Spring Tour 28 May to 2 June 2017 through the Emmental and Gantrisch area.

Day 1 Sunday 28 May 2017 ........................................................................Bremgarten - Schüpfheim
83.40 km

Bremgarten, Sins, to the Reuss near Gisikon, National-Route 9 to Lucerne, Littau, Wolhusen, Entlebuch, Schüpfheim.

The small Emme can look quite different when it has rained

Former monastery Werthenstein

A peaceful landscape

The way until Emmenbrücke is known to me and with such nice weather it is a pleasure to cycle, (30°).
In Emmenbrücke the small river Emme flows into the Reuss which I have to follow to enter the valley Entlebuch. Here I turn on my bike-GPS, to reach my goal.
After about 40 km I notice a slight ache in my leg muscles.
I immediately remember that I forgot my magnesium tablets. Hope I find a pharmacy open in Wolhusen as today is Sunday.
I cycle past the former monastery Werthenstein with a pilgrimage church. It is located directly on the river Kleine Emme.

Arrived at the valley Entlebuch

I like this landscape

As I feared the pharmacy is closed, the next one is in Lucerne. Wolhusen has a hospital, there I could try it. Unfortunately, they are not allowed to hand out any medication, rather be in line with the regulation than caring about others unfortunate situation. I calculate how long I can cycle with maximum battery support and how often I have to take a break. I'll make it, but be a bit afraid of the coming night.
Arriving at the campsite in Schüpfheim, I find a pleasant place to pitch my tent and next door is a restaurant. I do not know what is greater, thirst or hunger. When I leave the restaurant, everything is back in balance, thirst and hunger quenched, report written and the way for tomorrow noted down.

Now nice flat but tomorrow it looks different

Day 2 Monday 29 May 2017. .....................................................................Schüpfheim - Burgistein
Time 4:37
Height 1133 meter

Schüpfheim, Wiggen, Schongau, Schallenberg, Heimberg, Seftigen, Burgistein.

Marbach has its own ski jumping hill

Now I cycle a little through the Emmental

On the way to Schangnau

First I cycle back to town to buy magnesium. I immediately take 400 mg. and then in the afternoon I repeat the dosage.
It is again over 30° and the terrain is very hilly so that sweating is preprogrammed.
In Wiggen I turn left direction Schallenberg Pass.
I have read an article that in Schangnau some farmers have moved from cows on to water buffaloes and I would like to learn a bit more about it. The farmer started with water buffaloes 20 years ago.
From a local, I hear where the farmer is.
Down the Emme, up through the woods and then I'll find the farm she says. In fact, I find it, be greeted kindly, and the farmer shows me the stable with water buffalos. It is too hot for the animals to graze.
I tell her that I saw last week at Migros Mozzarella from Schangnau. That's true, she says, Coop is also a good buyer of buffalo products. There are already over 100 water buffaloes in Schangnau and they do not regret the change.

Farmhouse of Hans Bieri who started 20 years ago with the buffalo breed

The buffalo herd is with this heat in the barn

< Over this bridge you get to the buffaloes

Instead of cows you can see buffaloes here

The off spring

Now I'm going down to Rebloch

Here you can start kayaking. After a few meters you get to the most narrow point

The Rebloch is so tight that you have to keep the paddle lengthway

Now comes the small pass "Schallenberg"

After a small coffee break I will visit the Räbloch. The Räbloch is a bottleneck of the river Emme and for kayaks the entrance to the Emme. It is such a narrow place that you can hold your paddle only lengthways through this place. After a few kilometers, I see the place where I drove years ago with my colleagues from the kayak club.
The Schallenberg Pass is only about 250 meters, but Heimberg on the other side is 600 meters down. Here I have lunch and buy food and beverage for tonight.
One kilometer after Seftingen begins a narrow but paved road up to Burgistein. It is so steep that the battery is almost empty when I reach the campsite.
The view from up here is fantastic.

On the left I cycle up to Schallenbergpass

Left Schallenberg, right plainland of the Aare river near Seftigen, with a view of Niesen and Stockhorn.

At Unterlangenegg and Föhri

Day 3 Tuesday May 30, 2017 ...............................................................................Burgistein shiffingen
62.50 km
Height 1093
Time 4:10

Burgistein, Gurnigel, Zollhaus, Plaffeien, Giffers, Freiburg, Schiffenen.


Restaurant Gurnigelbad

10 km up with 17% uphill to Gurnigel

View from the Gurnigel

Gantrisch hut. I have lunch here

The descent along the cold river Sense

From 800 altitudes in Burgistein up to the Gurnigel-Pass (1600 m.) is not so much, but the slope and the length are considerable: 17% over about 10 kilometers.
Now I have to divide well, so that I reach the top with my strength and that of the battery. After losing many drops of sweat, I reach the top.
The Gurnigel-Berghaus is closed. A little further the Stierenhütte is shut down. Fortunately, the lower Gantrisch Hut, after 1 km further down, is open.
I take lunch and recharge the almost empty battery again. After lunch the battery is half full again. In addition, I use the recuperation brake whenever possible.


From the left comes the warm Sense. From the right he cold Sense


Newly renovated church of Plaffeien

The city of Freiburg

The river Saane has dug a deep ravine with various turns

From Gurnigel-Pass I follow the river Cold-Sense to Zollhaus. Here comes the Warm-Sense from the left. The name "warm Sense" probably comes from the fact that it comes from Lake Schwarzsee, 7 km away where the water could warm up.
In Plaffeien I leave the Sense and go via Plasselb and Giffers to the capital-city of Canton Freiburg.
I do a sightseeing tour through this magnificent old town and of course I take some photos.
The river Saane (outflow from the Lac de la Gruyère) winds itself in a deep canyon with many curves through the city.
Over the Poyabrücke (build 2008 to 2014) I cycle again to the right bank of the river. The generously designed bike path impressed me enormously, finally, architects who think ahead.
I go via Düdingen to the campsite in Schiffenensee (stowed river Saane) there I set up my tent for the coming night.

The Poyabridge is the new landmark of Freiburg. A well-protected cycle track runs next door.

Small chapel in St. Wolfgang


Schiffenensee in the evening

Day 4 Wednesday 31 May 2017 .....................................................................Shiffenen - Burgdorf
Height 748 meters
Time 4:31

Düdingen, Tafers, Schwarzenburg, Riggisberg, Belp, Worb, Krauchtal, Burgdorf.

Gantrisch region

Lindenbach at Rohrbach

Sheep farm

Lunch break in Riggisberg

Castle in Belp

Over to the other side of the Aare

Last night the sky in the east was very dark, thunder and lightning every few minutes, very nice to watch.
My tent is now very dry, even the morning dew is missing.
I cycle via Düdingen and Tafers direction national park Gantrisch.
On the way I buy something for intermediate meals and coffee breaks.
After Heitenried it goes in many curves to the Sense-Ditch and then just as curvy up to Schwarzenburg. I sit down on a bench next to a well, make an instant soup and coffee, and let the sun dry my sweat. Via Riggisberg I want to go to Gerzensee and to the other side of the Aare.


Boll, entrance to the Lindental


Thorberg, Bern prison for heavy criminals in Krauchthal

The roof protrudes very far over the house. Very well protected for the rain but dark inside

Castle in Burgdorf

Suddenly I see a blackboard with Toffen. A moment of distraction and I missed a turn-off.
In Belp there is also a bridge to the other side of the Aare.
Via Worb and Boll I cycle through the valley Lindental to Burgdorf, where, in 1959, I found my first job in Switzerland.
When I set up my tent, I go to the city to bring up memories of that time.
On the campsite I see a man with wooden shoes. Of course it is a Dutchman who has been living in Switzerland for 45 years. Now another cyclist comes. He is from Herenveen (province of Friesland). We sit together in the living room and there is a lot to talk about with a few glasses of beer. Luckily, one knows perfect Dutch, because the one with the wooden shoes and I have occasional word-finding problems.
It turns out that it rained here last night terribly. All the tents, which stood in the lower part of the square, had to be evacuated one step higher. We set our tent a little higher from the beginning.

Day 5 Thursday 01 June 2017 .........................................................................Burgdorf - Bremgarten
Time 5:00
Height 967 meters

Burgdorf, Heimiswil, Lueg, Langnau i.E, Huttwil, Sursee, Mosen, Wohlen, Bremgarten.

I'm glad it rained last night. It is one reason why this spring tour was on my program: I have a new tent (an English one, Vango 200) I was curious how it behaves in a real thunderstorm. My new tent has passed his baptism with flying colors.
I pack it all wet, because tonight I'll be back home.

Heimiswil in Emmental.

Residential building in Heimiswil.

In the early morning it is still a bit hazy, but it is again a nice day to be.

View from the Lueg.

Hilly Emmental.

Lueg with monument.

I'm going to Lueg (viewpoint). After 4 km on the way there, I come through Heimiswil. Many years ago I became a citizen by marriage. My wife's hometown is Heimiswil, so it is now my hometown too.
I cycle to the cemetery to see if there are still some graves with the name Ramseyer to be found?
Here I meet the cemetery gardener. The graves are removed after 25 to 30 years. Of course he would like to know what I am looking for in the early morning at the cemetery. He can not tell me much about Ramseyers, but he knows about the weather. This does not look good, this mist in the early morning, that means rain. I do not find it surprising that the mountains are covered with fog after such a rainy night.
From the Lueg you have a great view apart from the fact that some mountains disappear in the fog. But the sun shines now and then. So I have hope for today.

Between the Lueg

and Affoltern in Emmental.

Exhibition of chees in Affoltern.

Affoltern - Sursee

E-bikes "Flyer" are produced here


After a couple of kilometers, I pass a cheese exhibition in Affoltern. Besides a lot of cheese they also have WiFi.
Before I continue, I have a Look on my tablet and send a mail to my wife that I'll be back home tonight.
I am already in Sursee in the early afternoon where I initially wanted to stay overnight.
From Sursee to home is only about 40 km and the whole afternoon is still ahead of me.

Gate to the city

Town hall

Mosen at Hallwilwersee

At 17:00, my spring tour was successful and ended without an accident or a cold.