There was much nostalga riding from Switzerland to Italy
The Fluelapass was the first Alpine pass I rode back in 2016
At the time I couldn’t imagine how I could come back again
And now Im on the 4th tour.
Truly addicted to the Alps
The Fluelapass links to the Ofen Pass and that to the Umbrial Pass which crosseS into Italy and leads to the beautiful city of Bormio.
The top of the Stelvio is a Circus of bicycles, motorbikes, cars, sausage Stalls hotels and shops .
From Bormio the valley opens up
With lovely camping grounds, with walkers, cyclists and bikers in summer. Skiers in winter.
Perfect for camping in the pretty village of Cepina.
The Rhine fall in Schaffhausen is a spectacular cascades of water
Not far from the German border and in the very high Rhine
Europe’s biggest fall by water volume wedged between two Swiss Castles
Interlaken as the name suggests sits between two lakes
Beautiful Swiss Lakes
A town of opulant hotels
Narrow shopping streets
And street cafes and bistros where the rider can replenish
My Swiss friend took me for a days ride
A beautiful day with the sun shining, 9 high mountain passes and 430km covered
I was buzzing at the end
There is the right way! Ascend the mountain on the side with the tightest corners and descend where the corners are not so tight.
Its more challenging that way!
Then you must do your favourite pass twice.
There was still lots of ice flows remaining from winter.
Then there is a stop at a mountain top restaurant for lunch
And the view
And of course the amazing Alpine transport system
And luxury coaches
Just a perfect days riding
The Col de Iseran looms high above the Val d’Isre
The Val d’Isre is a Ski Ressort in winter a biker mecca in summer
Then there is the Petite Saint Bernhard that crossed from France to Italy
The Petite links to the Great Saint Bernhard at Aosta,
And at the top of the Pass it crossed into Switzerland
The Great Saint Bernhard runs to the Swiss city of Martigny
There the is a final pass to Chamonix in France
The Col Forclaz with its little hotel in the Pass which is so Swiss
And then in Chamonix stay at the foot of Mount Blanc.
What biker can resist the high passes
In the clouds
By the icy glaciers
The winding roads up the mountain passes
The cobble stoned old San Gotthard pass my favourite of all
Crowned with its mountain eagle monument
And on a clear day the lakes, an amazing blue, pay tribute to the sky above them.
What is it about Switzerland that takes my breath away
The amazing vistas across the lakes
Amazing mountain passes like the old San Gotthard pass with its cobblestone surface
And party atmosphere at the top
Or village of Gletch where the Furka, Grimsel and Nufenen passes all converge
Maybe it’s the white Glacier topped mountains
Or is is the amazing biker culture that see riders of all types out enjoying the Alps
The goulash soup at the resturaunt at the top of Nufenen pass comes close
But maybe it’s the subtle heartfelt welcome that is so Swiss that makes one say ahhh
The ride down Furker Pass and up the Grimsel has to be one of the most beautiful and exhilarating rides available.
Past the wall of the Rhone Glacier
Through the little village of Gletsch
Then up the Grimsel
Winding up to the lake at the top of Grimsel Pass
If that is not enough
Down the Grimsel
Then up the Nufenen Pass
What a day of riding it was.
In a few months I will be back in Europe
On the Mighty Breva II
More mountain passes some old some revisited.
From Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald you can see the Aletsch Glacier. Running over the mountains.
But, in time, it may be lost a sad loss both in beauty and the impact on the Alps.
North of Interlaken the valley runs north to the Jungfrau region and the Glacier.
And beautiful waterfalls
But in time as the Glacier melts the villages, the lakes, the waterfalls will in turn be reshaped.
The Alps are a beautiful but precipitous place.
The mudslide is a reminder of the both the beauty and power of nature.
It takes my thoughts drift back to the indigenous Australians and their relationship to land.
No deity in the heavens it’s is the land that nurtures and provides. It’s the land that has wrath.
So as I sit in the Vezere a place where humanity survived the ice age. I can reflect on the power of nature.
Humanity may try to destroy itself through nuclear war or climate change or our greed and averice nature will continue.
My heart goes out to those who lost lives and property in the beautiful Swiss Italian border country.
If you follow some narrow winding roads through fields of maize, past sheep and cattle quietly grazing, near the Aara River, you find the village of Habsburg and Schloss Habsburg.
The starting place in 1025 for a family that would dominate Europe and its colonies for almost a millennium- the Habsburg Family.
The Schloss Habsburg is one of the many castles that dot the Swiss countryside.
Schloss Lenzburg in sight of Habsburg tower is an impressive example.
Perched on hilltops
And on lake sides
The villages and old towns have their own special charms.
My time in Switzerland, this trip, is drawing to a close but I have enjoyed amazing Alpine riding, exploring aspects of a rich history and found a welcoming motorcycle culture.
All types of bikes some very exotic
The old sections of Aarau and Olten were built in a circle formation.
The back walls of the rows of buildings forming a barricade with gated entrances.