Our ascent to the top of Mt Pilatus was one of my most peaceful travel moments in recent memory. We boarded an aerial panorama gondola a short bus ride from central Lucerne, and quietly whooshed our way up the mountain in 30 minutes. Below us, the terrain went from bucolic meadows with grazing cows (with their ringing cowbells) to rocky mountains covered with snow. At the top travelers can find plenty of diversion—views galore, two hotels, and seven restaurants. Intrepid hikers can ascend in a less peaceful way, of course. But everyone should try the water fountains on the way up the mountain. To this day, it is the clearest, most pristine water I have ever tasted.