Switzerland

Chapel Bridge Luzren

In the morning there was a lot of dew on the ground, I suspect being so close to the edge of the Rhine had something to do with it. I lay in my sleeping bag until 08:00 and then started my day. I was really achy, my ribs still hurt, my back and neck were stiff and I had a sore elbow, so getting out of the tent was not easy, I sort of rolled out. I collected my shaving bag and towel then headed for the shower. The campsite didn’t have a huge shower block, just small separate buildings, the tag system for hot water was clever as you hung the tag up the water heater recognised it and switched on. I had a long hot shower and felt much better.Rhine

Heading back to the tent I met two young lads who were packing their gear up and spoke English, they and their friend, who was sat in his tent playing a guitar were heading to Italy, they didn’t have bikes but were just using public transport, we chatted for a while and I then went to pack my tent away. I’m getting better at packing my gear away, I sit in the tent and pack my panniers, then put them on the bike, once that’s done I’m only left with the tent to pack up, I took my time today and even went to pay before collapsing the tent, total price was 13 francs which for the atmosphere and view was worth it. Once everything was on the bike I headed back towards the coop, I planned to stock up with food and water so I didn’t have to search for it later. I picked up a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, Rosti, potato salad and water.

The route I’m on is good and easy-going, I passed a huge factory of some form with conveyor belts and machinery everywhere, it was on my left and below me, it looked like a Pilkington glass in St Helens. The cycle path was excellent, well signposted and smooth the only strange think was it was on the wrong side of the road but it was protected from traffic. I passed a man in a mobility scooter walking two dogs but it looked like the dogs were pulling the scooter along, an elderly woman picking up stuff from the grass verge, I couldn’t see what it was but it looked like she was collecting whatever had fallen from the trees above her and a women pushing a pram with twins in, they were very young, still babies but were giggling loudly and I wondered what the joke was.

Switzerland

I stopped at a church on the corner of Wendoingsgasse and Zeiningerstrasse. The names of streets round here are so long I wondered how anyone could remember them or even pronounce them. The church was having some building work done outside, a new water trough and a stone pavement. It’s 12:46 on , 5/9/14 and 22 degrees, all according to the green led display on a building in the distance, the type of display you usually find outside a pharmacy. I’m in the strangest of places both physically and mentally. I stayed at the church and ate my sandwich before setting off down Zeiningerstrasse. I cycled passed scenery you could only get in Switzerland, grass fields with sheep, goats and cows in them and the sound of cow bells.

Luzren

I cycled next to a motorway and through an industrial estate which was having a new road and pavement so had to get off the bike and walk through the road works, I passed a few classic cars, one from the Steve Mc Queen film bullet and the silver e type jag from James Bond, I regret not taking any photos. The houses were classic story book Swiss and once passed the road works it was a pleasure to cycle. I think if a pot hole develops in Switzerland there’s a man in a van that fixes it immediately with the precision of a watch maker.

I made it to Aarau a beautiful town which one day I’ll return to and stay for a while. I checked my tablet to see where the nearest campsite was, nothing for at least 10 km. The Swiss have everything down to a T where money is concerned, you have to spend it. If there are no campsite then you’ll be tempted to stay in a hotel that looks like it’s run by the Von Trapp family. It took me over 2 hours to get through Aarau and heading in the right direction. My navigation app showed that I would have to cycle through a forest which I didn’t want to do, so I ended up doing a big detour. I picked up the official Swiss cycle route which there are lots of and came across a huge hill, fantastic scenery but one hell of a push to the top. Turns out that I’m now 621m above sea level and in for one hell of a ride down the other side, in fact the road down was so long I stopped for tea halfway.

There was a small lay by with a water trough and a stone bench which looked more like a dry stone wall. I set my cooking gear up on top of it and cooked the Rosti and made coffee. The traffic was fairly busy with the odd gap of 6 or 7 minutes of nothing at all, a convoy of black sedans went past followed by a gap then 2 army trucks full of troops. Once I’d ate my Rosti I washed up and headed down the hill to the bottom. It was getting late around 8 ish and I hadn’t seen anywhere to sleep, I was following a tram track through a narrow valley with field on the side of the hills and perched on top surrounded by trees was a typical Swiss château, I stopped to take photos. At Teufenthal I either turned left and cycled for a further 28 km or on my right was a tram station. I went to look at the map on the tram station wall, I crossed the road and over the wooden boards between the track, there was a small hotel next to the station and I could hear people in the restaurant. I bought a coke from the vending machine and checked the map out, the trams went in my direction and there wasn’t any steps to contend with, I waited and watched a tram go in the opposite direction and there were no steps into the trams, I noticed they were made by Bombardier and looked the same as the trams back home. I decided to get a tram to the nearest campsite, I sat drinking my coke and waited for my tram to arrive.

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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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