I wanted to make a proper and long article about it, but I think it is useless as the photos will tell the story 🙂 Just a couple of words about the trip. It was tiring, it was physically a lot more challenging than the previous Dutch-Belgian trip but the places you see, the scenery you get is just incredible! It was great meeting up with Javi again and once again we proved that a new challenge could be done and who knows when is the next one going to take place.
It is hard to get an impression of a country in a couple of days, but Switzerland is a country that is worth being explored. We crossed the French and the German parts and in both places the people were extremely friendly and helpful (Honestly, not kidding) and it is strange to see how they greet you on the streets. It is a country that combines perfectly the modern cities with its rural, traditional areas. 5 minutes away from a city you will be standing next to old Swiss houses, decorated with flowers, where cattle grazes silently in a foggy morning. It somehow offered me the experience I had on my previous bike-trips back home, but don’t forget that it is a country touched by modernity. It is really hard to find truly remote and isolated places. There will always be high-ways, roads, railways or army bases not so far away.
Following the bike-lanes you will discover that it is not like Holland. Bike-lanes can vary from dirt-forest tracks, to proper bike-lanes to the edge of a national road. But still it is a country that can offer you incredible hospitality and scenery. Both of us were struck by the huge number of army bases in such a neutral country. Almost each city has an army airfield and it might sound strange but you will see tanks, helicopters and fighter jets all around Switzerland.
Couchsurfing in Switzerland is really reliable and we have to give a big thanks to hosts Denise in Friburg and Marco in Luzern. Hostels up in the mountains can be relatively cheap and you will probably find some great rooms at this time of the year.
Don’t forget that it is an expensive country and most of your money will go on supermarket food and train-tickets.
Overall it was an amazing trip. It wasn’t easy getting up in the morning, especially because it got dark after 5 p.m. so we always had to get up at 6 a.m. and depart at 7. The mornings were chilly (actually never forget gloves and warm clothes) but by the afternoon the weather was extremely pleasant. The smell of cows and goats will follow you all the way through and please stop at one of the rural houses and try out their milk or honey, because it is amazingly good. But enough of the words. Here is the trip in pictures and numbers.
Lausanne – Payerne – Fribourg – approx. 70 km – moderately difficult, lot of climbing when coming out of Lausanne, mostly hilly terrain afterwards. Bike-lanes can get confusing
Fribourg – Bern – Thun – Interlaken – approx. 105 km – quite easy terrain, not a lot of climbing, mostly hilly and flat terrain. In the background the Alps
Interlaken – Meiringen – Brünig Pass – Luzern – approx. 95 km – extremely difficult terrain, sometimes 20 % climbs but amazing scenery and plus a lot of downhill extreme dirt riding 😀
Luzern – Cham – Baar- Zurich – approx. 80 km – really easy terrain, only one bigger climb. Hilly landscape but take care because the bike-lanes are part of the extremely busy national roads
Last day in Zurich we enjoyed the company of a couple of liters of beer 😀 so we got on the train to Lausanne “slightly” tipsy and laughing like crazy people. At 4 a.m. I had to take the train to Geneva airport, I nearly missed my flight (they were already calling my name), I landed at 8 a.m. in Amsterdam and started working in Utrecht from 9.30 a.m. till 7 p.m. and arrived to Maastricht at 11 p.m….Now I’m sleeping all day long 😀