Ok, so a quick summary of cycling through Switzerland goes something like this:
Up a hill, down a hill, along a valley, hang a right into another valley, hit the lake, follow it to the most northerly point, hang another right and cycle till you hit France, that’s basically it!
Ok, so the hill is actually the Alps, the valley is the spectacular Rhone, the Lake is Lac Leman or Lake Geneva as it’s more commonly known, the northerly point is the city of Lausanne and the route north west into France goes over the Jura mountain range.
We cycled into Switzerland from Italy over the Simplon Pass, cranking out 170kms over the Alps in 2 days and wrote about this in the last blog. After a huge downhill blast to Brig we carried on down the Rhone Valley to Martigny before heading right towards Lake Geneva. We stopped off in Lavey Village for the night to rest the weary legs and enjoy some Fondue. The next morning we passed the town of Aigle where we had been a few months earlier on route to Chatel for a snowboarding trip. Aigle is the nearest train station to the awesome resort which is part of the Port de Soleil mountain region. It was funny to see it in the summer and you really do get a different feel for places when you cycle through them.
The next day we cycled on some great roads, many with cycle lanes at the side and smashed the clicks (km’s) on route to the beautiful Lake Geneva. We decided to take the path that follows the Lake around, through Montreux which was buzzing with locals and tourists alike enjoying the vibrant surroundings of the city and views across the lake towards the Alps. There aren’t many more beautiful spots in the world, that’s for sure!
We stopped off in the town of Cully to have a wine on the shore of Lake Geneva (be rude not too!) and we enjoyed the moment before heading on Lausanne and uphill once again! The heat was verging on unbearable and we learned afterwards that the region was having one of hottest spells of weather in years, which of course we could vouch for! The Camelbaks were coming into their own and we drunk 8 liitres of water during the day before we came to a stop 110km’s later at the picturesque town of Orbe, not far from the French border. Rolling into the town I spotted two signs that screamed out to stop … pizza and Kronenbourg! We settled for pasta, a tasty Arribiata washed down with a couple of large ales. Funny how food always tastes better after a tough day.
Switzerland was fun to cycle through, there was never any moment when you couldn’t look up and be blown away by the scenery. The drivers, especially between Brig & Sierre, were the worst we’ve experienced on the entire trip so far. One truck pulled right out in front of me causing me to hammer on the brakes and swerve to miss him. As I passed by he signalled rather inpolitely with his middle finger. I responded with some choice words and left him in no uncertain terms that his driving was not of a good standard! Enough said. That whole section of road had many drivers cut in close to us when there was plenty room and it seems to just be the way there. We followed the Rhone and cycled off the main roads for a chunk of the journey. By the time we hit Lavey the roads and the driving had improved a lot!
The Alps were the main memory for us though, 40 km of non stop climbing is hard to forget! Switzerland hadn’t quite finished with us though and the route out from Orbe into France had a cheeky 1000 metre climb over the Jura mountains waiting for us! Over 300km’s later we hit the border and rode into France however that is another blog of the Ae7 Milan to Glasgow road trip.