and the hustle and bustle. Let’s be honest, Switzerland is a pretty crowded little country in the middle of Europe. Besides yummy cheese and chocolate, this country has some pretty amazing (and high) mountains to escape to!
Mount Rigi – Winter Day Trip To The Queen Of The Mountains
Las week I went on a solo trip to Mount Rigi, also know as the Queen of the Mountains. I honestly forgot how beautiful it can be to travel alone. I had time to reflect on how incredible my life is and how blessed I am to have these opportunities.
Lucerne – Vitznau
My solo trip started in Lucerne (my favourite city in the world) where I boarded a boat that took me to Vitznau. After enjoying a coffee inside, I spent the remaining time out on the deck of the boat reminiscing. As a child I spent many hours on boats like this one. On this exact lake actually, maybe even this boat. As a child we’d go on day trips like this and I always loved being outside, sitting on the red benches and feeling the wind blowing through my hair.
These kinds of moments mean so much to me because I feel incredibly special to have this kind of a connection to a place. It brings up all the emotions. This is my story.
After arriving in Vitznau by boat, I took the mountain cogwheel railway to the very top of Mount Rigi. From green grass and springtime weather the train went up and up, finally reaching the wintery Alpine.
Unfortunately, the very top was engulfed in a super thick fog. It was a complete white-out! This is what I stepped out into when I got off the train…
Not exactly the mountain panorama I was hoping for! I still hiked the five minutes to the very top of Mount Rigi but all I saw was white.
On a clear day you would be able to see numerous lakes, the Swiss midlands with yet more lakes, and finally the (German) Black Forest and the (French) Vosges. Oh and don’t let me forget to mention the towering, snow-capped range of the Alps! Yes the views would be breathtaking. I guess I’ll have to make another trip up here in the summer for a second attempt at better weather!
After warming up inside the Rigi-Kulm restaurant and enjoying a hot soup, I decided to hike down through the winter landscape (and white-out) to Rigi Staffel. This is about as much as I saw… but somehow it was still very beautiful and peaceful.The weather improved the further down I went. At Rigi Staffel I had this beautiful view of the lake below. And blue skies!
I then hopped back on the cogwheel train and headed down to Rigi Kaltbad-First. Here the sun was shining and I had some time before taking the cable car down to Weggis.
Views like this… where the sun greets the mountains and you realize how tiny you and your problems are, is what life is all about!
Rigi-Kaltbad – Weggis
This cable car ride was very steep. As soon as it started moving people inside (mostly tourists) literally started “ooohing” and “aaahing”. I couldn’t help but giggle along with everyone else. Everytime we went over a high pole the whole cable car roared with laughter and “wows”. People were absolutely mesmerized and I guess if you have never taken a cable car to the top of a Swiss mountain like this, you would be pretty speechless too!
From the cable car station in Weggis you take a 10min walk through the quaint town and reach the boat station just in time to catch a boat back to Lucerne.
Although the views at the very top were not what I’d hoped for, I will always remember this solo day trip for it brought me back to my childhood, my story and my connection to this wonderful country.
And seriously, where else can you can take the boat, train and cable car all in one day?!
If you are looking for a great day trip in central Switzerland then this is the place to go!
Check out the Mount Rigi website for all activities, maps and timetables here!
Option 1: Take the train to Lucerne, hop on a boat and head to Vitznau or Weggis.
Option 2: Take the train to Arth-Goldau and hop on one of the Rigi cogwheel railways from that side.
Depending on what route you decide to take, there are different ticket options available to you. I had a Swiss Day Pass which only cost me 45 CHF for the whole day’s travel from Zürich to Lucerne, including the boat ride, cable car and cogwheel rail to the top of Mount Rigi. A Mt. Rigi Railways Day Ticket currently costs 36 CHF but this does not inlcude the boat ride from Lucerne.