Monday, July 11, 2011

#389 . . . . . to Leysin in Switzerland

Stage 1 Amsterdam to Overberg 85km
Lots of flat and boring roads out of Amsterdam but as I got closer to Overberg managed to find some nice forest tracks. Stayed with Cora and Rob Barrel. Rob came and stayed at our house many years ago and so this time returned the favour :-)

Stage 2 Overberg to Orsoy 137km
Rob rode out with me on a day of intermitent showers - what the Irish might call a soft day. Left Rob and crossed into Germany arrived in good time at the hotel Hof Rhineau. The waiter there asked my why I hadn't finished my huge evening meal. I was able to reply, in German, Genug! - Enough!

Stage 3 Orsoy to Cologne 126km
Took a ferry across the Rhine and immediately got lost. now on first name terms with every sunday morning drunk in Duisberg. Definitely need a sat-nav.

Stage 4 Cologne to Kaisersesch 140km
Pulled a big thorn out of the back tyre, changed tube and set off down the Rhine bike path. Stopped once for Kafe und Kuchen, strange how little I'm eating.

Stage 5 Kaisersech to Birkenfeld 122km
Turned right and left the Rhine and went over to follow the Mosel. Nice riversidde path, less congested! My German is sufficient to find a room and order a meal. Prima!

Stage 6 Birkenfeld to Bitche 108km
Regen, Regen immer Regen. Wet, dryish then torrential rain. Crossed into France - it's Bastille Day. A la barricades, Citoyens! Arrived in Bitche looking like a drowned rat. Actually, life's not a bitche, it's a beach :-)

Stage 7 Bitche to Marckolsheim 137km
Downhill to Strasbourg then zoomed along beside the Canal Rhone au Rhin. Couldn't find a hotel but came up trumps with this nice B&B and a steakhouse next door.

Stage 8 Marckholsheim to Basle & Berne to Laupens 107km
To Basle along the flatest, straightest road known to man. Then by train to Bern. Got slightly lost coming out of Bern and noticed a Holiday Inn but taking my German phrase book out I telephoned a hotel in Laupen some 20k further down the road. Result! They understood me, I made the booking and a very nice hotel it turned out to be.

9 Laupens to Leysin 107km
Last stage and a pleasant ride with an excellent descent into Vervey, then through Montreux to Aigle. Stopped to help a cyclist who couldn't get his back wheel in. "eet iz zee first time in ten years this happened has" he told me. In Aigle caught the mountain train up to Leysin. I could have ridden up - but I didn't. Now four nights R&R in this Swiss house