To avoid France’s heatwave, we’re taking our time through Switzerland (we’ve now been here so long it feels weird to talk about the heatwave that started a week ago!). The TET in Switzerland is all tarmac and only takes a few days to ride so our days have been filled with a bit of biking and much more holidaying.
Saturday 29th – exploring Meiringen
Thomas, who we met in Tajikistan back in 2016, came to meet us with his girlfriend. We visited Aare Gorge and Reichenbach Falls together. Perfect activities for a hot day as both are shaded and a nice chill is provided by the raging water.
We took the cable car and hiked to Trift Bridge in the morning. It’s a foot bridge over a huge valley and what’s left of a glacier.
Once back down to Gadmen it was time to hit the road. Sunday was full of leisure riders and drivers of all kinds of vehicles. So many motorbikers and cyclist out ‘doing the passes’. We could see why this road was so popular and why it forms part of the TET route.
At Susten Passhöhe, circa 2400mtrs we stopped for lunch, sat in a (cool!!) lay-by watching bikes go by. We couldn’t resist the trap of being groupies and also having a coffee in the restaurant at the top of the pass.
We weren’t really groupies mind. These roads are definitely made for sports and tourers, not old dirt bikes with knobbly tyres.
Our aim was to ride to a wild camping spot marked on the TET route however when we got there, as is always the case in Switzerland, we weren’t allowed on the road.
In this instance we could pay a toll to ride it but with no assurance our camp ground existed, we weren’t prepared to part with £14 for a 2km piece of gravel.
Slightly disappointed we had our rat pack dinner on the cliffside just below the track and made our way to Camping Andermatt for the evening.
Monday 1st July
We rode to Grimsel Pass and had lunch at altitude again. It’s amazing how much snow is still here!
We were super lucky because it looked like the rain was finally going to catch up with us (it didn’t)
We also booked a tour to see the Grimsel hydro power station. On arrival we realised we were the only people booked on and the guide only spoke German. Howard’s 6 months working in Gorlitz paid off as he became translator for 1.5 hours of hydro power and quartz conversation.
All the tunnels for the hydro works were blasted (not drilled). Work started here in 1973 and in 1974 they blasted through a vein of quartz. Authorities declared the site a national ‘monument’ and instructed the remaining quartz be protected. The remainder of the vein now sits behind glass viewing screens within the plant’s tunnels.
The pictures below are taken through the glass of the rock in their natural form.
Keen to see the highest peaks while we are here (we are very unlikely to come back to Switzerland), we branched off the TET at Brig to continue West to Camping Attermenzen just outside Zermatt for the night.