I don’t usually make old ladies cry – but when I do, it’s because I’m standing atop a mountain on one leg.
I befriended a lovely Australian girl, Lauren, at a barbecue in Lucerne. We immediately connected on a few levels – we both were in transcontinental relationships, we both loved hiking, and we both loved peanut butter. Thus, plans to hike Mt. Pilatus together were the next logical step in our relationship.
We bought bus tickets and proceeded to take the bus in the completely wrong direction… twice. After finally making it to the right destination, we ascended up Mt. Pilatus for four hours, passing few people. The serenity and beauty of our surroundings overcame us and helped some silent moments between feel simply peaceful.
We were short on time, and took the gondola up the most taxing part of the climb. At first I was apprehensive – after all, I wanted to conquer this mountain with my own two (albeit short) legs! …But I must admit the views from the gondola made my moral compromise completely worth it.
We got off and watched young children squeal and tourniquet themselves on the rope climbing course. I snickered when they fell… but only because I was jealous. Unfortunately for my short self, the course has an age requirement rather than a height requirement like most child-targeted places.
Atop of the mountain, we witnessed a genuine Swiss alpenhorn player jamming out while clouds passed us by.
In the background, an announcement played.
“Smith family, please meet your family at the food court.”
Lauren: Did that just say, ‘please feed your family at the food court?’ Isn’t that a bit rude?
Me: Yeah, it is. Some jerk on a megaphone calling out families who have emaciated looking kids…
The announcement droned on. “…Please meet your family at the food court.”
We climbed along every viewpoint of the top of the mountain. Lauren mentioned that she has a small fear of heights but I didn’t think much of her statement.
I saw the edge of one of the most popular viewpoints as a perfect photo opportunity, and proceeded to climb on top of it.
Old lady: Oh my God!!! Oh my God!!! THAT GIRL!!! THAT GIRL!!!
On top of ledge, I looked around… what girl?
The old lady began crying. “You are going to give me a HEART ATTACK! GET DOWN! GET DOWN!”
Lauren’s own fear of heights kicked in pretty strongly and she asked me to get down as well. I obediently complied.
The old lady wasn’t done. “What if a bee attacked you? You could have fallen!”
Admittedly, I felt really bad for scaring her.
We trekked down in a hurry in a strong attempt to beat the sun setting behind the mountain. Luckily, we made it back on the bus just in time with sore legs and a strong sense of accomplishment. Pilatus was exactly the type of experience I wanted in my Swiss adventure.