We sadly bade farewell to Chamonix and our lovely view and set off, excited to see what Lauterbrunnen had to offer us.
Riding back up through the Col de Montets we breezed on through the unremarkable border into Switzerland and on to Martigny. We enjoyed the sweeping curves up into the hills and then the switchbacks as you descend down to the city, once again breathing in that wonderful smell that I couldn’t quite name (see last post).
To top it all, as we started to climb back up into the mountains, we were guided to a car train. It appears that there was no alternative route and the Lötschberg car train was the only way from Kandersteg to Goppenstein and obviously that meant a tunnel. A very long tunnel 🙁
After waiting 15 minutes, we were guided on to the motorcycle section. We were the only bike there so we had it all to ourselves. It was quite the palaver getting on with Iain being guided, BACKWARDS, through quite a small space, fully loaded, by someone who couldn’t speak an ounce of English! Of course, we got on eventually and settled in for the ride!
Emerging the other side into the bright sunshine, we cruised on through some beautiful Swiss countryside towards Lake Thun. The road then skirted around Lake Thun and onwards to Lauterbrunnen.
Arriving at our hotel and being shown our room, I was absolutely stunned to see that we had the most stunning view of Staubbach Falls, right outside our window. I could just relax on the balcony and watch this amazing waterfall cascade 297m out of the cliff face to the river flowing below – apparently, in high season, there are 72 waterfalls that flow out of the cliffs around Lauterbrunnen – just paradise for me 🙂
That night, we took a ride just down the road to the Jungfrau Campground where an Instagram contact of mine was staying. Super fun guy. We enjoyed a couple of beers with him and he took a couple of really good photos of us…and I don’t normally care very much for photos of us together. I always think we look too awkward!
The following day was another Instagram friend meet up. Andreas is a Swiss guy who, very coincidentally, used to actually own and run the hotel that were staying in in Lauterbrunnen, the Hotel Schützen! We met for coffee and then he guided us on the most amazing days ride, taking roads and going to areas that we really couldn’t have done on our own.
We started with a gentle run around beautiful Lake Thun with it’s sparkling blue waters and then started to climb up into the hills towards Geissbach Falls, where the Geissbach brook tumbles, in 14 stages, over a descent of 500m out of the high valleys of Faulhorn down to Lake Brienz.
After the obligatory photo stop, we rolled on back down before starting the incline back up again and towards Grimsel Pass. The intention had been to link up from Grimsel to Susten Pass, but both were still closed and awe could see why as we reached the historic Hotel Grimsel Hospiz that sits on the edge of Grimsel Lake, atop the Nollen Rock, at 1980m. High banks of snow banked each side of the road and the waters of the lake were still big frozen chunks of ice in many places!
After that we wound our way back down the mountain, took the other path around the lake, stopped for more coffee and finally headed back to our hotel. What an amazing days ride it had been. So much stunning and varying scenery…took me hours to download and edit the hundreds of pics/videos that I took!
That evening found us back down at the Jungfrau campground and enjoying dinner and beers with Sascha again – IG really is a cool way to make friends!
Walking back up to our room, of course, I had to stop and take MORE pictures of the spectacular Staubbach Falls – it’s all lit up at night and looks fabulous!
We chose to have a lazy start the next morning. No, not because of hangovers but it’s been pretty full on the past two weeks and sometimes I just need to breathe a bit!
After meeting up with Sascha again for a quick photo session (!) we took a quick trip to Trümmelbach Falls, the worlds only accessible underground glacier waterfalls. They are made accessible by a lift and a series of tunnels, gallery pathways, steps and platforms. They carry the melt waterfrom surrounding mountains down into the valley at a speed of up to 20,000 liters of water per second!
After a coffee to gather my senses, we decided that I would take a day off from riding and just get some “me time” to relax and chill while Iain headed out on his own to explore a bit. Bear in mind here, that I am the navigator normally. I gave him a quick lesson in how to use the GoPro and sent him off, hoping that he would eventually find his way back home…but only after I had had enough chill time!
Oh, get him…not only did he get back home but he had found his way all off to a completely different place than planned originally…because when he got to the place, there was an entrance fee! Bloody tight ass Geordie!! He was also over the moon that he had set the GoPro up on the bike to take some video (instead of the pics that I had shown him how to do). Only trouble is, his video is SIXTEEN minutes long…I shall not bore you with all of it, bless him 🙂
Our last night in Luaterbrunnen was chill but fun. We had a good dinner, during which a group of cows casually wandered on up the street (!) and then had a few beers before turning in, ready to wake up early and roll on to the next stop in this adventure 🙂
* a little trivia for you; apparently the cows all have assigned bells and if they are given the wrong bells to wear they will actually fight with the one wearing theirs!!
Follow our posts as we prepare for our 13 week tour of Europe that starts in May 2018!