Tuesday, September 25th: By Boat and Railway over the Mountains
!! Please wear good shoes and bring a warm jacket. Ladies, please wear trousers !!
The ILAB booksellers did right to prepare for the Tuesday excursion according to these warnings in the Congress programme. In Switzerland Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell shot apples placed on children’s heads with his crossbow. And every Good Friday the restless ghost of Pontius Pilate rises from the waters of a little lake on a 7000 feet high mountain called Pilatus to wash the blood of Christ off his hands. It was clear: It could become dangerous.
On 9.30 am we started our boat trip to Alpnachstad, where we took the world's steepest cogwheel railway (gradient: between 38% and 48%) to the Mount Pilatus. We drove through Alpine meadows, past sparkling mountain streams and fascinating rock faces.
On the summit: no ghost, no bloody water, but a marvellous view of the Swiss Alps and its beautiful nature.
Back to the boat for the General Assembly, in which ILAB President Tom Congalton introduced his new Committee to the ILAB affiliates: Norbert Donhofer as Vice-President, Ulrich Hobbeling as General Secretary, Paul Feain as Treasurer as well as Umberto Pregliasco, Gonzalo Fernández Pontes and Brigitta Laube as Members. Then to Vitznau where we took the historic mountain railway to Grübisalm on Mount Rigi. And there, we found “real Swissness”: a dinner in a cave, behind waterfalls, with a crossbow shooting competition (won by Anne Lamort, President of the Syndicat National de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne), and lots of yodelling.