It’s My Birthday!
For my birthday this year, I wanted to share a special birthday memory. It happened to be my Golden Birthday, the age that matches the day of the month you were born, and it may have been the best birthday of my life!
I was lucky enough to go on three family trips to Europe. These trips took me to eleven European countries and provided me the incredible opportunity to spend three birthdays in a way that most people do not get to experience. Allow me to take you on a trip to Mount Pilatus, in the Lucerne Valley of central Switzerland, where I celebrated my 8th birthday.
August 8, 1971, what a wonderful day! I have very fond memories of my 8th birthday. When you turn the age matching the day of the month of your birthday, it is said to be your Golden Birthday… indeed it was! I spent my 8th birthday in Lucerne, Switzerland.
We woke early and headed out to Mount Pilatus. We spent our day traveling to the top, exploring, seeing the beauty that lay around us, and learning the history of the peak with its rich legends and lore.
We began our day trip with a boat ride across the beautiful Lake Lucerne to the base of Mount Pilatus. Once across, we made our way to the Aerial Gondola station where our journey up the mountain would begin.
We stepped into the gondola that took us part way up the mountain. The Lucerne Valley is breathtaking. We saw edelweiss, goats, sheep and cows, shepherds, longhorn blowers and yodelers.
We then boarded a train that would take us up near the top of Mount Pilatus. This train is the steepest Cogwheel Railway in the world with a maximum gradient of 48 percent. The train took us to the Hotel Pilatus-Kulm, where we stopped for something to eat before continuing our ascent to the summit.
The Hotel Pilatus-Kulm, built in 1890, is a romantic destination with a sun terrace and gorgeous views. After eating, we took to the trails and hiked the rest of the way to the top of Mount Pilatus. My sister and I even got to pet a cow. We were so high up the mountain that we were above some clouds. The fog swirled around us and was cold and wet. Our mother bought us some really “attractive” raincoats.
Mt. Pilatus, home of giants and dragons, towers above the Lake Lucerne region to an elevation of 2.132 meters, and once at the top, you have a panoramic view of 73 Alpine Peaks.
Legend has it that in the year 1420, a dragon rock fell from the sky, and Mount Pilatus became the home of the legendary dragons of lore. The most famous of these is a winged dragon that used a dragon-stone to divulge his healing powers with an elixir that revived weakened spirits and healed sick souls.
The mountain may hide another secret. According to local folklore, it is the final resting place of Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor. Legend says that every year on Good Friday, the tormented soul of Pontius Pilate surfaces to cleanse his tortured soul.
After an exhilarating day, we journeyed back across the lake to our hotel where we celebrated my birthday with a Sacher Torte and some other little goodies before heading off to bed in a comfy, cozy, feather bed.
It was an amazing day, an amazing birthday, an amazing adventure, and a heartwarming lifelong memory.
I hope you have enjoyed your little visit to Mount Pilatus in the Lucerne Valley of Switzerland. Thank you for sharing the memories of my 8th birthday with me.
Have you ever been to Mount Pilatus?
What about Switzerland?
Where in the World have You been?
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