Thursday, 1 February 2018

Encountering Mountains

In 1969, with my dancing partner David, I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of six under twelve couples to represent Great Britain at a series of competitions in Switzerland.  We stayed in Baden and during the stay we were taken on a trip to Mount Pilatus a mountain massif with a highest peak of 2,128ft, over-looking Lucerne. 

This encounter with a mountain was my first. Oh, there had been trips to the Lake District but this was different: the snow covered peak and the journey on the cogwheel railway to the summit was truly exhilarating. The view from the top, drinking hot chocolate in deep snow in the middle of June, was a memory that I will always treasure.  The photographs we took that day take pride of place in my album.

I returned to Lucerne in 1976, confident enough to be the courier on one of two coaches full of Lancashire Evening Gazette, Women's Circle readers. How I rose to such dizzy heights at the tender age of sixteen is a story for another day. We didn’t ascend Pilatus on that trip but we did travel through the fantastic Arlberg Pass, crossing the border into Austria. I took a chair-lift to the top of the Olympic ski jump in Innsbruck, marvelling at the sight of a cemetery at the bottom.

My next encounter with the Alps was a once in a life time experience. In 2000, I took my young family to visit my cousin who has lived in South Africa for many years. On the flight to Jo’burg, I asked whether my son could go into the cock-pit to see the view from the pilot’s perspective.  What a wonderful sight. We were flying directly over the Alps in February. At 20,000ft the view was incredible. We were so lucky to have had the opportunity. Aircraft cock-pits are completely off-limits to the public since 9/11.

A good friend did some research for me and came across a snippet about Mount Pilatus that helped me to write the poem. 


Mountain of Dragons

Ascend on the cogwheel railway,
From the town of Alprachstad,
Or fly on suspended gondolas
And aerial cableways,
To the summit of Mount Pilatus,
Where the lair of the dragons sits. 

The brightest, winged dragons,
Dwell in a deep cave there,
They dance across the serene night sky,
And fly in the moon-glow mist,
Skimming the surface water,
Of beautiful Lake Lucerne. 

Mighty, magical dragons,
On a mystical mating flight.

Thanks for reading. Adele 
Reactions:

1 comments:

Lady Curt said...

I've been to Mount Pilates on the railway and walked round the summit trails, listening to the Alpenhorn. I got off the transport at the halfway station and walked down the rest ,through slopes that resembled a well manicured park. Lovely..