Free Tram, Eerie Forest

Swiss_Bridge

I couldn’t figure out the ticket machine which was sat on the platform. I did try, in fact I missed a tram because I was looking at the screen and pushing buttons. This did give me time to drink my coke and study the map, which was slightly obscured by graffiti. I was surprised a man in a van didn’t turn up to clean the graffiti off the map whilst I was there. As I had some Swiss francs on me I just got on the next tram and if asked for my ticket I would play dumb and just offer to pay. I boarded with ease but as soon as the door closed the tram set off with the speed of a formula one racing car and I shot towards the back of the tram, to the amusement of everyone in the carriage. At the next stop I wedged my bike in where the folding seats were and hung on to the handrail above my head, the doors closed and off the tram shot, these things are really fast but extremely quiet. The carriage I was in had a first class section, which no one was in, the tram looked brand new and I noticed it was made by bombardier a UK company.

Swiss_Cableway

I soon arrived in Menziken 12 km from my starting point at Teufnthal, it was the end of the line and no doubt I would have to explain why I had no ticket. I waited for everyone in the carriage to disembark and I got off. It was more like a cable car station than a tram station, it was also dark on the platform. I sat on a bench and checked my tablet for the nearest campsite, there was one 2.8km away which I thought was reasonable to get to before it was too late. I walked off the platform and onto the street, there was no ticket gate and no staff the place had turned into a ghost town. All the people from the tram had vanished and the road outside was eerily quite, It was twilight and getting dark fast, I got my visi jacket out of my panniers and put my lights on my bike. The lights at the tram station came on with a noisy flickering sound which made me jump, so off I went following the navigation apps instructions.

Swiss_Bridge

Menziken was a country village with beautiful architecture and every house seemed to have a large well manicured garden. I was obviously on the outskirts heading up a hill, which meant I soon had to get off and push. The view looking down the side of the hill was of a wonderful orange sunset above the rooftops of the village. I soon passed the houses and had a corn field on one side and a sloping common on the other but in front of me was a large eerie forest. I was tempted to sleep in the corn field but part of it had been cut down and I didn’t want to wake up with the blades of a combined harvester coming towards me so I pushed on. Within minutes I was at the entrance to the forest, there was a path running to my right along the edge and a path in front of me which went dark very quickly, I checked my nav app which confirmed that I had to go through the forest and not round it as the campsite was on the other side.

Strange_Cloud

If it was light it would be an ideal place to wild camp but it just got darker and darker the further I went in. The lights on the bike were useless, I put my head torch on but it made very little difference. The path started off as tarmac and widened into a parking bay, a dark coloured car with steamed up windows was parked there and someone was leaning on the outside of the driver’s door facing the car, either still receiving oral or having a cigarette whilst watching what was going on in the car. I didn’t stare as that would be pervy, I just cycled on. The forest got thicker and darker, three animals dashed across my path, there were just shadows and scared me half to death, I have no idea what they were possibly dogs. The tarmac turned to stones and dirt and started to go down steeply, I had to get off and walk as it was to dark and too rough to cycle. Eventually I came out the other side at a tram crossing, it was flashing red so I had to wait for the tram to pass. I must say going through the forest I was a little scared, not of things that go bump or eat you. Just the fact it was dark, damp and I could have easily fallen into a ditch or spent the whole night going round in circles in an eerie forest.

Once the tram had passed I coasted down a hill for about a mile and turned into the campsite.


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About John Holt

John Holt has worked in the travel industry for over 14 years and comes highly recommended by Trip Advisor for his practical and candid talks on travel destinations. Spending 18 months as a "Local Interest Specialist" for a leading tour operator John has become known as having more practical information than Google.

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