We had half an hour for a refreshment break before we were called forward to board a traction train which serves the steepest cogwheel railway in the world with an incredible ascent gradient of 48%. Even though this took us most of the way up the 2132 metre mountain, it was only achieved by following an exhaustive zigzag trail which takes you perhaps 200 yards before finding yourself only about 10 foot higher than when last you were at this same geo-coordinate about five minutes ago.

You actually travel 4618 metres to reach the top which is more than twice the height of the mountain!   

The journey up the mountainside gave us some magnificent views, but little opportunity for photography since there were trees, high banks and even train shudders to contend with, we could only hope for more luck at the summit. We were also getting closer to the low hanging clouds.

Eventually we reached the point beyond which further upward traction was no longer possible and after a brief pause to orient ourselves, we proceeded up a wooden stairway toward the nearest summit. To say that the views here are dramatic and spectacular, would be an understatement, they are among the most inspiring I have ever experienced; you gaze down from whence you came and  there beneath lie the apparent tracks of a disturbed  centipede who has thrashed his demented way up the dramatic mountainside!

To the left is a nearby summit, slightly beneath the one on which you stand and you follow your eyes to the mid-right to see another, much lower, but turning back to your original viewpoint, the original peak has vanished into the mist. Even as you stand and muse, this mist rolls silently toward you until you too become enveloped entirely in its silent cloak and can no longer see the people who moments before stood only a few feet away from you. The entire mountaintop can be concealed in a couple of minutes before suddenly, gaps appear beneath you and you can see down to the fields and buildings through loopholes in the clouds. Minutes later the mist all around you has disappeared as swiftly as it came, and you are  once more on a clear and vibrant mountaintop. Having taken pictures of ourselves and the surrounding landscape near and far, we began the descent down a different track, until we happened upon another path which led up to a higher peak than we had previously traversed. Rosemary was too exhausted to attempt this climb so I left her to make her way down to the traction base below, with a few other people also wending their way down, while I opted for the second peak with a couple of young Australians
We decided to attempt the trail to Tomlishorn which is a more arduous 0.8 trail to the highest peak of Pilatus and which gives more spectacular views, but were thwarted as we neared the top when a heavier mist cloud came heading in. I managed to get a few shots from the point we had reached before we to decided to head  back down the mountainside. At the base station I re-connected with Rosemary, but also happened upon a family from Houston, Texas and had a really good interchange with them and especially with their children Zachery and Jeanette who really took a liking to me. They quoted their home address into the video camera that Rosemary was handling, but unfortunately the sound was not picked up for whatever reason so the link was lost. There were literally dozens of Alpine Choughs up on the base camp level and though they wouldn’t get too close to the chap who was feeding,for some reason they took a liking to me, so began landing on my arms and shoulders and even on top of my head.   
People asked if they could take pictures of me with the Choughs, so I readily agreed,  but as more Choughs suddenly descended specifically on me  whole groups of tourists began jostling for position to get their pictures while they could. I posed for about half an hour while dozens of people, perhaps fifty or so, took pictures. Some Chinese chap kindly came over and took my camera from Rosemary in order to get a few pictures for me, as Rosemary was struggling with my camera, which takes a bit of getting used to. Afterward, Rosemary said “The birds really took a liking to you.” Then added “So too did the people!”  Well of course, for I had given them a good photo opportunity.    
All we had to do now was to make our way back down the mountain, but by now the traction train was a fading piece of history, something new was needed. Fortunately with the need came the opportunity, we rounded a corner atop the mountain and there before us was a never ending zip wire! We seated ourselves on the seats and once ejected from the bay, zoomed down the side of the mountain slopes and among the trees then between the lower level houses before coming to a stop almost in the very centre of Kriens, a little village at the mountain base. From here, half an hour later via a bus ride, we were back and strolling through the centre streets of Lucerne; time to retrace our tracks to our hotel in Zurich.                    

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