For today’s Tried and Tested Thursday is going to be a little different, as I will be discussing celebrating my birthday recently abroad at the very last minute. Slightly related to photography in a way, as I brought along a film camera and ten expired rolls of Kodak Ektar (yet to be processed). Although I did use my Samsung phone as my digital camera. It was my holiday abroad of 2020. I was initially meant to go to Malta earlier in the year, however was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Before I continue, I must mention that it’s my dad’s birthday today! It was my brother’s last week on the 24th September. So all of our birthdays are quite close apart by a week.
For my birthday I went on a 12 day solo trip to Switzerland; starting from Zurich, Lugano, for the day; Lucerne (where I spent my actual birthday) and finally ending in Geneva. It had been three years since I was in Switzerland, and the last time I was there it was pouring heavily in Lucerne!
I turned 29 on the 16th September while I was in Lucerne, I was already there for two days. My plan was to spend the big day in Mount Rigi, then treat myself to a nice meal in the evening.
Luckily my hostel sold tickets for the boat plus funicular ride to Mount Rigi at a discounted price. Certainly worth the money and definitely the experience. I do believe I can use the ticket again until 2023, so might be worth keeping just in case I would like to revisit Lucerne in the near future!
My birthday adventure started nice and early from the boat stop, directly opposite the main train station. For Mount Rigi, I had to get off at Vitznau to take the funicular all the way to Rigi Kulm. Before I did that, I made a quick stop at Weggis to take a few snaps on both my phone and film camera. The last time I was there, the weather was absolutely miserable and there was nothing much to do while it was wet, apart from taking a few shots on my film camera.
Walked around for a bit until the next boat arrived for Vitznau, which it did and it was packed! Thankfully everyone was wearing their face masks however social distancing was a hit and miss while on board.
Finally arrived at Vitznau! I have to admit, I was a little nervous before I went on the funicular train despite being on one a few days prior in Zurich, enroute to Uetliberg, not as high as Mount Rigi but still had stunning views from the top.
There were a few stops before reaching Rigi Kulm, which took less than an hour to get to. The funicular wasn’t too fast when going up. From the train window, there were views of other surrounding mountains from afar, not forgetting Lake Lucerne. I was no longer nervous, I was probably excited and anticipating heading up to the top.
The last stop was Rigi Kulm, the highest peak. When I stepped out the funicular, I was absolutely speechless and amazed. I did make it in one piece! I immediately went to the actual high point and took photos, including a few selfies. The views were stunning – the mountains from afar as well as the surrounding lakes Zug and Lauerz, even Lake Ageri from a distance as well.
I made the most of my time in Mount Rigi, even attempting to hike down all the way back to Vitznau. I had initially followed the ‘flower trail’, however I decided to do a detour. I had no hiking experience nor any suitable equipment but I did somehow make it as far to the station stop, Romiti-Felsentor, where I waited for the funicular heading towards Vitznau. From there I took the boat back to Lucerne. It had been an incredibly long day, but I did have a good time and was worth it!
Later that evening, I went to a vegan Thai restaurant called Cha Cha Thai, where I had a tofu green curry. It was so delicious! The flavours kicked in, both the coconut and peppers. I regret not having the coconut tiramisu for dessert, as I could imagine it would have been nice!! I did buy two sugary Berliners from Coop at the train station as an evening sweet treat afterwards.
I left Lucerne on Friday 18th, heading to Geneva where I would be staying until the following Monday, then back home to London.
I was so happy that I was able to celebrate my birthday abroad! It was something I wanted to do for a while, with Switzerland being the perfect place for it. I would certainly go on another solo trip for my birthday again, possibly back to Switzerland or somewhere else like the USA, Spain, Italy or Portugal. With what has been happening for the last few months, the future is uncertain but I do have hope that there will be light at the end of the tunnel. There will be a solution in the works.
Take care and stay safe