Monday, July 28, 2014

June 30th: Rosenlaui


I'd originally intended for 3 nights in Rosenlaui to enable some hiking as a break from cycling there. Air Canada had derailed those plans, leading me to want to use these nights at Rosenlaui to launch some bike rides. Secondarily, for whatever reason, the bike box did not contain the fenders I thought I'd packed in Sunnyvale, so I thought I'd use the bike ride to Grindelwald to get some fenders at a bike shop I knew there. Furthermore, Hina was missing long fingered gloves, and Arturo's jacket was so well-used that it was no longer waterproof, and both would benefit from a visit to Grindelwald.

From Tour of the Alps 2014
The bike ride over Grosse Scheidegg to Grindelwald is world famous for many reasons. First of all, it is gorgeous, even in the conditions we did it in. At the top on a clear day you would get superlative views of the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau. Secondarily, just up the road from Rosenlaui, the road becomes car-free, with only the post-bus and residents allowed to drive up the road and down the other side into Grindelwald. Finally, it is a relatively steep grade, though with unloaded bike not much of a challenge. We heard ice fall on the climb, which was surprising to me, as I'd previously only heard it on warm summer afternoons.

Unfortunately, views of the mountains were not to be had at the summit, as a low fog came in and we had rain. It was so cold that I ran into the restaurant at the top to put on my clothes and have a hot chocolate. The following chilly descent convinced Hina that the long fingered gloves she bought in Zurich were worth the exorbitant Swiss prices.

In Grindelwald, I bought a rear fender for my bike from a shop that serviced mountain bikes, while Arturo had his rear derailleur cable capped for free at the same shop. Hina bought some glove liners for her long fingered gloves. Arturo bought some long-fingered bike gloves, and then I took him to the Mont-Bell store where he tried on the same wind/rain jacket that Cynthia bought in the 2010 tour. He loved it, and bought it, while telling me, "Piaw, you're an evil evil salesperson, and you don't even work at the store!"

We zipped down to Interlaken on the fast descent, ignoring the side-trip to Lauterbrunnen valley, and arrived at the Interlaken Ost train station just as the sun was coming out. The huge Coop supermarket there had a dining area with hot food, so we ate a quick lunch before proceeding towards Isetwald in search of the bike path over to Meiringen. 
From Tour of the Alps 2014

I hadn't done the bike path for 7 years, having in recent years taken the route on the paved road along the Brienzersee instead, or eschewing the ride altogether. But I had fond memories of the ride from before, and the dirt path had several attractions that made up for the slower going than the paved road, not least of which was the Gleissbach falls.

The adventure was fun and lots of stops were made, but by the time we got back to Meiringen it was quite late and we had to choose between the Sherlock Holmes museum and Reichenbach falls. We chose the Reichenbach falls since we were sure we would take the post bus up to Rosenlaui the next day, and the most convenient way to see the falls was by bicycle. It had been sunny all the way to Meiringen but by the time we made it to Meiringen we were feeling the occasional drop of rain. The fun thing about traveling with Arturo is that he's very good at spotting hidden Swiss military emplacements, including pill boxes, hidden hangers, and other such devices. All through the trip he would point them out to us. It's amazing what a wealthy country manages to do when it decides that military installations like those are a major priority. Somewhere there's a mountain with launch hangers that wouldn't be out of place in a SHIELD story. After a grand tour of the military installations of Meiringen, we made a quick visit to the Reichenbach falls, which featured beautiful views of Meiringen valley.
From Tour of the Alps 2014

We returned to Rosenlaui valley to find that yes there was a short period during which there was sun in the valley, and Amy had taken advantage of that to do the Hornseeli route, which had all the features I described from my 2008 visit. She enjoyed it and I was glad that she got in a good day of hiking despite the awful fog and rain we had experienced at the top of Grosse Scheidegg. We ate well and took a short evening walk before turning in for what was supposed to be a beautiful day tomorrow.
From Tour of the Alps 2014
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