Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for Rigi

Rigi is one of the most famous mountains in Switzerland.  It is called Die Konigin der Berge ("Queen of the Mountains"), though it is barely over 1500 m high.  Instead, I think the draw of Rigi is its location -- towering above the beautiful Vierwaldstättersee and Zugersee in central Switzerland, with a 360 degree panoramic view that lets you see many of different parts of the Swiss Alps.

I had wanted to visit Rigi for sometime, and finally had the chance in the fall of 2009, when my mom visited me in Switzerland.  We got really lucky and enjoyed five days of glorious weather.  We spent one of those days taking the train from Lausanne to the city of Arth-Goldau in the canton of Schwyz.  From Arth-Goldau we took a rack railway up to the top of Rigi, where we could look in every direction and see something spectacular:

Pilatus to the west
The view southwest towards the Berner Oberland
A close-up of the Berner Oberland, including Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger

The Schilthorn, made famous in the James Bond film "Her Majesty's Secret Service"
The view east of the Glarner Alps
The southeastern view of the Urner Alps
After we had our fill of the views (if that is even possible), we took the train down the other side to the town of Vitznau, where we took a boat across the Vierwaldstättersee (which, with all due respect to the Oeschinensee, is my favorite lake in Switzerland) to Luzern, one of my favorite cities in Switzerland.

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