Sunday, August 03, 2014

July 5th: Filisur to Il Fourn


From Tour of the Alps 2014
The next morning saw overcast skies but dry roads, so no thoughts were given at all to the train station as we headed down back to the Albulapass road. The road to Bergun, which had been my goal the day before rose up through several gorges, and was as pretty a climb as any. We wouldn't have made it to Bergun without riding into a heavy rain, so it was a good thing we'd stopped in Filisur.
From Tour of the Alps 2014

Bergun was as pretty as I remembered, a little town with water fountains, restaurants, and a cobblestone center. We were too early for meals, so after shopping at the local supermarket for our staples, we continued riding up the mountain. Albula pass spans a National Park, so as we climbed past the Glacier Express train line where it entered the tunnel, the area bore less and less sign of civilization. The sun started peaking in through the clouds, lifting our spirits, and giving the scenery by the road a magical light.
From Tour of the Alps 2014

By noon, I'd gotten confident about the weather, and we stopped to book a room at Il Fourn, the National Park hotel near Offenpass I'd passed up several times in previous tours but had always thought would be a good stop. On a weekday, I'd wait until we'd ridden to it and then check if it had rooms, but on a Saturday, a reservation would give us more confidence and also had the benefit of allowing us to ride longer. They only had a 3 person room without an en suite bathroom, but we were all ok with having to use corridor bathrooms and showers, so we confirmed the reservation. We told them that we'd be arriving by bicycle and gave them a conservative arrival time of 6:00pm.
From Tour of the Alps 2014

Albulapass' summit and descent were easy, especially since while the top of Albulapass was 2315m, the button of it was nearly 1700m, meaning that the elevation loss was minimal. It was nevertheless a fun descent, with long sightlines, no blind corners, and relatively little traffic despite the weekend. Once in LaPunt, we filled up our water bottles and rolled down towards Zernez on the main road, once again eschewing the bike path in exchange for speed. On the road, we felt many rain drops, but it never actually rained even as we entered Zernez after a series of quick descents along the road.
From Tour of the Alps 2014

A quick stop at the Coop supermarket for another supermarket lunch followed, and it was finally warm enough for ice cream. Arturo noted that while Zernez was at 1400m, Il Fourn was at 1800m, which meant a short 400m climb. I smiled but didn't tell him about the retro-grade after Ova Spin. The climb was steep and reached 1800m quickly at the Ova Spin bus stop, but then immediately dropped 200m to meet with the Livigno tunnel intersection before climbing again to Il Fourn, so when Arturo got to that intersection where I was waiting, he said, "You knew about this, right?" I nodded. This retro-grade is rarely marked on maps, as motorcyclists and car drivers would barely have noticed.
From Tour of the Alps 2014
Regardless of the terrain, we arrived at Il Fourn at 5:00pm amidst sunshine, causing the check-in reservation agent to comment that we must have been furiously pedaling to get there. The price of lodging was fair but apparently they didn't serve half pension for short stays, so we were forced to dine using the a la carte menu, which was outrageously priced. Nevertheless, the reappearance of the sun put us in such good spirits that we went for a longish hike after dinner to explore the park further, taking advantage of the long summer days.

Previous

Post a Comment