Recently, my boyfriend’s parents and his grandmother had come to visit us in Luzern. It was a special occasion as the grandmother is in her 80s, it was the very first time she travelled by plane and also the first time she visited Switzerland. We wanted to make her stay even more special and memorable, so we decided to show her some of the best of Switzerland: the Swiss Alps.
Grandma is in a good shape for her age, but climbing up the mountain by foot would be impossible task. Luckily, in the past Swiss had built a extensive network of mountain railways and gondolas and made some of their most scenic mountains accessible to those who are not fit enough to hike them on their own. One of such mountains is Mt Rigi, a 1798 m high summit in the Central Switzerland. Its breathtaking panoramic views, more than 120 km of marked hiking trails, lovely nature and easy accessibility through public transport makes it beloved tourist destination in all seasons.
My boyfriend and I already went to the Rigi twice before and we knew it is a beautiful place with stunning views. More important, we knew this trip would be suitable for grandma’s abilities.
There are many options how to get to the top of Rigi. We decided for the round trip option offered by Swiss Railways (SBB). We’ve started our journey in Luzern where we’ve boarded a historic paddle steamer Uri, which was built back in 1901. The ride with a ship so old but so well preserved was a great experience for all of us.
After a cc. 40 minutes of scenic boat ride, we disembarked at Weggis, a calm and lovely town. We’ve strolled through the park and streets of Weggis to the station of aerial cableway. This gondola was another mean of transport, grandmother has never travelled with. When we’ve boarded, the seats were already taken, but some very nice German lady let grandmother a seat by the window. Thanks to her kindness, grandma was able to enjoy the ride sitting.
The aerial cableway took us to Rigi Kaltbad, at 1453 m above sea level. There we strolled around the area and then rest our feet by the cup of coffee at one of the restaurants. Refreshed and filled with energy, we’ve boarded the Europe’s oldest mountain railways, the Rigi Railways. The lovely train took us past the hiking trails, woods and pastures to the top of Mt. Rigi, to Rigi Kulm.
Unfortunately, the day wasn’t the best for visiting mountains. The views weren’t picture-postcard perfect as they are on a cloudless sunny day, but it was still clear enough for us to get the sense of spectacular landscape and enjoy in the panoramic views.
We slowly strolled to the highest point of Rigi, past the alpine pastures where Swiss cows were grazing green grass accompanied by the sounds of their cowbells.
After we took a vast number of pictures documenting grandmother’s adventure in the Swiss mountains, we’ve stopped at the restaurant of Rigi Kulm hotel. There we’ve cashed our 10 CHF vouchers received at our SBB package and order a lunch. The food was delicious, especially the desert – apple strudel with vanilla cream.
With our bellies full and grandmother’s feet already a bit sore, we decided it’s time to leave. We’ve boarded the mountain train bound for Aarth-Goldau. That gave us the opportunity to see the other side of the mountain. But, as this path runs mainly through forrest and is not facing the lake is much less scenic than the path from Weggis/Vitznau.
At Aarth Goldau we’ve waited few minutes for our train to arrive and shortly after, we were back in Luzern. Grandmother was tired, but was happy to experience the beauty of Swiss Alps in the company of the people she love. The trip was a great success.