Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 2nd: Rosenlaui to Handegg

We woke up in the morning to gloomy skies, confirming the decision yesterday to not rush the day. With that in mind, Arturo and Hina went to the Rosenlaui schlutz after breakfast, reporting that it was indeed wilder and more natural than the Aare schlutz visited 2 days ago. After that, we headed down to Meiringen to see the Sherlock Holmes museum and for Hina and Arturo to mail stuff. The activities of the past 2 days along with the weather had convinced Hina that her summer dresses were superfluous, as well as various heavy electronics. I had failed to convince her that she did not need both her Kindle and her iPad, however. Arturo mailed off his old jacket now that he had a spiffy new one.

The Sherlock Holmes museum wasn't open until after 1:30pm, so we decided to skip it for this tour and headed up the Kirchet pass to eat at the Lammi restaurant. Unfortunately, the owners of the Lammi had decided to close for the day until 4:30pm, so we were out of luck there as well. Instead, we rolled down to the hotel Alpina at the foot of the Grimsel pass and had lunch before heading up the pass.

At Gutannen, we stopped at the grocery store for some bananas, chocolate, and some rest. "For some reason this climb feels much harder than the previous couple of days!" said Arturo. "That's because you're carrying  a load today and you were riding unloaded yesterday!" "Oh, that makes sense!" A group of Koreans came down the mountain on the cleanest mountain bikes I'd ever seen, indicating that their bikes had seen less dirt riding than our road bikes had. One of them dropped by Arturo's bike and played with his GPS before Arturo could stop him, screwing up Arturo's settings for a while, though not actually causing him to lose data.

As we rode up the mountain the clouds got lower and lower and the light sprinkles became more and more substantial, until at the hotel Handegg, we could see the fog and rain up ahead, causing us to stop for the night. At the hotel lobby my heart sank when I saw that they were hosting a conference, but it turned out that the conference wasn't big enough to occupy the entire hotel, and there was plenty of room for us.

I'd last stayed at the hotel on my first trip to the alps in 2003. Back then, we didn't have time to explore the facilities, but this time not only were the prices comparatively lower, we had time to visit the spa, sit in the hot tub, and try the sauna. Since Handegg had wifi, I could also call home and make sure that all was well. The food was comparatively good, though not stunning like Andrea's cooking. I told Arturo and Hina to keep their expectations low for the rest of the trip, since not everything could be like Rosenlaui, though Handegg was pretty good, and better than I remembered.

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