Posted by: expaticainhelvetica | July 19, 2009

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Part two of the visit from mes amies from Grenoble was a jaunt up Pilatus.  What?  Pilates, you say?  No – PILATUS!  

Mount Pilatus(around here it’s referred to by a single name, like Cher or Madonna) is a 2132 meter (approx. 7000 feet)-high beauty in Luzern.  It is on the northern part of the Alps, and from the top, you get a 360 degree view of the picturesque landscape below and the towering Alps in the distance.  There are many myths and legends associated with the mountain.  Supposedly, Pontius Pilate’s final resting place lies at the bottom of Oberalp Lake on Pilatus.  His presence is supposedly responsible for thunderstorms on the mountain, especially the ones that happened many centuries ago.  In mid-16th century, a local priest, along with some townspeople, climbed Pilatus to confront and challenge Pilate’s ghost. They tried to stir the spirit, but there was no sign of him.  The locals thought this meant that the ghost had disappeared, but just to be safe, some fifty years later, they decided to dig a hole to drain Oberalp.  It was only in 1980 that the gap was finally closed.

Anyway – the next story is much more up my alley – supposedly, dragons with special healing powers have lived on Pilatus forever and a day.  Over the years, dragons have appeared in front of locals leaving stones with healing powers, frightening them, protecting them in times of trouble, and doing other, mythical, dragonly things like breathing fire.

The stories don’t do the experience enough justice, so I’ll let some pics speak for themselves:

We had to take a gondola for 30+ minutes to get to the top

We had to take a gondola for 30+ minutes to get to the top

Fear of Heights

Gondolas + fear of heights = embarrassing photographs


Mes Amies

360 degree view

But the view was totally worth it


Next time, we’re taking the cog wheel train up.



  1. Hello Shannon, what a great blog. I had missed some of the details of your move, but I am catching up and am so happy for you! I have only been to Geneva but from what I saw of Switzerland I was very impressed. Our friend Henry “Skip” Gates has been making headlines over here for getting arrested for breaking into his own apartment. The poor guy. Things have not been the same since by b’chrette party.

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