Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday 18 September - Pilatus Not But Rigi Yes

We caught the 0800 train to Luzerne where one of the train staff fell on his sword and admitted that we were three minutes late.  (actually timekeeping was bad all day - one train was 7 minutes late the worst I have ever experienced in Switzerland. ) We found the connection to Alpnachstadt but were sitting in the wrong part of the train so we were left behind.

Plan B was to take a ride up to Goschenen at the top of the Gothard Pass. There was  a train just leaving so we went right through to Goschenen. The weather was excellent and the views of the lakes and of Wassen church, which we passed three times, were superb.  Goschenen was pretty busy and we quickly lost count of the number of trains we saw. We had a coffee at the cafe on the platform which was a great way to watch trains.
Its a tough job but ---.  Even though we were conversing in French the lady behind the counter insisted on writing the price down for us on a piece of paper.
A passenger train about to enter the tunnel
The MGB trains over the rack to Andermat provided a pleasant change of pace.
MGB train from Andermat arriving at Goschenen
MGB train in the station, outside the SBB station.  Post bus in attendance.
A train back to Arth Goldau gave us plenty of time to catch the 1410 cog railway train to Rigi Kulm. After buying our tickets we had a quick walk around the area.  The conkers, horse chestnuts, are out now.  everything is well maintained.
Cats are important in Arth Goldau.  They roam freely stalking things in the grass.
The ride up was in an old restored car that was being provided for a party coming down later on.  The railway is a bit fussy, particularly in checking tickets, and nowhere near as well organized as the Gornergratbahn.  It seems like a tourist attraction stuck in a time warp in the early 1920s.  The track is not so well laid or maintained as the Gornergrat.  At several of the intermediate stops the only sounds to break the silence were cow bells that could be heard from a long way off on the other side of the valley.
The view from Rigi Kulm was great although it was becoming misty over towards Lucern.

Special car added for a private party.  It rode well but was a bit lively at times.
Rigibahn train on arrival back at Arth Goldau
There was ample time at Arth Goldau to walk back to the SBB station past the work to build a new station closer to the SBB.  We caught a tilting train from Italy into Zurich and then transferred to a double deck train non-stop to Bern.  This was very full indeed but there was some entertainment.  

The ticket collector gave a guy close to us a hard time.  He spent about 15 minutes talking in German with the passenger responding in Italian.  He tried to scan a qr code then consulted his portable computer.  In the end he took the passenger's identity card and crossed it through with an ink marker.

There was a young lady (!) talking in Italian on her cell phone so loudly that half the car could hear.  She was either saying good night to a very large extended family or working giving phone sex.  When she finally stopped talking after about 45 minutes, I said quietly to Paul, "Thank you for sharing that with us."  A German speaking passenger next to Paul grinned widely.  It became quite hot in the crowded car and she started to undress.  She had got down to bra and slip, I couldn't see if see if she was wearing panties or not.  When we reached Bern she was up and first out.

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