If you choose to do the golden tour to Pilatus please be warned about the gondolas. When coming down from the mountain you will board a cable car which really affords the most magnificent views over the Alps and Lake Lucerne and of course the lush green mountainsides and valleys.
When you alight from the cable car you will then be routed to the gondolas to take you on your next leg of the journey. If like me, you have limited mobility of any sort such as arthritic knees you may very well have a difficult time getting on and off the gondolas. They don't stop moving at all and so you have to board very quickly and get off very quickly. I found this very frightening and compounded an already scary situation by not realising that the gondola stops twice on the way down. If you are heading back to Lucerne you need to stay on the gondola till the second stop at Kriens and then hope against hope that there will be an attendant to help you alight quickly and safely. I struggled off at the first stop only to find that I had to get on and off again if I was to get back to Lucerne any time that day. I was not happy.
The solution to the problem is quite simple. You just need to go down the same way you went up and that is by the cog wheel railway.
Lucerne is the cleanest damn city on the face of this earth! From the absence of garbage on its sidewalks and streets to the amazing fact that there is no gum stuck underneath the benches at bus stops, Lucerne gleams with cleanliness! For the briefest of moments I considered dropping the wrapper from a Jolly Rancher candy onto Lucerne's pristine sidewalks but I was immediately struck with a guilt I had never felt before or since. Enjoy the pure beauty of Lucerne, please refrain from littering. Seriously though it will really tick people off if you do!
Switzerland has a relatively low rate of violent crime but the usual petty crime still exists in the form of pick pocketing and purse snatching especially during the tourist periods at Christmas and Summer.
You should also exercise caution on trains, especially on overnight trains to neighbouring countries. Just a little common sense and awareness should be exercised to safeguard yourself and your valuables
This trail, although paved, is moderately steep. Most of the time, especially at the lower end, it is an angled paved trail. Towards the top begin many steps until you gain the summit.
Along the way there are benches to sit and rest and to enjoy the view.
Nearing the top there is an overview platform where some very nice photos can be taken.
At this point the trail becomes a bit steeper and has many steps.
If you have walking problems or breathing problems or heart problems, or anything like this then I would not recommend that you walk this trail from the bottom to the top. It is not so bad walking down but you must gauge your medical condition as to your capability to make this strenuous walk.
I am 58 years old and in relatively good health and I had no problem with walking this trail from the top to the bottom.
There is no water or food or shelter along the trail anywhere.
One of the most popular travel options in Lucerne is a lake cruise. This is great on a sunny day however when it gets foggy you will see virtually nothing. You are best to wait until getting to Lucerne before committing to any cruises otherwise you a wasting your money.
Look at this photo. Does it look like a very dangerous place to you?
Yes, I thought so too. ;-) Maybe the ONLY warning I can give you is - you might get a little BORED here! I know I was by the second day.... :-((( Gee, that sounds bad huh? Oh well.... In short, Lucerne is one of the SAFEST cities in the world (besides SINGAPORE, that is). So, you have NOTHING to worry about here. I was walking the streets alone one night at almost 10PM because I'd wanted to buy some medicine at a local pharmacy down at the train station...and didn't want to bother my friends and drag them along with me. Anyway, no worries.... it was safe. Just ensure that you keep to the main road (under BRIGHT street lamps) and DON'T take any dark alleys even though it's a short cut. NEVER do that!
You must NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER forget to bring along/ wear your sunglasses when you go skiing or go up to the mountain top!!! Why? To protect your eyes, my dear Traveler! And I did just that.... er.... forgetting to bring along my sunglasses because I'd overslept that morning and didn't want my buddies to be kept waiting forever....!!! Excuses, Excuses? Really!! Anyway, I then spent my ENTIRE day SQUINTING my eyes because of the sun's rays. Serve me right huh??
By the way, the temperature up there that day (in late-Spring) was -9 degrees Celcius! Thank goodness it wasn't that chilly......
While in Lucerne we were approached by an Asian (Indian/Pakistani/Sri Lankan type) who said I looked like a 'lucky man'. He then went on to perform some little tricks that were quite impressive in a way:-
He wrote something on a piece of paper, asked my favourite colour and yes, that was what was on the paper. He repeated this with other things such as favourite flower, number and was right on all occasions! He then of course asked for money or 'our luck would desert us'. Playing on our superstitions. We paid up a small amount of cash. Of course we knew he'd want money as soon as he started, it was just awkward trying to go away without him 'cursing' us!!
There is very little to worry about. Switzerland is well known for being a safe and orderly place. Still. it is always good to do the same safe sensible things you would practise in other parts of Europe. That said I would much rather wander around Luzern at 3am than say Hamburg Germany.(muchless Detroit...you get my drift;-)
While walking around the walls, I noticed there are some unique animals around, but those are no pets, do not try to play with the bull.
Be careful of travel partners placing beer cans and bottles around you when you are napping. How could Doug sleep with that sun in his eyes???