The day started fine and clear and fortunately continued that way as we headed up Mount Pilatus by cog railway, with gradients sometimes in the high 40s.

Spectacular views (photo) all around at the top but especially towards the Jungfrau and company. We take a few of the walks on the top and then head down by cable car and gondola to Krienz.

The coach picks us up here and we head for the centre of Lucerne where traffic is disrupted by a labour demonstration (photo). We take a long look at the colourful march, along with the better known sights, including the wooden Chapel Bridge and we also do some shopping.

The Lion monument (photo) of Lucerne, a magnificent sculpture of a dying lion, is also visited. It commemorates the mercenary Swiss guard of Marie Antoinette who were decimated in the overthrow of the Royal family in France.

Then on to a cruiser for a trip along the length of the lake. Scenic views on both sides, a glass of the local beer (Eichhof) goes down nicely.

We re-join the bus (and the passengers who didn't take the cruise but who spent the extra time shopping) and head back to the hotel in Engelberg, reaching it in the late afternoon.

All together then for the final (included) dinner in the hotel where (because of the varying departure times in the morning) many goodbyes are said.

SATURDAY: Our own wake-up call is 5.30am and one hour later (after coffee in the hotel and with a food bag under our arm), we are on the coach for Zurich and arrive at the airport in fairly good time for the 9.35am take-off to Dublin.

Avoid the long queues by using the self-service check-in but flight is delayed because of a puncture. Further delays in Dublin (parking not immediately available and our own luggage is very slow in arriving) means we have little time to catch the Ryanair flight to Cork (1.10pm).

Security is busy (particularly so because of the incident in Glasgow airport on the previous day) and we have to jog along the corridors. Optimism was fading - we had been told we wouldn’t make it – but to our surprise we find the Cork flight hasn’t even begun boarding. So we make it after all and arrive at Cork airport about 14.20, just 20 minutes behind schedule, glad to be back after a hugely enjoyable holiday.