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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Day 15: Goschenen to Meiringen

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Having failed to eat at the Lammi Restaurant twice on this trip, I was determined not to make Lammi the lunch spot today. We got up early, had a hearty breakfast, packed our bags, and rolled down the hill to Wassen (930m) where the climb to Sustens Pass (2224m) began. The descent to Wassen was fast, hitting speeds in excess of 45mph.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

Sustens pass is the classic Swiss-engineered climb. It has a consistent 8-10% grade throughout its 21km or so, and many consider it boring because you can see the summit from a long way, which makes the gradual approach on the climb an exercise in frustration. On the single bike I had never felt this frustration, because I always moved fast enough to keep boredom at bay. On the tandem, however, it felt like a long grind and I started to understand how others frequently felt. It took us well over 3 hours to make the summit, but we made the summit by 12:30pm.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

After a quick picture at the summit lake we descended Sustens pass. Since we were in a hurry to make the Lammi restaurant before lunch hour was up, we minimized shooting pictures, videos or anything that would slow us down. In fact, after the first set of tunnels and hair pins I over took a white car!
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

Sustens pass is spectacular. You get series of tunnels, wide turns, sharp hairpins, waterfalls spraying you as you enter the tunnels, and dramatic, glorious scenery all around you. It is also a very fast descent, and a long one. It took us no less than 45 minutes to make it from top to bottom, and that was with only one stop to wait for Phil who was stuck behind the white car.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

Lisa's bike computer read 129kph, while mine read around 79kph. I was delighted, but really should have been skeptical about the 129kph number. That did seem a bit high, and could easily have been caused by the many tunnels we traversed on the descents. We made the Lammi restaurant, and the Bratwurst with noodles was as good as I remembered it. This was the Bratwurst that made all the other sausages I ever had in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland seem sad.

We were in Meiringen Valley 2 days ahead of when we were due at Rosenlaui. We could stay in Meiringen, but I proposed that we would have been better of taking the train to Grindelwald and hiking for 2 days and then riding over to Rosenlaui via Grosse Scheidegg. Both Phil and Lisa were receptive, so we headed down to the Meiringen train station and bought train tickets what seemed like an incredibly expensive set of train tickets.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

It poured as I was in the Grindelwald tourist information center getting housing. All the holiday apartments were taken, and the one place that was available did not answer the phone, so we ended up looking at hotels. Hotel Alpenblick offered us a private room for an exceedingly good price, provided that we stayed Saturday night in shared accommodations. The price was so good that it more than offset the price of the train tickets we had just taken from Meiringen, so we took the offer.

Phil volunteered to ride out in the rain to pick up the room, and Lisa and I waited for the rain to dissipate a bit before making the hotel. After we settled in, the rain storm petered out. We went to town to buy shampoo, shower gel, and dinner. After dinner we discovered to our surprise that the Mont-Bell store was open, and there Phil found a pair of hiking shoes that fit him. They were 120CHF, but I pointed out that if he hiked for 4 days in them, that was like paying 30CHF per day in rent for those shoes, and he would have these really good shoes to bring back with him to Munich. He bought the shoes.


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