Aug
11
2009

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Too Expensive

by Tara

This morning we were relieved to find that the rain had stopped, held at bay by the rising sun cutting through the clouds. We took advantage of the sunshine, setting out our rain-fly and ground sheet to dry so we wouldn't have to pack them wet; Tyler hates that. As we puttered around arranging our things, we had plenty of scenery to take in. Our campsite was in the foothills of Switzerland's beautiful mountains and there were cable cars leaving literally feet away from our pitch!

Kandersteg Campground

Once everything was dry and packed away, we set off towards Interlaken. We were both looking forward to a train there that we've been told we just have to take. As we rode away from camp I had high hopes that unlike our ride yesterday, today would actually deliver in the ease department. I reasoned that we were high in the mountains and that our destination was by a lake; it had to be downhill the whole way, right? Sort of.

Because of our demoralizing and unexpected climbing yesterday I was in no mood to face anything even remotely resembling a hill. Tyler was kind and obliging, trying his best to navigate with 'level roads' in mind. At one point this had us on a short stretch of busy highway which didn't bother us any but apparently the Swiss police weren't as keen on the idea as we were. They pulled us over, told us nicely that it was illegal to ride on the highway, and escorted us all the way back to the nearest secondary road!

Swiss Building Flag & Sign

Shunned from the relatively level highway and spit out on country roads, we were quickly back in the hills. The climbing wasn't even remotely bad but my attitude towards it definitely was. I had a tough time shaking it—Tyler even tried our now time-honored "feed me until I'm friendly again" tactic and it just didn't take. For most of the morning I cycled along absolutely loathing every pedal stroke. Finally though, as the roads leveled out around Lake Thun, so did my mood. The rest of our day was a relaxing spin around the beautiful lake.

Lake Thun View Lake Thun Cycle Path Lake Thun Cycle Path

I'm not sure what we were expecting as we arrived in Interlaken but the loud, tourist-laden city was far from welcoming. These days it only takes a few minutes of cycling along crowded streets to remind us why we prefer the quietude and sanity of the countryside. Our tolerance for what is widely considered as "civilized" living continues to dwindle the longer we are on the road.

On our way to one of the many campsites on the outskirts of the city we stopped to inquire about the Jungfraubahn (the train to "the top of Europe"). To our dismay we found that it would cost 170 CHF each. Oy vey, Switzerland, you are way too expensive. So much for that idea. :(

With our main reason for being in the city gone, we decided to stop and make a game plan of what we would do next. We sat down outside the local McDonalds to make use of the only free thing in Switzerland: it's WiFi. We did a bit of research about the area and made plans to meet my dad's friend, Bettina, in Bern on Friday. Our friends Ingrid and Yves also contacted us; they are in Switzerland and we will be meeting up with them on Saturday.

This coming weekend is shaping up to be pretty eventful. Being as it is only Tuesday, we've decided to stay in Interlaken for a day or two so Tyler can get some programming done.

Window Box Swiss Buildings Swiss Building

We both had a good laugh when we saw this man mowing his lawn. Wow!

Huge Yard
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2 comments

You're in Switzerland - beautiful!! James & I experienced the same transition of realizing we preferred the middle of nowhere roads and tiny towns to the bigger cities. They're so unpleasant to be in with bikes, aren't they? And Tara, I totally understand on the grouchy moods induced by too much climbing...the more outrageous you are, the more hilarious stories you will have to look back on and laugh about! I even laugh now at the videos James took of me ranting about not wanting to ride the "last miserable mile", etc, etc. :)
Posted by seattlefarmette on August 20th, 2009 at 9:13 AM
Sarah, It's really reassuring to read about you in your current (awesome) blog, knowing you survived your bike trip and lived to tell about it :-) We want to have a "farmette" too, and so you're inspiring us yet again! Thanks!
Posted by Tara on August 21st, 2009 at 11:16 AM
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