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Mount Pilatus Switzerland

7 modes of transport in one day

Mount Pilatus, Switzerland

Holidays with Kids blogger, Amanda Kendle, tells us how she got her son excited about nature. Needs some family friendly tips? Here it is.

DDoes your child love gazing out over beautiful scenery? No, neither does mine. But in Switzerland earlier this year I found a great compromise.

My five-year-old was more than happy to tag along on some mountain gazing near Lucerne once I explained that we would be able to use seven different methods of transport that day - and I think that’d be a deal clincher for plenty of other kids, too.

From his cousins’ house in Basel, we rode the train down to Lucerne. European trains are so child-friendly and there’s always plenty to spot out the window.

Just opposite the train station we found the boat terminal and boarded our cruiser to motor along Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad.
The boat is always pretty close to shore so my son was happy peering at the goings on there as well as enjoying the smooth boat trip.

Mount Pilatus SwitzerlandMount Pilatus Switzerland

Alpnachstad is home to the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Superlatives definitely work for five-year-olds. And boy, it really was steep and I actually asked my engineer-husband to explain to me how those things stay on the track.

By the end of that journey we were near the top of Mount Pilatus.(And yes, it is colloquially known in our house as the pilates mountain, after my Thursday night exercise class.)

There is plenty to see and do up here with restaurants and even hotels, but after a quick snack we followed the hiking path towards the peak.

The rest of the party made it - my son and I turned around when he took offence to the large goats blocking the path!

The beauty of the Pilatus experience is that you can go down a completely different way, so we used the large cable car (they call it the Dragon Ride, but that might hype it up more than necessary!) part way down to Fräkmüntegg.

This is home to the longest summer toboggan track in Switzerland and that went down a treat, let me tell you.

From here, we used a smaller gondola cable car to travel the remaining distance down Mount Pilatus.

Of course, we ended up in a completely different spot to where we began, but there was clear signage to follow to take us to a bus stop.

Just to top off the whole transportation love fest for the day, we ended up on what our family calls a “concertina bus” back to the Lucerne railway station, before the final leg home on the train to Basel.

It sounds exhausting as I write this, yet it was anything but.

Every step of the way showed us new scenery and for the adults it reached the cliched level of breathtaking beauty many times.

Being Switzerland, everything was well-organised and easy to use even if you don’t speak German.

Mount Pilatus Switzerland

That day has become quite famous in our household as the day of seven modes of transport!

If you get to Switzerland: you can buy a Golden Round Trip ticket which gets you on the boat, cogwheel train and cable cars at Pilatus as well as the train to Lucerne.

Amanda Kendle is a born and bred Perth girl who loves to hang around with her rubbish-truck-loving five-year-old son. Amanda has lived and worked abroad in Asia and Europe and has been blogging about her travels at home and abroad for almost a decade at Not A Ballerina

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