A WARM WELCOME!!!
Our guides Hans Spichtig and Werner Bissig appeared at the steinbock bar to welcome us with wine, canapes and fresh brewed coffee. On top of Mount Pilatus, in Central Switzerland, we were about to follow on the steps of the Ibex, one of the most iconic animals in the Swiss Alps. Through out the wide windows, we enjoyed otherworldly vistas which were as far as the eye could reach. Some of the landscapes around were white dust peaks, some other looked like the lunar surface, and some other looked like you were right in the middle of heaven and could step on white cotton clouds to wander around.
The Wind blew strongly through the Alps unveiling all secret places where the ibex could shelter and play the seek & hide game with us. In the meantime, we stood still with a drink in the hand enjoying a relaxed moment while listening to Hans and Werner about all the knowledge and experience that they had gathered over the years living free in the Wildness.
Just before giving the last sip to my glass of wine someone in the crowd spotted a steinbock, it was a good sign, i thought, and we had not even started yet.
From Top left: Werner Bissig and Cindy getting ready at the Steinbock Bar; A Steinbock at the Bar’s Lobby; Hans Spichtig; Expectators enjoying the view from the Bar’s Lobby.
“Cindy”, Werner’s little dog, was leading the crowd. Binoculars and cameras from all kinds were ready to spot and catch the elusive Alpine Ibex. The sun was about to hide behind the horizon and the warm light recharged our adventurous soul with strength enough to look for the Ibex to the last corner. “There is one over there, do you see the black spot?, that’s it, it’s moving, look carefully” said someone among the crowd. But even with my Telephoto Lens, all i could see was a patch of dirt surrounded by some snow.
But it did not take too long for us to see our “Capricorn” jumping from stone to stone and from cliff to cliff just like children in a playground and even though it lasted just a few seconds, it felt like an eternity to our minds.
After have made contact, our expectations for the next morning were as high as Pilatus itself. Warm coffee and “gipfeli” were ready to be enjoyed. It was 7 a.m. and the Safari was about to take off. We walked along the “Pflanzen Schutz Gebiet” towards “Tomlishorn”. “Over there, on the other side of Tomlishorn, live several colonies of Ibex and i’m sure we will not miss them” said Hans. The Clouds were moving fast and people in the Safari were getting anxious to experience again the beautiful sensation we had last evening after have seen the Ibex in its natural habitat.
After 30 minutes walking, we finally spotted the Ibex. For some of us it was the first wild encounter with nature, and for others, was a reminder of how beautiful is to be free in the wild.
MAKE IT HAPPEND!!!
Located in the heart of Switzerland, Mount Pilatus has excellent transport connections. The valley stations in Alpnachstad and Kriens/Lucerne are easily accessible with direct motorway access. And travelling to the foot of the mountain by rail, ship or bus is just as quick and convenient.
A2 motorway following signs for Lucerne; take ‘Luzern Süd/Kriens’ exit.
Train to Lucerne, then bus no. 1 (Kriens) to the ‘Linde Pilatus’ stop (approx. 15 minutes), then 5-minute walk to the Kriens base terminus.
A8 motorway following signs for Sarnen/Interlaken; take ‘Alpnachstad’ exit.
Train to Lucerne then on to Alpnachstad station. Alternatively, take the boat from Lucerne (landing stage no. 2) to Alpnachstad (50 – 90 minutes).
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