Thursday, 21 July 2016

Day48: Klausenpass to Andermatt, Switzerland.

The sun is up
Breakfast is served,
Orlanda is packed,
Let's ride some more mountain passes. 

First we descend the winding roads of Klausen Pass to the mid alp and to the lower alp and to the valley floor near Fluelen,
Then up Susten pass where there is snow along the road side.
The altitude is 2224m or 7,296'
Talking with other bikers over coffee and then off we go.

A ride along the valley floor to a discrete, almost hidden, entry to the road to Engstlnalp.
We wend our way up the narrow 
Switch backs to the valley at the middle alp.
A barrier across the road opens with the payment of 4CHF
We follow the stream up the valley and ascend to the upper alp and...
There in her pink and turquoise glory is the Engstlnalp hotel.
We have stayed there on two occasions- on our own walking expedition across the alps and also with an International group from Outward Bound that Dick organised.
Same warm welcome.
The cows are up here this time.
I have videoed them eating and their cowbells clanging ever so sweetly.
This time we have lunch and make our way down the hills which are alive with goat and cow bell music.

Grimsel pass is next.
7,100' Grimsel pass crosses the continental divide between the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
The pass connects the upper valley of the river Aare (a tributary of the Rhine> with the upper valley of the Rhône.
This is a 
Breathtaking ride
I realise that excitement is a better word to use than fear.
So I say to myself, I am excited to be doing this.
I am.

Next the Furkan pass.
We stop at the Belvedere and meet other riders,
We are thirsty.
We have a large bottle of Rivella to drink. 
Rivella is a Swiss drink made from milk whey.
We are warm
It is around 30degC.
We remove a couple of layers and open all the vents in our jackets - for the first time on this trip.

Down the switch backs, along the valley floor to Andermatt.
We have had a few longish days,
So we stop early at 3.30pm.
Time to give my driver a rest.
Time to wash our clothes,
Time to savour the day.



These walking signs are commonplace.
They are easy to follow,
White and red markers are painted on rocks along the way marking the routes.










Down Grimsel alp and the ascending road to Furkan  pass.

The Belvedere where we met Tineke and Erwin from the Netherlands.


The Glacier Exoress arrives at the Andermatt station at the same time as we do.

Lovely field greens salad. More tender than spinach an a mild flavour enlivened with olive oil and balsamic.

Schweinshaxe - pork knuckle for him.

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