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Cycling in Switzerland Jura Route 7 and Lakes Route 9

14. til 24. August 2016

Day 1 Bremgarten - Kaiseraugst.
Sunday 14.08.'16
Km. 66.57
Time.3: 32
Height 498 meters

Overlooking the river Aare seen from Bözberg pass.

Campsite directly on the Rhine in Kaiseraugst, not just a campsite to dream of.

In Münchenstein the conurbation of Basel is behind us.

The first 20 kilometers until Brugg is well known to us, almost no hills and the weather is as desired, a bright blue sky.
When we cross the river Aare in Brugg a slope of 225 meters begins over a distance of 5 Km.
On the other side down to Frick the altitude is exactly as much. About Eiken and Münchwilen we come to the Rhine. We follow the river via Rheinfelden to Kaiseraugst.
The camping there is not just a jewel. When we arrive at 15:00 we hardly find a place to pitch our tent. The camp also has a swimming pool and it gets quiet when most people leave the pool in the evening.

Day 2 Kaiseraugst - Porrentruy.

Monday 15.08.'16
Km. 69.74
Time. 3:58
Height. 625 meters

The Medieval town of Laufen.

First breather in Laufen.

On both sides of the city a gate.

The aim is to cycle as much as possible the bicycle route 7 but don't feel obliged to go exactly as per the booklet suggest. Instead we follow the river Birs to Laufen and meet again the bicycle route 7 at Kleinlützel.
But first we have to go through the conurbation of Basel via Pratteln and Münchenstein. The right gadget is my GPS. I enter data of the village Laufen into my GPS and it leads us to Laufental on cycling routes as much as possible.
After almost 2 hours and 30 kilometer we arrive at Laufen and look forward to a coffee break at the bakery in the main street between the 2 entrance gates. It is a small, ancient and lovely town on the river Birs.

The buildings are still in Switzerland.

The road runs partly through France.

Only rarely a car is to be seen.

A chattering brook is balm for the soul.

We see such huge fountain here in almost all villages.

The farmer plows the land and Storks are waiting for food.

From Laufen we head west. Via Röschenz we come through an enclave of Solothurn, Kleinlützel, enclosed by France and Baselland. The river Lucelle forms the border with France, sometimes we cycle in Switzerland sometimes in France, and it is quiet and idyllic. On a board we read that you may not enter this street in uniform, in this case no military.

Lucelle, part in Switzerland a part in France, with a smal lake and monastery from the 13th century

The town of Lucelle is partly in France and partly in Switzerland.
Since the 12th century, located on the Swiss side is a reservoir which was a fish pond and later built to produce energy. In the 13th century 200 monks lived in a Cistercian monastery. There are only some walls to be seen.
It's lunchtime and we have a longer break on this beautiful and tranquil lake.
Via Cornol we continue to Courgenay. My map shows a campground somewhere in this Vilage but it no longer exists.
We cycle for another 5 kilometers to Porrentruy. Adjacent to the swimming pool is a small campsite.

Day 3 Porrentruy - Les Breuleux (Les Cerneux)

Tuesday 16.08.'16.
Km. 52,10
Time. 3:46
Height 1.204 meters

Looking back at Courgenay.

At the top of the Col de la Croix.

We return the 5 km. from Porrentruy - Courgenay and arrive back on the bicycle route 7.
Shortly after Courtemautruy it begins to rise, and how. I never thought that it is so steep here, partially at least 15%.
There are 250 vertical meters in only 3.4 Km. luckily, with this heat; we cycle mostly through the forest.
When we arrive at the top of the Col de la Croix, we are thoroughly wet from sweat. I pull on my windproof jacket to avoid a cold as it gets really steep when we go down to Saint-Ursanne. When we arrive down my battery is recharged. (Rechargeable battery - Bion X)
Saint-Ursanne is pretty; you should not miss this medieval town when you are in this area.

We come from Col de la Croix, to the west side of St. Ursanne.

The Romanesque basilica with crypt. 12-14 century.

In the afternoon we start to the second Col of the day.

It goes quite up and down in Jura country.

For horse lovers, the Jura is a paradise.

A typical house in the Jura with fireplace for smoking meat or fish.

After lunch break we stroll through this jewel on the river Doubs.
The afternoon is as the morning. From Saint-Ursanne to Sceut we cycle over 9 km. up 450 vertical meters.
After the climb, we want to take a coffee break in St-Brais. There are 2 restaurants and a cafeteria. Do not believe it but all 3 are closed and for sale, 6 km. further in Montfaucon, we have better luck. We find a very successful conversion of a livestock barn as a restaurant on 2 floors with WiFi. Our Snack consists of a very well-prepared filled pancake.
Via Saignelégier we reach Les Breuleux. Just a few kilometers East is the Camping Les Cerneux. Despite being a tough day it was very beautiful. We arrived to the "Freibergen" (free mountains), a unique landscape with many pine trees, many horses grazing and galloping on the grasslands. The "Freibergen" are known for horse breeding.
A local farmer tells us that the word "free mountain" comes from a time when this area was exempt from taxes.

In this hilly area an electric bike is ideal for us. Or we should cycle without luggage.

Day 4 Les Breuleux - Travers

Wednesday 17.08.'16
Km. 75.76
Time. 4: 30
Height 933 meters

We have to pack the tent wet because at 06.00 it started terribly to rain.
At 07:00 o'clock the whole trouble is over and the clouds make space for the sun.
We cycle to La Chaux-de-Fonds. Not just a particularly beautiful city but there are lots of different choices available for our early lunch. This is the watchmakers' city of Switzerland.
We follow the bicycle route 7 to La Sagne. The whole day's stage is at an altitude of about 1000 meters. Therefore, we are glad that the weather is nice and we can go around in our shirts.
We make a break on a terrace in the center of Travers.

Partly farms, small villages and plenty of space.

Well signposted.

A bike path winds through the beautiful countryside.

Two little calves look whether the curve is to

make, otherwise you end up in the pond.

Between La Chaux-de-Fonds and Travers.

A fully packed cyclist comes with the same idea. Sebastian is from the Saarland region in Germany and he is on his way to Southern France.
Yesterday he got some bad food that made him ill. The upset stomach prevents him to continue. Nearby is a farmer who offers different ways to spend the night: sleep on straw, bunk beds and a small campground. We want to try "sleeping on straw". Stephan takes a bed because he would not take any risks and wake up fit again tomorrow.
Because it is still early we make a trip to the 11 Km. distant "Creux du Van". Via Noiraique we reach La Ferme Robert at the foot of the Creux du Van. The last few kilometers we cycle steeply through the woods until the road has been completed and you can go further on foot.
The photos in its entire width from Creux du Van, which can be seen in the brochures are taken from airplanes, helicopters or opposite hills. We see only a small portion the rest is covered by trees.

A typical farmhouse, all under one roof with a ramp in the middle.

A herd black cows.

An afternoon trip to the "Creux du Van", which is 11 Km. away but without luggage.

Creux du Van viewed from >>

Breakfast table at the farm "La Coué"

La Ferme Robert.

Day 5 Travers - Sarraz

Thursday 18.08.'16
Km. 71,00
Time. 4:08
Height 586 meters

I'm happy for Sebastian; he feels fit again and can carry on with the journey. We slept well on the straw. The farmer's wife has baked 2 different breads and a braid-bread and side dish is abundant. The bread slices are even a bit warm.
Many people have opted for this property. The 2 long tables are occupied, some with children for whom it is a paradise. They can play in the large hay barn, sliding from the hay bales down and cycle around with little bikes.

Along the river L'Areuse to Fleurier. It had rained for an hour in the morning but then stopped quickly.

Fleurier with a hotel on top of the mountain. ^

< On the farm La Coué, sleeping on straw, bunk beds or camping.

On my tablet, I see that rain clouds will pass by this area. No reason not to continue.
We continue on the bicycle route 7 up the river L'Areuse to Fleurier. We part from the route 7; instead we follow the river Buttes, through valley Vallon de Noiroaux up to the Col des Etroits.
Shortly before the pass we see Sebastian again. He has chosen a different way in Travers.
In Ste-Croix we definitively split up, he goes through the Valle de Joux and we on to Yverdon on Lac Neuchatel.

In Buttes, we deviate from the bicycle route 7, to the valley Vallon de Noiroaux.

A gentle climb along the river Buttes. ^

<An interesting passage to Col des Etroits.

Col des Etroits.

The descent to Yverdon begins.

The castle in Sarraz probably originates from the 12th century. It was twice destroyed in the Burgundian Wars.

After lunch in Yverdon we switch to the bicycle route 5 that will lead us to Lausanne.
The camping in Sarraz is located next to the indoor swimming pool and restaurant. We get the key to the sanitary facilities because we are the only ones with a tent, the rest are permanent campers.

Day 6 Sarraz - Chardonne (Lake Geneva)

Friday 19.08.16
Km. 56,63
Time. 3:20
Height.482 meters

Yesterday evening we sat comfortably at the tent and had a coffee. Suddenly it began to rain. A warm-weather rain surprised us. It came so fast that we had to hurry to get everything dry in the tent.
On my tablet I had downloaded an exciting book from the library, so I made a reading evening of it.

Farmers in Sarraz ensure that their cows have to eat enough during the winter.

At Geneva we take a break. ^

< Along Lake Geneva we come through cozy villages which invite to a break.

Vines as far as the eye can see.

Bike lanes provide a little more security.

Overlooking Lake Geneva eastwards.

We have to pack the tent wet in a plastic bag and will dry it in the sun at the first breather, it is middle of summer and the sun is already in the sky.
Fortunately, the route 5 is also well sign-posted and we have no problem to get almost on bike paths across Lausanne to the lake.
We see people in swimsuits lying on the beach. They spend their holidays or lunch hour this way when there is such a beautiful weather.
We make an instant soup and a cup of coffee as we always have boiling water in our thermos flask. This bottle is so well insulated that I have to be careful not to burn my fingers, even in the evening.
Up to Chardonne, shortly before Vevey, the way leads us along Lake Geneva, either on bike paths or with yellow lined cycle paths. This route along the Lavaux (wine slopes) on Lake Geneva is a pleasure.

Railroad tracks through the vineyards.

We have seen many castles.

The Camping "de la Pichette" on a small peninsula in the municipality of Chardonne.

La Picette is a small peninsula with camping and harbor in the town of Chardonne. We already set up our despite the Owner not being there until17:00. Usually that's OK, and so it is this time.
We cycle into the 1.5 Km. distant city Vevey for dinner and shopping.

Just lovely to cycle through the Lavaux with the lake and the many small ports.

Day 7 Chardonne - Bulle

Saturday 20.08.'16
Km. 41,42
Time. 2: 39
Height 658 meters.

Rain is announced during the morning. So we prepare ourselves to keep the poncho and spats ready and handy.
The tent is very dry, probably due to the wind along Geneva Lake.
In order to get as far as possible we are ready to leave at 07:00. The 400 meters slope through the vineyards is cycling with pleasure, not only because of the beautiful views but also of the moderate increase (approximately 6%) and the new super smooth asphalt road. It feels like moving on velvet. The white center and side lines are not yet marked but that doesn't bother us.

We leave Lake Geneva and go up through the vines.

The road winds up.

The first town on the plateau is Chatel St-Denis. The roads are still dry but we know the rain will come.
A breather in the Café Milord is now the right thing to do and they have WiFi. I.e. we can look for a room for the night. Soon we find a hotel in the center of Bulle and that's only 30 Kilometers away.

Lake Geneva in the rearview mirror.

Even the walls are decorated with flowers.

On the plateau just before Chatel-St-Denis.

Despite the rain, it is nice to cycle here.

This tree needs a support.

The castle in Bulle.

When we leave the Café, the streets are already wet. The temperature is good and not too windy, a nice rain, highly necessary for nature.
We stay on the route 9 which started in Vevey. We come through small farming villages as Progens, La Verrerie and Vaulruz. It is still nice to cycle this quiet road even in the rain.
My GPS lead us to our Hotel in the center of Bulle.
We are too early to check in, so we have lunch instead.
After check in, shower and get changed, we go for sightseeing through Bulle. We are lucky, the rain has passed and we have the whole afternoon for us.

Day 8 Bulle - Zweisimmen.

Sunday 21.08.'16
Km. 64.74
Time. 3: 51
Height 983 meters

The town of Gruyère sits atop a mountain.

With stones paved main road.

The castle at the end of the town.

Again a house with chimney to smoke. So not only in Jura but also in Gruyèr county.

At the foot of the mountain deer are bred.

The south side of Gruyère.

The streets are still wet i.e. it must have rained tonight. We cycle to the next city, Gruyère, a small town on a hill with a castle from the 13th century.
We enter through a gate into this tiny medieval City which consists of only 2 cobblestone streets. At the end of the road is the castle.
There is a museum of HR Giger, a Tibet Museum and Tourist office.
At the foot of the town is La Maison du Gruyère. (A dairy show)
We get a device with which one can listen to a story of cheese production from the viewpoint of a cow. At the same time we can see from above how cheese is made. Included in the price there are 3 pieces of Gruyere cheese; 6, 8 and 10 months maturity period. For me, the Gruyere is the king of cheeses to enjoy with bread and also with a beer.

A well in Lessoc ^ and Main Street>

<The cycle route between Grandville and Lessoc.

The dammed river Saane called Lac Lessoc.

Between Montbovon and


On the sign-posted route 9 the journey continues away from the highway through pretty villages like Grandvillard and Lessoc.
We go along the dammed Sarine, called Lac de Lessoc.
Via Montbovon and Rossinière we reach Chateau-d'Oex. We have a break at a Café with bakery. Here you can always enjoy fresh patisserie with coffee.
When we arrive in Saanen, it's time for lunch. We have now arrived the German-speaking part of Switzerland, much easier to express ourselves.
Because it is still very early, we decided to cycle over the Saanenmöser pass. From the pass we can dash down 300 height meter to the campsite in Zweisimmen.

Church and Castle of Rougemont.

Centre von Saanen.

Looking back at Saanen from the ascent to Saanenmöser.

Up to Saanenmöser.

The campsite is very well equipped with washing machine and lounge.
While we shower, the washing machine runs and it is still early enough to dry the laundry, if not, there is a dryer.

Day 9 Zweisimmen - Meiringen.

Monday 22.08.'16
Km. 83,32
Time. 4: 20
Height. 596 meters.

Trough the Simmental. ^

A carpenter in Bavaria as a journeyman. Already three years on the way. >

Wooden bridge over the Simme.


Spiez with Lake Thun.

Down to Spiez on Thun Lake is 35 kilometers through the Simmental. The river is not the easiest for kayaking, you need to be a kayak Master. Many years are gone, but still fresh in my minds.
It is still early when we have the first breather at Thun Lake. At this height, the views of Spiez and Lake with surrounding hills are fantastic. The view is clear because I even see the new footbridge in Sigriswil on the other side of Thun Lake.

Cycle Route 9

Lake Thun.

< Iseltwald

Lake Brienz.

<Actually a path for bikers ^

I am pleasantly surprised by the improvements made for cyclists in the recent years. Either there are bike paths or streets with yellow markings for cyclists.
In Interlaken we have to decide how to proceed. There are different choices to pitch our tent, for example, Bönigen, Iseltwald or Meiringen. We go as far as possible.
I never thought that it's so steep and partly on gravel roads that are more designed for bikes. I'm glad I have electric support. It is so steep that most cyclists are pushing on, even racing cyclists.

Sometimes we slip a little with so many luggages on our bike, but without luggage it is a great track.

The Giessbach waterfalls with Hotel. The hotel has views of the waterfalls.

But all in all it was well worth it. A fantastic view of Lake Brienz and the Giessbach waterfalls are breathtaking.
Down in the lowlands we continue on asphalt. Along the military airport we reach the campground Balm in Meiringen.
It is nice that the campground has a lounge too as it gets cold in the evening.

A great location to live here. Where I stand is a bus stop.

View of Brienz in the beginning of the Lake

In the lowland of Meiringen we cycle past the airport.

Day 10 Meiringen - Horw (on Lake Lucerne)

Tuesday 23.08.16
Km. 52,70
Time. 2: 55
Height. 544 meters

To start the day, we go for breakfast downtown and do some shopping.
Then we start the Brünig pass with 400 vertical meters. Right at the beginning we pass a sign that indicates the slope with 13%. It doesn't look so steep.
Looking back into Haslital, we have fantastic views with rising mist fields.

Up to Brünig pass.

Looking back into Haslital.

Brünig Pass.

On the other side of the Brünig we have a view on Lungern with lake.

We came from somewhere up there and have now a coffee break.

Lake Sarnen. Left is the way over the Glaubenberg to valley Entlebuch, right to Flüeli-Ranft, home of Brother Klaus.

Just as steep we go down the Brünig pass to Lake Lugern. Approximately 100 meters above the lake there is a fantastic view on the lake.
A few years ago when I have been here, right here on this magnificent viewpoint they wanted to build a hotel.
There were many protests from the citizens. In a newspaper I read about this project. Now I am glad that the protest movement was successful.
On Lungern Lake we make our first breather, we put our wet tents in the grass to dry in the sun. They were soaking wet by the mist and condensation.

Lake Lungeren.

The next lake (Sarnersee) is about 200 meters deeper; we dash in many switchbacks down again. If we're down, a beautiful panorama opens to us, left and right soft hills and in the middle the lake.
After lunch in Sarnen we continue to Alpnachstad. Here goes the steepest cogwheel railway to Pilatus. (max. 48%, middle 38%.) The opening was in 1889 with steam operation, in 1937 it was electrified.
Via the Alpnachersee we come to Lake Lucerne . It is the 6th lake we cycle along since yesterday. Therefore the route 9 carries the name Lakes Route.
We get to the TCS camping in Horw am See. It is equipped with everything from restaurant to lounge.

The center of Sarnen, here we take a lunch break.

To read click on image.

Model to show how the cog railway works.

Along the Alpnachersee. It looks a bit like the Creux du Van.

Lake Lucerne.

Zooming the mountain. Do they want to clear away the mountain?

Lake Lucerne, on the left is Hergiswil and we go a little further to the end of the lake, to Horw.

Day 11 Horw - Bremgarten.

Wednesday 24.08.'16

Km. 51,45
Time. 2:45
Height. 157 meters
Total 685,43 km
Total time 36 hours 73 min.
Total altitude 7,266

We need to go through the city of Lucerne to get to the route 9 at the river Reuss. For this I need my GPS, tap in the point where river Reus and Emme join together and the GPS leads us through the city exactly there. The next distance to cover along the Reuss is a pleasure, for asphalt alternates with good cycle able gravel roads through woodland, unfortunately only until Gisikon. The no. 9 runs from here on the other side of the river Reuss to Zug. We say goodbye to the cycling route 9 and continue the final section to our home in Bremgarten via Dietwil and Sins.

The GPS takes us through the city of Lucerne, until we come to the place where the Kleine Emme flows into the river Reuss. In the background a part of the city wall.

The outflow of Lake Lucerne called Reuss ^

<Here we begin the last 12 Km. of bike Route 9 to Gisikon.

Pride of the farmer.

The Reustal is also very nice. In Oberrüti there is again a cycle path to Bremgarten.

The power station in Zufikon jammed the river, it created a bird paradise.