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An exhilarating journey travelling through Switzerland

Embark on an exhilarating journey with Chris as he sets out from the UK, bound for the breathtaking landscapes of Switzerland. Join us as we follow Chris's adventures, traversing miles of open road and discovering the hidden gems that lie along the way. From quaint villages to majestic mountain passes, get ready to be inspired by the freedom of life on the road.

Part 1 - The journey

Journey was good and not so. OK until Reims then several heavy rain squalls towards Metz.Opted to track away from A4 towards Nancy on A31 to gain time. Went through the Tunnel Maurice-Lemaire, shown in road signs as the Colmar Tunnel, which is a former rail tunnel adapted to permit road traffic to drive between Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines (Haut-Rhin, Alsace) and Saint-Dié (Vosges, Lorraine), France, without needing to drive over the mountain pass. The tunnel is 6,950 m long, which till 2011 made it the longest road tunnel wholly within France. Adiona performed with excellence on her new wheels and tyres - very stable and sure footed in the wind and rain, low noise and good mpg. A great success 🙌🙌 Thank you Mikey, Lucy and Dave @Retrofitted.

Part 2 - Wirzweli to Stanserhorn

Left at 0910 to catch bus to Lucerne HB then train to Dallenwil. Uphill walk to the Dallenwil - Wirzweli cable car which is embedded in the heart of Switzerland, on a high plateau located in the Engelberg Valley. Hike began with a fairly long pull uphill on a wide track, progress not helped by need to retrace steps as I dropped my baseball cap when I took a photo 🤦‍♂️ Hike continued through forest to Gummenalp where some people were enjoying some lunch. No time to stop and enjoy the food! Onwards loosing some height before being made to increase, decrease and increase height again. An enjoyable section with lots great views. Then the challenge of Stanserhorn came which meant traversing a very steep, narrow, switchback and precipitous mountain trail over a rocky hillside with loose rocks underfoot. Required significant mental and physical effort to complete, with some via ferata sections. Not the place if it’s windy or you have vertigo! Finally, after concluding with two long flights of metal steps reached an easy path and up to the top (1,898m). YAY.

Part 4 - Rigi Kaltbad to Rigi Scheidegg via Rigi Rostock

This has got to be the best day hike EVER. Left at 0910 for #1 bus to Lucerne HB and caught the 3600 boat trip from Lucerne-Bahnhofquai at 1010 to Weggis. Then a long steps climb to Luftseilbahn Weggis - Rigi Kaltbad cable car and up to Rigi Kaltbad. Serious mountain trail climb (20%) followed, helped by Stations of the Cross along the way, (I hope the locals don’t have to carry a Cross on Good Friday?) to Rigi Rostock (1,650m), where the silence enveloped the spectacular views of Switzerland at its finest, causing a real pause for deep reflection. Then down to Rigi First before joining an old railway track, with amazing panoramic views, along towards Rigi Scheldegg, finishing with a cheeky muscle burning, stepped climb to the top. After more scenery absorbing reflection at Rigi Scheidegg (1,656m) and a visit to a lovely little church, 2564 cable car at 1535 down to Kräbel then 81 Cog Wheel train at 1550 down to Arth-Goldau RB.

Part 5 - Kriens to Grindelwald

On the road just after 1100 heading for Interlaken. Opted for the scenic route via Brienz and the northern shore of Brienzersee. Brienz itself was very characterful and very picturesque villages lined the road with lake to inside and sheer cliff face to the other. In the main, properties were mostly built from wood, which would have been in ample supply close by! Arrived Camping Gletscherdorf around 1330, check in and made camp on Stellplatz #62 next to the river. Met up and had chat with Mike (+ Mrs) from Isle of Man in big Motorhome on Stellplatz #63. They spend around 6 months of the year travelling. Had done Wild Atlantic Way (same here) also Norway via Sweden and Finland. Got some good tips. Chatted to Reception and was able to transfer to Stellplatz #6, close to facilities. Grass pitch and much better than #62. Chicken legs, potatoes and mushrooms for dinner BBQ’d on CADAC. Tasty with leftovers for lunch on hike tomorrow.

To be continued . . . .

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