The day the ankle cried enough.
Woke up this morning at about 6:30, that’s been a pretty standard time throughout the trip, and figured I might as well get up and have a shower. As I rolled out of bed I found that I couldn’t stand. My left ankle felt like it had been sprained in several directions and wouldn’t let me put any pressure on it.
I had planned a rest day for tomorrow where I would take it easy and find something with a fair amount of sitting to do. After eventually hobbling my way to the shower I managed to hit the ankle with a burst of cold from the tap. Not perfect, or ideal, but it seemed to help enough to get me going to pick up an ankle brace. I guess this is what suddenly doing 120,000 thousand steps and about 95 kilometres of walking does to your ankles?
On the way back I called into the Luzern information centre. As I had planned to go to Mount Rigi today I wanted to find out some information relating to booking tickets for the boat and train. As I was speaking with the staff member she checked the forecast and confirmed this afternoon would be the best conditions until Saturday to get decent views from the summit. So that set that plan in motion. At least on a boat (where the pier was just opposite the station) and the train (where the station was just opposite the pier) not a lot of walking would be involved.
The boat was due to leave at 11, it was 10:45 and while the pier was just across the road I wasn’t able to push myself to get there in time. The next boat was at 12 so I got to sit and see some of the world go by in Luzern. It feels very similar to Zurich in many ways, with the old town remaining fairly untouched with the modern city being built around it. Probably the only major difference I’ve found so far is that Luzern doesn’t have any trams. They have electrified trolley buses though, and some of those end up being quite long so it’s not a bad alternative. I have a free pass from the hotel so I might be using the buses tomorrow.
On the boat we cruised past lots of varying Swiss architecture and landscapes. Lots of high end hotels line the waterfront and some rather expensive residential properties (one that I saw in a real estate window was going for 2,25mil CHF (3.75mil AUD at current exchange rates). Not hard to understand why the home ownership rates in Switzerland are so low with those kinds of prices!
The boat arrived at Vitznau just before 1pm and the train was waiting for us (the timetables line up for the train and the boat so you can walk straight off a boat onto a train and vice-versa). There was a couple of tour groups on the boat as there were reserved carriages at the back of the train, this was something I later discovered why Luzern seems popular with south-east Asian, particularly Chinese tourists. While on the ascent the train stopped at the station for the cable car and a couple got on and sat near me. I could tell straight away they were Australian. As we got closer to the summit we also reached the clouds. I dropped a comment that we’re not going to see much from the summit at this rate and watched it click with them that I was also an Aussie. They also come from Melbourne, north western suburbs and were on their honeymoon.
The train reached the summit just before 2pm. The last train I could catch to get a boat back to Luzern was 5pm, but I had no intentions really of staying around that long. I made my way up the short climb to the base of the TV and radio tower. The clouds were, annoyingly, sticking to the top of Mount Rigi the same way the clouds were sticking to the top of the Matterhorn in Zermatt yesterday.
At the summit there is a large rock with Chinese calligraphy, Mount Rigi is partnered with Emei Shan in Sichuan Province. With rocks from each mountain being transferred to the other. So the large rock at the summit is part of Emei Shan. Come to think of it now, I didn’t even get a photo of the rock itself. I took a photo of the plaque explaining the rock, but not the rock. Whoops.
By 3pm I was feeling like I had seen the best of the conditions so I made my way down to the souvenir shop, picked up a couple of things, and then waited for the train to trundle up the mountain for the return journey at 4pm. It ended up being one of the older model electric cars. We arrived at the Vitznau station just before 5pm and the boat arrived on time at 5:05pm. The views back in the early stages were a bit better than the outbound trip as the sun was out but the rain clouds started to roll in late in the journey.
This evening I spent the evening doing boring stuff. Went a did a load of laundry at the laundromat as I was basically out of clean underwear. That was… interesting. Anyone that uses Miele dryers would know, but for those of you that don’t and might be thinking of getting one, the ETA to completion does not include the cooldown time. Once it’s “finished” it still cycles for a good 10-15 minutes while the clothes cool down. They really should just count that in the time so I’m not standing around like an idiot with people waiting for the dryer to dry their clothes.
That’s all for today. I’ve got my ankle in a brace overnight so hopefully it clears up. In sitting here writing this post though I’ve just had a cramp in my right leg. Probably from the compensating of the left ankle.
Really doing well over here… See you tomorrow.