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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Day 20: Meiringen to Rapperswil

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We got up at 5:30am and were packed by 6:00. By 7:00am, we had the bikes out of storage and mounted and ready to go. When Andreas saw me he said, "When's your train?" "8:45am" "It'll take you all of 20 minutes to get there.." "But I need to buy train tickets too." "Oh, in that case, we'll have breakfast early for you." By 7:15, breakfast was ready and we were chomping away at it, appreciating the extra time Andreas had made for us.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

When it came time to settle up accounts, we paid with a combination of our Swiss Francs and Euros, since everyone other than I wanted to get rid of their Swiss Francs. I saved just enough for the train ticket to Luzern.

We descended to the intersection with the Lammi restaurant quickly, stopping only once to let the post bus by. At the intersection, a cyclist who was waiting at the intersection looked up at us, saw me, and said, "I read your blog on the internet." "What's your name?" "Sean" "Send me e-mail." "I will!" The funny thing is that I met Jobst Brandt at the very same intersection in 2005 as well, so I guess this really is the corner where cyclists meet.

At the Meiringen station, the ticket machines were busy, but I finally bought my train ticket, and we loaded up on to the train when it arrived under cloudy skies. Upon arrival in Luzern, we said good-bye to everyone else, and then proceeded onto the remaining part of the trip. My plan was still to make it to Austria to ride the Grossglockner highway, something that had eluded me for years due to bad weather. Now, the easiest way to do this was to take the train from Switzerland, but that would be extremely expensive. The cheap way to do this was to ride our bike to the German border, board the train there using the Bayern ticket, which for 32.50 EUR would take us all the way to Salzburg, where we could head south along my original intended route. This had the additional advantage that we'd see parts of Switzerland I had never seen before.

We arrived in Luzern under cloudy skies with a few rain drops. After exploring the town for a bit and finding nothing we wanted, we headed out towards Adligenswil after eating a supermarket lunch. The climb away from the lake didn't take very long, and soon we were descending towards Arth and Immensee. This was a lake I had never seen before, and the bike path along it was very pretty.

Past Arth, we followed signs to Sattel, which granted us nice views of the Lauerzersee from up high. As we climbed up to Sattel we saw another tandem couple come down the hill with panniers, the only other tandem cycle tourists we would see for the entire trip.

At Sattel, we had a choice, to visit Agerisee, which I had seen in 2005, or take the most direct route towards Zurichsee along the national route. Lisa wanted the direct route along highway 8, which had a bike lane. The road was busy, and not too interesting until we approached Pfaiffikon, where the road suddenly dove towards the Zurichsee in a series of sweeping turns down to the lake shore.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

Pfaiffikon didn't look interesting, but there was a long bridge across to Rapperswil that I wanted to ride across to, and ride across we did, arriving at the scenic town of Jona on the other side. A visit to the tourist information office revealed that all the hotels were booked up, but the youth hostel was available. It was the most expensive youth hostel I had ever stayed at, and was a little out of the way, but the town looked interesting so we took it.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

We had dinner by the lake, did some grocery shopping, and walked around town after a quick stop at the hostel to drop off our stuff. Sunset was glorious, and it felt good to be riding again after 4 days of hiking.


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