Aachen – Andermatt, 2000

In 2000 what was meant to be a bike trip to visit Irene in Zürich turned out to be the start of a cycle trip that took me from Aachen to Sicily over 4 years. Stage 1 in 2000 was from Aachen to Andermatt: a little village in Switzerland just before the Gottard pass over the alps.

I tried to follow the route described in Benjaminse ‘Onbegrensd fietsen’ for which the first book had just been released (from Holland to Trier). Without the help of modern day GPS, I did lose my way a bit. I also have a terrible sense of direction. 🙂 It was a lovely route, though. After reaching the german/french/luxemburg border, I cut across France to follow the Rhein from Straßburg. Once in Switzerland I followed the ‘Veloland’ Route number 3 from Basel to Chiaso. The Veloland bike network in Switzerland is brilliant: well signposted lovely roads with little traffic and beautiful scenery.

A highlight was cycling through the Eiffel south of Aachen through green, lush forests and along the Kyll River, followed by the beautiful Mosel River. The Rhein River is lovely to cycle along: at least on the German side. There is a lovely peaceful bike path that lets you soak up the beautiful nature around you. The French side is along a busy road that you share with cars and noisy trucks. Switzerland is just beautiful with picture postcard views at every turn. Cycling up into the alps made me feel I have achieved something. High, snow capped mountains felt very distant to the flatness I was used to in the Netherlands. I had come a long way. The Gottard Pass over the alps was closed, and it was time to return home. The trip was continued in 2001.

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