October started with a nice surprise: my photo of Chapel on Klimsenhorn, taken during a day trip to Mt Pilatus in early September, was chosen as one of the week’s favorite submissions to 2012 photo contest by National Geographic. That definitely paid off the efforts of an amateur photographer like me!
The wallpaper from National Geographic website can be downloaded here.
I took this shot from an aerial cableway while it was going down from Mt Pilatus in Central Switzerland, near Lucerne. I was happily tired after hiking from Fräkmüntegg (1415m altitude) all the way to the top of Mt Pilatus (2132m), and had already put my camera into the rucksack, ready to just enjoy the final and probably the most beautiful sight of the day. But the second I saw that tiny white chapel sitting on the edge of Klimsenhorn, and on top of that, illuminated by the setting sun, I just couldn’t help myself and took the hassle to get my Fuji X-Pro1 out again and fight for some space by the window of a cableway packed with tourists. As it turns out, it was worth it.
Hike Fräkmüntegg (1415m) – Klimsenhorn – Pilatus (2132m), 2-3 hours
Take a bus from Lucerne main train station to Kriens (takes 10-15 minutes), and then take the aerial panorama gondola from Kriens to Fräkmüntegg, from where it takes approx 2-3 hours to reach Pilatus on foot. Swiss hiking guides call this route ‘challenging’ because the slope gets a little bit steep at some parts, but I found it was nothing to worry about. Families with children and elderly couples were doing it without much trouble. Your level of fitness should be good enough to allow you to hike upwards for couple of hours, nothing more. The trail passes by the chapel on Klimsenhorn, where you can have lunch and relax for a while. After reaching the top of Pilatus you can go down either to Alpnachstad with a world’s steepest cogwheel railway and then take a scenic boat ride back to Lucerne, or you can go down to Kriens with an aerial cableway, during which you can enjoy the dramatic view of the chapel on Klimsenhorn (as seen in the picture). You can read more about the hike and find the cableway schedules here: http://www.pilatus.ch/en/pilatus-active/summer/walking-hiking/
If you don’t want to hike much and just want to enjoy the view of the chapel…
If you want to enjoy the view in the picture above, take a bus from Lucerne main train station to Kriens (takes 10-15 minutes) and then take the aerial gondola Kriens – Krienseregg – Fräkmüntegg – Pilatus. You will see the dramatic view of the chapel during the part Fräkmüntegg – Pilatus, right before the cableway reaches the top. The sight lasts only for a few seconds, but it’s well worth it. If you then feel like spending some time next to the little chapel, follow the directions leading down to Klimsenhorn. It takes no more than 20 minutes to get there from Pilatus (keep in mind that going back up will of course take more). I must warn you that the chapel is not as lonely as it looks in the picture! It’s just that the picture was taken at the end of the day, when all the tourists and hikers were already lined up for the last cableway/train to go down. More information about Mt Pilatus: http://www.pilatus.ch/en/