The time to see the Rigi is the end of May.  Then the patchiness of the snow sheet has faded into the light brown or vivid green of the alpine pasturage.  Then everywhere on the lower slopes the fresh bright emerald of the beech is seen against the green waterflood.  And then, while here the crocus myriads are seen whitening the ground, there the soldanella purples the pathside, and the greater and lesser gentians jewel the grass; while always in wet places by the upland springs the marsh marigold shines like fire right to the mountain summit.  And then, too, the visitors are not in such numbers as to take away the sense of mountain solitude.  The day is right for the expedition, a light wind blows from the east, and a cloud-pack shines like fleecy silver upon the head of Pilatus.  There will be shadows on the hills and shadows on the lake; we shall find our Maytime sunshine tempered for us. (pp. 114-115)

It is 10.15 A.M., and the steamers from Lucerne and Flüelen hoot to us that they are bringing their contribution to the Rigi muster; the sound of their voice rises up the rosy Rossenwand, and echoes, echoes, echoes far and near.  We take our seats on the left-hand side of the railway car, and are soon being pushed by a strong hand, with a little tremolo in it, away up above the red roofs and the village church, and the pleasant gardens filled with the scent of laburnum and lilac, and jocund with the voice of the blackbird.  The lake grows to a deeper green beneath the pear trees as we ascend; the Bürgenstock appears more beautiful.  Still as we go up the pinnacles of Pilatus, hidden before, seem to shoot into the heaven, and whilst the white Wallenstock shines out between the Stanserhorn and the Buochserhorn, its beauty seems soon to be eclipsed by the Wetterhorn mass and the Brienzer-Rothhorn range, far away beyond the lake of Sarnen, far away above the Brünig Pass.  It is worthwhile looking upward from time to time on the right-hand side of the carriage, if only to see how grandly the rose-red cliffs of the Dossenwand rise up above the pine trees and the pastures to heaven’s blue. (pp. 115-116)

We cross the deep ravine of the Grubisbach, people flushed in face, and in their shirt sleeves are walking up through the orchards on our left by the path we traversed in the old days before the Rigibahn.  We are at Freibergen, and already have passed the land of columbine, and reached the zone of cherry-blossom, which has disappeared for weeks from the lakeside.  Magnificent meadows of silver and gold are awaiting the mower’s scythe.  Can anything more lovely be imagined than that filmy cloud of feathery flower which the fragrant wild parsley has laid in unfading beauty upon the Maytide slope.  My delight in the vision is a little marred by the voice of an American lady.  ‘Say, pa, what’s this flower?’  ‘’Taint no flower at all, it’s jest a weed.’  But all the while that orchard slope of fragrant parsley cloud, though it was ‘jest a weed,’ haunted one for utter loveliness as it lay cream-white against the emerald lake and the deep blue Bürgenstock beyond. (p. 116)

Suddenly flowers and lake and distant scene were veiled by clouds that seemed to be space like lawn out of blue air and came floating up from beneath.  Then a great meteor flashed into being out Alpnach way.  Another daystar seemed to have broken from underground in the East.  It was in reality a rift in the cloud-veil that gave us sight of Sarnen shining in the sun.  The clouds dispersed as swiftly as they gathered.  Lucerne blue and beautiful as ever lay below and Pilatus lifted grey and cloudless to a clear heaven. (pp. 116-117)

Between Freibergen and Felsenthor we enter the woody belt where the beech trees gradually give way to the darker spruces, and after Felsenthor we are on the true Alp, and only want the presence of the feeding kine to fulfil with their cattle-bells the chord of mountain harmony.  Kaltbad is reached, such a mighty cluster of building as would make one believe that a city of the plain had suddenly, by some enchanter’s wand, been wafted hither.  It is a deserted city to-day, the 28th of May, except so far as sundry painters are concerned.  The leaves on the plane trees are not out, the flowers have not yet been placed in their beds, and remembering as one does the throng in mid-August one is grateful for the silences, and so we pass on towards the rosy-red ‘dependance’ that has been lately built, to gain the famous terrace walk to Kanzeli.  One feels a little like a prisoner on exercise as one passes along the walk now, for one is hedged in by a fence all the way, with little doors right and left of one, opening on to shady walks with pleasant seats, on which are notices to the effect that only those who are guests at the Kaltbad may pass to these charmed paradises.  But at any rate one’s eyes have free wanderground, and those who wish to see Pilatus in its beauty, and the way in which Lucerne lies upon its tower-girdled slope, or again, who care to gaze down upon the Küssnacht waters, and the great plain towards the north, with Sempach and the lakes of Hallwyl and Baldegg shining like jewels in the mist, will know no better point of vantage on the Rigi at this level than the Känzeli.  Of course one has to suffer the inevitable bore of refusing to use a telescope, or to drink fresh milk, or buy postcards; but having run the gauntlet, the old man of the mountain leaves one in peace, and one can fill one’s soul with luxury of light, and colour, and mountain shape, and beauty of cloud-birth on far shining hills. (pp. 117-118)

(Flower-Time at the Oberland, pp.112-126)