CALL OF THE HILLS
Thousands of tired, nerveshaken, over –civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”- John Muir, Our National parks
They say you have to climb a large mountain to appreciate how small you are and Switzerland offers ample towering for you to explore the world outside and the one within you.
Seeking a pleasurable high-altitude excursion? Head to the hamlet fo Schwagalp that’s a favourite with the locals. What you see are mammoth mountains enclosing you and free-roaming goats and cows dotting the hush green landscape while nibbling on fresh grass. Ride in a cable car that departs every 30 mints to the park of Mt.Santis. At 8209 ft it is the highest mountain in eastern Switzerland. In perfect weather conditions, you can get a 360-degree view of the five other countries-Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and Italy at the same time.
To get there: You can take a train to Urnasch or Nesslau from Zurich followed by bus.
One of Switzerland’s most scenic cantons, Uri can fulfill all your Alpine fantasies, and yet it remains non-toursity. It’s picturesque paradise where you’d want to stop to take pictures at every few steps. At the entrance of the romantic valley fo Brunni, a cable car takes you to Sittlisalp.
Once you arrive at the mountain station, you can venture on either a long or short mountain hiking trip, depending on your fitness level.
The Uri Canton offers ample river side spaces where you can barbecue and spend a sunny day outdoors.
To get there: Arrive in Fluelen by train and take a bus to Unterschachen.
At 7,000 ft, Mt Pilatus, also known as the dragon’s den, in central Switzerland is a must visit. While it’s located right outside Lucerne (around 15km from the charming Old Town), It’s hard to belive that such an out-of –the-ordinary setting can exist in proximity to the city. On a clear day, the mountain offers a panoramic view of 73 Alpine peaks. With inviting picnic spots, several summer hiking trails and mountains climbing routes with varying difficulty levels, a king-sized rope park that promises fun-filled adventure and the longest summer toboggan run- 1,350 meters of pure adrenaline- you can spend a day here. During your free time atop Mt Pilatus, you can indulge in a high-altitude lunch or coffee amid the peaks or relax on the expensive sun terrace.
THE GOLDEN ROUND TRIP: Take the boat from Lucerne to Alpanachstad. Get on the steepest (ascent 48%) cogwheel train to Pilatus. On your return, descent to Fräkmüntegg by the aerial cableway Dragon Ride and hop aboard the panaromic gandola to reach Kriens.