A 3 day trip through Emmental (Canton Bern C.H.)

The cycling track (counter clockwise)

The first moraine hill is surmounted. A view on Hallwilwersee, here in Mosen

Day 1: Bremgarten - Burgdorf 99,47 km: height; 994 m.
Stage; Bremgarten, Meisterschwanden, Beromünster, Sursee, Huttwil, Affoltern i.E. Lueg, Heimiswil, Burgdorf.

Sursee on the lake of Sempach.

First respite in Ettiswil

After Huttwil begins Emmental

The weather forecasts for the next few days are promising, that means, up and away for a spring tour.
Start at 8 o'clock in Bremgarten, direction Hallwilersee. Before my second climb to Beromünster, I take a break to enjoy the lake and the flowering meadows and make a picture for memory. After 5 hairpin curves and a height difference of 200 metres, I am at the top in Schwarzenbach. Now it is up and down with no more than 50 meters difference to Sursee on the lake of Sempach.
A nice town which first stone church was build around the year 1000. The city gives an impression of the Middle Ages and was at that time an important stage and a marketplace on the route to Italy via the Gotthard.
Although the restaurant terraces invite for a cup of coffee, I cycle along because it is still a bit too early for a break.
Passing Mauensee and Kottwil, in Ettiswil I find a peaceful place right next to the church, for picnic.

Smooth start to Emmental, here between Huttwil and Sumiswald.
It gets a little bit more hilly.

First rock walls.

I cycle up the river Luthern and in Huttwil I enter the canton of Bern. In Affoltern in Emmental I fill my water bottles again because now it gets steeper, the sun burns and I lose quite a lot of water.
When I arrive at the Lueg, I can get into the spirit of
Jeremias Gotthelf, (Priest of Lützelflüh 1797 - 1854) who describes the people of this region so well in his books. Owners of these farms must feel like small kings. There are no uniform small villages but hamlets for themselves, sometimes 3 to 5 buildings together.

Ascent to the Lueg

"Spicher" (small building to store food) To protect the food from mice, a "Spicher" is build on 4 rocks. Notice, right below on the photo)

Small hamlets scattered everywhere

A kingdom for its own

That steep is it here

A peaceful life

It is only a few km. down to Heimiswil i.E; my wives hometown, so now it is my hometown as well. Unfortunately, "the Leuen" (restaurant) is closed on Tuesday, there I would like to have a coffee. Instead I go to the cemetery to look which surnames are most written on the gravestones. In Switzerland you inherit your home town from your father, and he got it from his father etc. Previously, it was the home town which was responsibe for all his offspring, no matter where they lived. A community who got a destitute person could send him or her to his home-town.
Early afternoon, I arrive Burgdorf and without difficult I find the campground directly at the river Emme. After pitching the tent I go into town to see what has changed since I started working in Switzerland for the first time 49 years ago.

This arches are typical for house construction style in canton Bern

My home town

Burgdorf with its 3 rocks along the river Emme. The campground is located between these rocks and Emme

Day 2: Burgdorf - Schüpfheim 80,65 Km. height; 1031 m.

Stage; Burgdorf, Rüegsau-Schachen, Bigetal, Grosshöchstette, Oberdiessbach, Linden, Zilmatt, Schangnau, Schüpfheim.

In Rüegsau-schachen I turn off into the Bigetal

From Zilmatt to Siehen it is steep again.

Not only cows in Switzerland

The sun is already there but unfortunately not yet at my tent. The fly-sheet is soaked, mainly from the inside (condensation). I wrapped it just as it is, to let it dray at the next break.
In Rüegsau-schachen I turn right into the Bigetal. Via Konolfingen to Oberdiessbach it is without much effort, sometimes up and sometimes down. Then left to Linden from 600 to 915 metres, down to Zilmatt and up again to Siehen / Schallenberg at 1000 m. Here at the edge of a forest, it is time to take a breath and picnic.

Marbach = direction Entlebuch.

Church in Röthenbach

It looked like rain but it didn't

Without using the pedals I roar down to the bridge of the young river Emme in Schangnau. I remember that a few km. up the river it is the entering place where we used to start kayaking the river Emme.
After 10 km. ups and downs I come to the main road through the Entlebuch-valley. Another bit of cycling I arrive in Schüpfheim which has the only campground in this area. After a hot shower and pitching my tent I go to the restaurant next-door.

Day 3: Schüpfheim - Bremgarten 80.29 Km. height 151 m.

Stage; Wolhusen, Emmenbrücke, Inwil, Sins, Bremgarten.


The river "Kleine Emme" flows around the monastery.

The monastery is frequently visited by pilgrims of St. James. It lies on the route Einsiedeln-Berne.

Only 80 Km but the headwind is as strenuous as cycling up a mountain. Fortunately the sun shines bright, not much traffic and the last 40 km. are on cycle paths.

Back home in the Reussvalley