June 2: Lucerne and Mount Rigi
We caught the paddle-wheeled Lake Lucerne Steamer at 8:50 AM at Seeburg, a short walk from our campsite. The sky overhead was clear, but most of the mountains were obscured by cloud. Nevertheless, the lake was very pretty. The green mountainsides at the water's edge were dotted with houses, many of the chalet type construction. The trip was enlivened by a group of about 20 Swiss girl scouts who were singing and cutting up near the bow of the boat. Through breaks in the clouds we could see and occasional snowcap peak.
The ship docked at Vitznau and Grant and Angela and we got aboard the rack railway to the top of Rigi. The railway runs to about 5900 ft, with slopes up to 48 in 100 on the way. We passed through several small groups of houses on the way up, and through green forests and greener pasture land with many wild flowers and some of the characteristic Brown Swiss cattle. Near the top we encountered some snow, but it was not very heavy. The peak was obscured by cloud and the best we got was tantalizing glimpses of the snow capped mountains. We walked part of the way down and then caught the train.
It had cleared considerably at he lake level and we were able to see the lake and surrounding mountains a little more clearly. We took the steamer back to Lucerne and walked around the city buying groceries and a few souveniers. We walked over the famous Kapelbrucke with its hundred paintings on the roof.
We walked back to the campsite at Seeburg, which is about 2 miles from the steamer port in Lucerne. It was a pleasant walk along the lakeside through several parks. I saw a pair of coots building a nest in the reeds and saw about 15 grebes or divers. I got to see part of the mating ritual of the divers. They swim toward each other with necks arched until their beaks almost touch. Then the male went through some antics.
Later I walked back to the park, about 200 yards from the camp. The sky had cleared and I got a magnificent view of Mt. Pilatus, framed against the twilight sky. A family of swans, a pair with about five little ones, was playing around in the water.
We had a nice supper and then went over and had cake and coffee with Grant and Angela, who plan to leave tomorrow for Zurich.
It has been a very full and pleasant day.
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