Before I get too wrapped up in Spring and completely forget about our winter adventures, I must mention our trip last December to Switzerland.
We had booked ourselves in for a week at a mountainside spa resort. The Rigi is ‘the Queen of the mountains’, and has a surprising number of rail connections up and down its flanks. What’s more, the region is carless, so folk can walk around untroubled by traffic.
It was, as we’d hoped it would be, staggering beautiful. Although we didn’t get the dreamed-for snowfall, the views of the Swiss Alps in the distance were breathtaking, and we were blessed with mostly clear weather.
Actually, I should qualify that statement by saying that our resort and surrounding area was blessed with clear weather. We were at sufficient altitude to be above the clouds. The Rigi is famous for sitting atop a ‘sea of fog’.
We learned about this ‘sea of fog’ on our first evening. We took the train from Lucerne, followed by a local bus, and then one more, until finally our last connection was a cable car up the mountain.
A kind local fellow showed us the way to the station – the luftseilbahn – and explained the mysterious ‘sea’. As our car rose swiftly up the hillside in darkness, we soon left the modest lights of the town of Weggis behind.
At one point on the way up – to our surprise at 8pm on a dark winter’s evening – the car’s lights were dimmed completely, and so we rose silently, through thick fog, in complete darkness. It was one of the eeriest moments I’ve ever experienced, particularly when travelling somewhere new.
Thankfully we could tell from the demeanour of our fellow travellers that this occurrence was entirely normal, and before long we had reached the top station and our final destination.
A week above the clouds awaited us.