Monday/ Rigi Kulm

My time in Switzerland is running out, and this morning I thought : you cannot leave here and not see a little of the Swiss Alps!  

What to do?  Luckily, I ran into a great tip on-line, as for how to go about it when in Zurich, to get to the mountains (and that’s what I did) –
1. Take the train from Zürich to Arth-Goldau.
2. Take the Mt Rigi cogwheel train* up the mountain to the top.
3. Take in the scenery (and of course: take pictures).
4. Take the cogwheel train down to Vitznau.
5. Take a boat to Lucerne.
6. Walk around in Altstadt Lucerne.
7. Take the train back to Zürich.

*From the website : ‘No other mountain railway in the Alps has a longer history than this one. The Vitznau – Rigi Kulm cogwheel railway opened in 1871, making it Europe’s first mountain railway. The journey was, and still is, an experience in itself’.

Here’s a great map that explains the route. This morning, the train from Züurich went to Zug (top left), and then on to Goldau (top right). Then I walked to the Rigi cogwheel rail network, and went Kräbel-Rigi Klösterli-Rigi Staffel- Rigi Kulm. On the way down, we went to Vitznau, to take the boat to Lucerne. (It made several shoreline stops along the way there). The Swiss Railway sells all of this in one combined ticket, completed with the little boat to indicate which part is on water! (Price : S.Fr. 131, about US$130).
Here’s the scene in Goldau, the little town at the foot of the mountain where one takes the Rigi cogwheel train.
This the Rigi Kulm at the top of the mountain. It’s quite an engineering feat, to carve out a track that steep, and build an electrified mountainside railway system to drive a set of train cars up some 1,000 m to the top (3,000 ft).  It’s a little difficult to see in this picture, but there is a single geared track line in between the two regular, smooth tracks, that cogwheel gears on the train cars fit into.
The last part is a 5 minute walk to the very top where the antenna tower is. This cute sign indicates that there is a steep way for the young ones (young’uns), and an easier way for the older folks! (The people in the picture are taking the steep route. It’s easy! It’s paved, and almost all the snow has melted. The ski season ended March 12).
Here’s Swisscom’s radio and TV antenna at the top of the mountain. It’s 96 m (314 ft) high, and the bottom part of the antenna pole is 3.6 m (11.8 ft) in diameter. The tower was built in two years and started operating in 1998.
Here’s Zugsee (Lake Zug). The town on the left of the picture is Zug.
A more dramatic view, looking out east from Zug. I will update this text to point out what those peaks at the top right are! Each one has a name. (I have to match my picture with a profile on one of the display boards!).
Our passenger ferry boat’s name was Gotthard (the name of the town at the start of the Gotthard Base Tunnel). We have just stepped off the boat after its arrival at the quayside in Lucerne.

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