One week in September 2006 with a bike in the Swiss Alps.

From Andermatt to Chur with a detour of 8 Swiss passes = 460 km. 7781 elevator meters

The month August 2006 was one of the worst fore many years. Cold weather and much rain left little hope for a third bicycle tour this year. The weather forecasts of the first weekend in September promised however improvement. Sunday evening I packed my bags and Monday morning 10.15 a.m. I started cycling From Andermatt to Chur with a dertour.

The Oberalppass connects Central Switzerland with the canton Graubünden. It is only 11 km. to the top and a difference in height of 600 meters, with an upward gradient of Approx. 10%. Briefly before the summit I cycle through an avalanche gallery and on the right I see a Lake and the rails of the "Rhätische Bahn" (Glacier Express). From the top one can walk two-three-quarter-hour to get to the Toma Lake, source of the Rhine. It was the starting point of my Rhine journey to Holland, in July this year.

Acsent to the Pass Lukmanier

Gallerieand artifical lake Lukmanier

Review on the valley "Surselva" with ascent to the Lukmanier

After 4 km. downhill with hairpin curves I cycle through villages such as Rueras, Tujetsch, and Sedrun and Disentis. Here I prepare physically and mentally, for the ascent of the Lukmanier Pass.

Starting with 10% upward gradient, a few tunnels and right at the top a tunnel gallery of over half a kilometre, I reach the summit. Now I am glad to have an automatic light on my bike. The sunny weather helps me enjoy this day. Tired from the effort though a bit happy to be on the top of the mountain. Nevertheless my luggage is 20 Kilos.

From above (1915 M.) I cycle 17 km. 1100 meters downhill through the valley "Valle Santa Maria" to Olivone. Here the Blenio valley to Biasca begins.

IIn this gallery is the Lukmanier pass

The distance from Biasca to Bellinzona is only 17 km. and nearly flat. For the 3 castles, (Castelgrande, Montebello und Sasso Corbaro) and Tessin flair, I can recommend a visit.

To the San Bernardino Pass I have to go 1800 meter upward. Til Misox I manage the first part of 850 meter over a distance of 30 km. From there it takes on more the look of Pass-cycling with 12%. In the holiday place San Bernardino the motorway disappears into a tunnel. The advantage of a motorway close by, is that regional traffic quiets down.

On the Bernardino Pass, like most Passes, is a lake.

A look back at "Valle Mesolcina" from San Bernardino

Valle Mesolcina

Top of S.Bernardino

From the village Splügen to the Splügen Pass is 9 km. with difference in altitude of 650 meters.

From the campground, over the river Hinterrhein, under the motorway underpass, the climb is steep. I follow hairpin turns and sometimes between the trees of the forest I get a fantastic view back to the valley I just came from.

After a few km. it becomes flatter and the speed higher until the timberline. Then comes a section with many hairpin curves and upward gradients of over 10% I cycle along a restaurant and Swiss customs office. One km. to go and I reach the Summit with Italian-Swiss border.

It is over now with the beautiful road surface. Repaired and not repaired holes in the road, with many unlighted tunnel, galleries and tunnel galleries of up to half a km. The descent is very steep, in many hairpin turns the way leads along the left side of the slope 30 km down to Chiavenna.

A few km after the border, I drive along the "Lago di Montespluga". The artificial lake is nearly empty however a fantastic all around view. At the beginning and end of the lake are mountain villages, whose houses are built of natural stones.

In Ciavenna I drive past a gas station with indicating panel which shows that, at two p.m., the temperature is 30 degrees Celsius.

Review on Splügen. Before the summit, hairpin turns leads steeply upward


I get to the "Splügen Pass" and take time for a "break"

A beautiful all around view of the "Lago di Montespluga"

From Chiavenna to Maloja over a distance of 45 km.,I have to climb1500 meters. Up to the border in "Villa di Chiavenna" traffic is quite heavy. Fortunately it calms down from the Swiss border.

In Bondo the way goes through a tunnel which is closed for bikes. So I come to an age-old bridge and a lovely village.

4 km. before summit of the Bernardino 13 hairpin turns get me higher quickly, and soon I reach the summit. On top I get a retrospective view of the hairpin turns. In Maloja a shop assistant makes two rolls with cheese ready for me, a half litre of milk, a Yoghurt so I can continue, strengthened on my way.

I am on a high plateau and cycle along three dark-blue lakes, lush meadows, pines and larch forest. One month later the larch forests will discolour and a completely different picture will develop. At each lake I have to take a break to soak all this in. It is simply a wonderful panorama.

A wonderful blue lake, green meadows, pine and larch forests give a reassuring effect.

Short before the Pass in Maloja

Bridge in Bondo

Lake of St.Moritz

To climb the Berninapass is not very demanding but the view of the snow covered mountains and glaciers are scenic. Soon I reach the Mountain Lake, a long one which colour isn't blue but milky-green. Restaurant and a large parking lot let me know that I'm on the top.

After exactly three-and a-half kilometers downward, I take the left turn-off, direction Italy. 4 km. uphill and a few hairpins through the treeless landscape I am above on the "Forcola di Livigno", which is also the Italian-Swiss border.

Ascending the Valley for 14 Km. I reach the duty-free city of Livigno. From here one can turn to the right to Bormio, Umbrail or Stilfser Joch. But I cycle straight ahead through a gallery (protecting rockfalls) along an 8 km. long artificial lake. At the end of the Lake I have to wait 10 minutes at a traffic light for the oncoming traffic. A 5 Km. tunnel is only passable by single-lane.

In "Punt la Drossa" again I see daylight and get myself on my way to Ova spin, a climb which leads to Zernez.

Ascent to the Bernina Pass with Vadret da Morteratsch glacier in the foreground

A treeless, but fantastic landscape on the Berninapass.

To the right the way leads to Bormio, (Umbrail or Stilfserjoch) and straight ahead to Punt la Drossa (Ofenpass)

A treeless landscape to Livigno

a 8 km long artificial lake with gallery.

At the end of the artificial lake I cycle through a 5 km tunnel to Punt la Drossa.

I hardly notice the elevation difference (214 M. over 20 km.) from Zernez to La Punt. La Punt is the starting village to get over the Albulapass. 9 km. in hairpin curves with 12% ascent.

On top is a restaurant which is crowded with racing cyclist motorcycle driver and cars. The departure along the emerald-green Palpuognasee, Prada, Bergün to Filisur is probably one of the most beautiful of this route. Unfortunately road surface to Bergün is not in top shape; the advantage being I can't drive too fast so enjoy the landscape better.

In Filisur I meet three hunters (it is shooting season). They show me the place where the train comes out of a vertical cliff and over a high bridge cross the valley.

Via Alvaneu bath and Brienz I ride towards Lenzerheide.

S-chant in Engardin. The Inn already becomes a stately river.

La Punt, starting point to the Albulapass


Architecture of Graubünden in Bergün.

Albulapass with small lake in the foreground

Bridge for the "Rhätische Bahn" (train) in Filisur.

Hunting season began.

Brienz / Brinzauls

From Lenz, over Lenzerheide, Parpan, and Churwalden to Chur, is a very beautiful stretch. The way down is 950 meters in altitude, which explains that I'm in Chur at ten a.m. I take a stroll through the lovely town, have the last coffee as conclusion of this Journey and go to the station to travel home.

Exactly one week ago, about ten a.m., I started in Andermatt. It was a marvelous journey, over 460 kilometers, with a total difference in height of 7781 meters.

Review from Lenz

Between Lenzerheide und Valbella

Exact one week, 460 Km. 7781, difference in altitude, from Andermatt to Chur.


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