Ciao bella Italia, Auf Wiedersehen sonnige Schweiz

Ciao bella Italia, Auf Wiedersehen sonnige Schweiz

Swiss/Italian border, Umbrial Pass

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.

Interlaken and the Rhine Fall, Swiss tourist spots

Interlaken and the Rhine Fall, Swiss tourist spots

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

A perfect day riding in the Swiss Alps

A perfect day riding in the Swiss Alps

Atop Nufenen Pass

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

Ice flow on Furka

There is the right way! Ascend the mountain on the side with the tightest corners and descend where the corners are not so tight.

Why?

Its more challenging that way!

Then you must do your favourite pass twice.

Looking at Grimsel Pass from Furka
Looking over Glestch to Furka Pass from Grimsel

There was still lots of ice flows remaining from winter.

Top of Grimsel

Then there is a stop at a mountain top restaurant for lunch

Goulash soup my fave at the top of Nufenen

And the view

And of course the amazing Alpine transport system

Fast trains

And luxury coaches

San Gotthard to Airola coach runs up and down San Gotthard pass

Just a perfect days riding

What a ride 3 countries, 4 high passes.

What a ride 3 countries, 4 high passes.

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.

An Aussie biker on a Guzzi in Switzerland

An Aussie biker on a Guzzi in Switzerland

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.

Ahhh Switzerland

Ahhh Switzerland

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

Reflecting on the Swiss Alps

Reflecting on the Swiss Alps

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
View from Furker pass looking across the Valley to the Grimsel

The ride down Furker Pass and up the Grimsel has to be one of the most beautiful and exhilarating rides available.

Down Furker

Past the wall of the Rhone Glacier

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Looking across at the Rhone Glacier from the Grimsel 

Through the little village of Gletsch

Then up the Grimsel

Winding up to the lake at the top of Grimsel Pass

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Grimsel Guest house under repair

If that is not enough

Turn around

Down the Grimsel

Then up the Nufenen PassOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

Last stop in Switzerland for this trip

Last stop in Switzerland for this trip

From Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald you can see the Aletsch Glacier. Running over the mountains.

View of Aletsch Glacier from Lauterbrunnen
And Grindelwald

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.

Past lakes

And beautiful waterfalls

In Grindelwald
In Lauterbrunnen

But in time as the Glacier melts the villages, the lakes, the waterfalls will in turn be reshaped.

Maloja Pass Mudslide

Maloja Pass Mudslide

The Alps are a beautiful but precipitous place.

The mudslide is a reminder of the both the beauty and power of nature.

Albula Pass
Shifting rocks above the Pass

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.

Story of land

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.

Castles in the sky not just high Alps – Switzerland part 3

Castles in the sky not just high Alps – Switzerland part 3

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.

Castle 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.

Castle Lenzburg

Perched on hilltops

Castle Wildegg

And on lake sides

Castle Thun

The villages and old towns have their own special charms.

Decorated building eves and old town entrance in Aarau

Monument in old Lenzburg
Looking across the Rhine to old Laufenburg in Switzerland from Germany

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.

Thursday nights at Trimbach bei Olten

All types of bikes some very exotic

Adendum

Bridge to old centre of Olten

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.

Old main gate in Aarau
Curved walls in Olten