Tour de Suisse
On Thursday morning, after 3 relaxing days with the Nomadbikefamily, we headed east again to Bern. On the way I ate my now obligatory breakfast. Of course, with a lot of chocolate. Finally, I have to catch up on my shortcoming of the past few months!
In Bern I was allowed to stay with Petra and Tom. We met in Laos last year and cycled together for a while. After two months in Southeast Asia, they returned home well rollolafs.blogspot.com. Petra showed me the beautiful old town of Bern on Friday. Funny was the ride with the lace tramp. An elevator that leads from the Aare directly to the cathedral. If you can then enjoy a Rivella to, you begin to really close the city in the heart.
The Protestant-Reformed Bern Cathedral was dedicated to St. Vincent de Zaragoza in the late Middle Ages and is the largest and most important late medieval church in Switzerland. It was built in Gothic style and is one of those Gothic churches that were completed in the 19th century after the advent of historicism. The choir of the Minster houses a glass painting cycle dating back to the 15th century, which together with that of the former Klosterkirche Königsfelden is considered the most important in Switzerland.
The foundation stone for the cathedral under the patronage of Vincent de Zaragoza was laid in 1421. Previously there had been the Leutkirche, a Romanesque chapel built at the time of the founding of the Zähring city in 1190 and rebuilt in 1276. The cathedral was built clockwise around the old Leutkirche. The cathedral was built up to the upper part of the tower made of Berner sandstone. Already in the Leutkirche the tomb of the boy Rudolf von Bern was worshiped. This is said to have been on 17 April 1294 alleged victims of a Jewish ritual murder. His bones were transferred to the cross altar of the new minster, but in 1529 the iconoclasm was removed from the cathedral and buried outside the church.
The cultural-historical building has a length of 86.72 meters, a width of 37.55 meters and a height of 100.6 meters. The ascent to the spire of the cathedral is quite airy and the spiral staircase seems to have no end. But you will be rewarded with a nice panoramic view of the city.
The inhabitants of the bear moat made it clear to us what one should do best in the warm weather.
Petra and Tom spoiled me right. So it was almost a bit hard for me to continue on Saturday. The bright weather and the great view of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau were a great motivation. Shortly before Spiez am Thunersee I turned off to the southeast and drove to Frutigen.
There Fred received me. We met in Uzbekistan last year. Even then I was fascinated by the many travel reports Fred has collected on his many trips through Tibet, Nepal and India. He started by bike last year from Frutigen, pedaled all the way down to Beijing, flew from there to Lisbon and rolled back safely into Switzerland this spring. We had so many experiences to exchange that we were busy the whole Sunday. On Monday, I said goodbye to Fred and Marianne again to continue.
Along Lake Brienz, the cycle path slowly led me more and more into the Alps. The weather was largely stable. Shortly before Innertkirchen I opened my tent in the forest.
The next morning, the first big mountain stage followed. Slowly, the road winds through the Gadmental on the Sustenpass (2224 m above sea level). I now have new archenemies: Motorcyclists traveling in the Swiss Alps! Partly, I wondered if I should launch an initiative to ban motorcycles in the Swiss Alps. Since the Chinese electric bikes are much more sympathetic. But the view on Titlis, Steingletscher and Sustenhorn was amazing and some motorists tried to spur me on with a friendly smile.
Some also talked to me and were visibly impressed with my performance. I just always thought, driving in Switzerland is a breeze, if you compare the road quality with that in Tajikistan. At the top of the pass I did not have much time to enjoy. The weather changed slowly and that's what it meant: fast down to the Meiental! Immediately after the valley exit I found my dry bivouac place for the night shortly after Wassen under the canopy of the Schützenhaus.
The next day was anything but nice. I would have liked to stay longer in my warm sleeping bag. However, the will to continue was stronger. The route on this day is probably one of the most historic in the canton of Uri. In Göschenen first came the Teufelstein, then followed some serpentines through the Schöllenen and at the end of the gallery you reached the Teufelsbrücke. There is also the Suvorov monument.
The wild Schöllenen Gorge has long been an obstacle difficult to overcome on the route over the Gotthard Pass, which connects the canton of Uri with the canton of Ticino. Presumably around 1200 it was Walser from the north to be reached only over the Bätzberg Urserental, which made the gorge for the first time with the construction of a daring for those days first mule track with several bridges walkable.
The first wooden bridge over the Reuss was built in 1230. In 1595 it was replaced by a massive stone bridge, which was destroyed on August 2, 1888 by the Reuss on a stormy night. On the left side of the river their foundations are still visible. According to a legend, the first devil's bridge was built by the devil. The Uri failed again and again at the construction of a bridge. Finally, a Landammann exclaimed very desperately: "Do sell the Tyfel e brig bue!" (There the devil is to build a bridge!). Hardly spoken, this was already in front of the people of Uri and proposed to them a pact. He would build the bridge and in return he would get the soul of the one who first crossed the bridge. After the devil had built the bridge, the cunning Uri sent a Geissbock over the bridge. The devil was very angry about this trick and brought a towering stone, with which he wanted to smash the bridge.
But he met a pious woman who carved a cross on the stone. The Devil was so confused by the sign of God that he missed the bridge when the stone was thrown. The rock fell down the entire Schöllenen Gorge to below the village of Göschenen and has since been called "Devil's Stone".
During the Second Coalition War took place in the vicinity of the Schöllenenschlucht on 25 September 1799 hostilities between Napoleonic troops under Claude -Jacques Lecourbe (1758-1815) and Russian Alexander Suvorov commanded by Russian troops instead. The first devil bridge was badly damaged and impassable. It was not until thirty years later that replacement was created with the second Devil's Bridge. Near the Devil's Bridge stands the 1899 erected Suvorov monument that commemorates the battle. The icy wind in combination with the rain did not entice you to stay.
In Andermatt I decided to spend the night at the campsite and move the Oberalp Pass to the next day. The camp boss on the campsite wanted to let me set up my tent at first only reluctantly. The weather report reported snowfall up to 1500 meters above sea level. However, I could assure her that my equipment in China had already experienced some worse weather conditions. At night, I slept like a stone. However, when I opened my tent in the morning, a white landscape greeted me and the rainfall was still going on. The decision to wait one more night was pretty easy. A velonomade usually has enough time.
The confirmation for my decision followed already the morning after. The sun displaced all clouds and magnificent weather with white peaks came to light. The drive over the Oberalp Pass was more than beautiful. Even slope, little traffic and fantastic scenery. That makes a cyclist's heart beat faster! The few serpentines are quickly conquered and shortly thereafter you are on the Oberalppass (2046 m above sea level). For the downhill I needed pretty much all the clothes I had with me.
But soon it was getting warmer and the Surselva greeted me with the best late summer weather. Giuliano, Marcel and Hannes from Wasserchraft wasserchraft.ch welcomed me in Ilanz. There was a lot to tell about a delicious pizza. On the Ruinaulta, via Valendas and Versam, I cycled on Saturday to Cazis, where my goddess Timo and his whole family received me.
What I liked most was the homemade chocolate cake. Of course, a visit to Wolfgang and Bea in Scharans was not missing on Sunday. I was also spoiled with all the rules of hospitality. From your apartment you have a great view of the Piz Beverin (2998 m above sea level) and the mountains of Domleschg.
Back in Cazis Ruth came for a visit and accompanied us on a short walk to the Graubünden cows. The next highlight followed on Tuesday, when I met her offspring when visiting Fabia and Jon.
Keeping children is definitely ten times more strenuous than cycling! After four great days in Cazis, I had to say goodbye to the Timo Gang again and visited my old WG friend Aziz. He made us a delicious omelette for dinner.
The next two days I was finally able to come back to enjoy the benefits of white water. A big thank you to Hannes, who saved my boat and me! The technology is just a little lost over time. I also noticed that in the evening when climbing in the newly opened climbing garden in Siat. At a well-deserved after-work beer there was a great reunion with Veronika, Maria and Klaus. The two days on the Vorderrhein caused slight soreness. Somehow you need different muscles when paddling than on the bike. So I was relatively happy on Saturday to get back in the saddle. In Chur I briefly visited the Exodus Shop. Kurd (my bike) was built there a long time ago exodus.ch.
In continuous rain I drove to Sargans, then continue to Walenstadt and found late at night in the campsite in Gäsi finally a campground. The weather in Switzerland is definitely moody. Fortunately, the sun helped on Sunday to make the ascent to Klöntaler See as pleasant as possible. In Richisau I was able to dry my wet clothes at the campsite. The sunset was better than any light show and let Vrenelisgärtli (2904 masl) flare upright.
The next morning I had a big surprise, when in the awning my food bag had disappeared. Soon the culprit was unmasked. A fox had eaten all the contents and distributed the tattered bag in the square. The same thing happened to me once in Iran. My main source of energy for driving over the Pragelpass was thus eliminated.
During the ascent Stefan came to meet me. He will travel from Switzerland to Vienna in two weeks. Especially his frame I found interesting. Due to his height of over 2m, it was not easy for him to find a suitable frame. His model comes from the Aarios workshop aarios.ch/startseite.html.
Also on the Pragelpass the autumn slowly arrived (1550 meters above sea level) and made it pretty easy for me to drive quickly down to Muotathal.
The campsite in Brunnen on Lake Lucerne was already closed. I somehow had no desire for a night in a wet tent and put my bivouac out of the campsite under the canopy of the kiosk. For dinner there was my now obligatory favorite dish: spaghetti with tomato sauce and lots of onions.
I still have a lot of trouble with the high price level in Switzerland. Is there any other country in the world that is as expensive as the Confederation? In Gersau I took the car ferry to Beckenried and cycled on to Stans. The onions from the day before caused strong activity in the intestinal tract and forced me inevitably in Dallenwil on the toilet bowl.
Strongly relieved, I could take the murderous climb to Ächerlipass on me. Who likes to torment himself should bite his teeth on the serpentines to this pass. Luckily the cows regularly blocked the way. So my lungs could fill with air again. The recovery at the pass (1458 m above sea level) did really well.
On the descent to Sarnen there was a happy surprise. In Kerns Andi suddenly stood at the roadside. We rode through the Taklamakan Desert along with Tim last year. He was also accompanied by Theo from Davos. A colleague with whom I had completed the patrol training. We chatted for a while over a glass of Rivella before everyone had to go back to bed.
The last tent night on my trip I spent on the new campsite in Sarnen. This was followed by the last pass the next day. From Sarnen it was again powerful pedaling. Only after 3.5h ascent I stood on the Glaubenbergpass (1543 m above sea level) and dumped the lost liquid back into my body.
Several times I experienced it, that passers-by gave me something during a conversation. The locals are pretty closed, as they are in Europe. However, some show great interest as soon as I start with my Kurd. In Schüpfheim I was received by Doris. The refreshing shower with a delicious Älplermakkaronen Znacht were awesome. Of course there was a lot to tell.
Via Rengg I drove the next day of the small Emme along past Lucerne in a northeasterly direction to train. There was a reunion with Corinna and Philipp sinvia.ch. Philip had saved me last year when I had a rim rip in Tajikistan in the back wheel and gave me his rim. She has kept to this day. In the evening I was allowed to attend her impressive slide show. Her travelogue tempted me to already dream of the next trip.
In good weather I was able to continue on Friday. Slowly I had to say goodbye to the landscape of the Alps. But very humane gradients came towards me and Rigi, Titlis and Pilate showed their best side.
Shortly after Hochdorf, the road rose again and already showed the Sempachersee. In Sempach, I briefly visited the picturesque old town before the circumnavigation of the lake followed.
Andreas received me at Nottwil. We cycled together to Sursee. He showed me his new secret weapon: a carbon road bike with a total weight of just 6.5kg! My Kurd weighs comparatively nearly ten times. Andi spoiled me like a king guecklhorn.com. He is the builder of my homepage for which I am infinitely grateful to him. He also had some very entertaining episodes in the past few months.
Saturday started with a mighty rain front, which made sure nobody wanted to accompany me on my last stage on the bike. So I rolled from bus stop to bus stop to at least enjoy a dry moment in between.
In Ammerswil I allowed myself the last Schoggipause, before it went up to Baden via Mellingen. There my mother, my sister and her friend Dominic and Timo and my family welcomed me. Such a reception was beautiful.
Most I missed my family and friends on the trip. At this point, I would like to wholeheartedly thank all those who offered me their hospitality on this Tour de Suisse. You are the biggest! For the last kilometer it became a bit emotional for me. In my mind I let my 18 months trip through 23 countries review again. Euphorically, my family welcomed me home and a delicious dinner was served.
At midnight our eyes closed. An adventure takes its end. I am looking forward to being a little bit sedentary and to be able to collect all impressions.