Bicycle tour Switzerland 1988

I can only tell this bike trip from memory 31 years ago. Unfortunately, many photos / negatives have been lost (stored) in the archive over the years, to which I currently have no access. I do not know it anymore.

I was in training and at school I heard from my classmates, they were in Mallorca, America, Canada, etc. It was a lot to me that hardly anyone traveled to Switzerland. So I decided to go on my first trip through Switzerland to get to know them better. I had traveled to Ameland / Netherlands with the WWF 1 year earlier, together with others who came from all over Switzerland. So it made sense for me to visit one or the other. Unfortunately I only met someone from the trip from Ameland. Later more.

So I started the preparations and purchases.

Then it was there, Saturday July 9th, 1988. The anticipation was good and my bike was packed. I said goodbye and drove off. I wasn't sure where to go. The goal was Zofingen for the time being because I wanted to visit a girl from last year. The day was beautiful and I got to Winterthur. I stayed in the youth hostel, which was in a castle and also had a museum. I looked at it and was impressed.

The next day I started for Zofingen. The goal was to meet the young woman that I met last year on the WWF trip to Ameland. I don't remember how the journey went up to then. But when I arrived in Zofingen, I first had to buy film material (analogue). Then I registered at the youth hostel and after the room I called them. We met in the evening and she showed me a cellar bar. We had a nice evening and I got to know her friends. In the late evening we said goodbye and I went back to the youth hostel.

31 years is a long time. Unfortunately, I have hardly any memories of the day tour from Zofingen to Bern. I can only vaguely remember back then in Bern. I was still at the bear pit and in the evening I sat by the Aare. And it was a beautiful day. I found the youth hostel pleasant. All the same young people back then. Unfortunately there are no pictures of this day tour.

The next day my goal was to do. I didn't know where exactly. I followed along the Aare. Left and right mountains. Arrived in Thun. I looked at the city a little. Then I looked at the map and the youth hostel travel guide (there weren't any sat-nav and mobile phones back then) for the next accommodation. There was a youth hostel near Faulensee. I wanted to go there. In the late afternoon I reached the youth hostel, registered and made myself comfortable. The accommodation was simply designed. But a nice view of Lake Thun.

The next day the weather was so good. I set out for Interlaken. In Interlaken I should have driven along the expressway on the left side of the lake. I did not want. Since I didn't look at the map, I didn't see that on the right side there was also a road in the direction of Brienz. I only saw a footpath along the lake. I used it, with consequences. Below the Giessbach Falls it went steeply up through a kind of stair gorge. I was really annoyed, I had to carry up luggage first and then the bike. Once at the top, I calmed down quickly and just realized that there was also a street leading to it. I watched the Giessbach Falls next to the Grandhotel Giessbach for a while. Then I drove on towards Meiringen. Behind Meiringen I visited the Aare Gorge, which was very impressive.
Shortly afterwards Interkirchen came and I drove on to Göschenen. Since it kept going up, I was so exhausted in the evening. I moved into the room in the youth hostel and enjoyed the evening.

I overslept the next day. I wasn't at the breakfast table until about 9 o'clock. I wanted to cross the Gotthard. When I was done with breakfast and packing, I made my way. I then stopped by Andermatt. Before Andermatt I reached the Teufelsbrücke with the Teufelsstein. The stone was impressive and so was the story.

https://www.tell.ch/schweiz/teufelsstein.htm

https://www.mittelschulvorendung.ch/contentLD/DE/T70Teufelsbrucke.pdf


It wasn't long before a tractor with a hay cart drove up the Gotthardstrasse. I took the opportunity and held onto the hay cart. So I was able to catch up with the sleepy time. After a little more than half the distance, he turned the tractor onto the mountain meadow. I had gained time. So now again on your own. I then met other touring cyclists with whom I spoke and cycled up to the Gotthard pass together. Once at the top, we said goodbye as they spent the night at the pass. For me, the path continued to Ticino.
Unfortunately, I had completely underestimated Ticino when it came to drinking water. While in the rest of Switzerland there was always a well to fill up the drinking bottle, there was nothing here. It was hot. In addition, it was exhausting to drive in between. I drove down the old pass road and there were often cobblestones in the first third. Then it went. I remember how desperate I was looking for a well. My water was running out. Even then I thought then, such a water filter would have been good. When I reached the valley floor in Ticino, the water ran out. I still had to make it to Lugano. In terms of time, I was well off. At Bellinzona I looked up at the castle and memories of our vacation time came back to me. We spent a lot of holidays in Ticino.
And finally I reached Lugano. Mine was so dry it felt like I had sawdust in my mouth. I asked a woman for directions to the youth hostel. She spoke German. She didn't know, but her apartment was close by and at her home she checked the map. I politely asked her if she had something to drink. She put a glass and a liter of iced tea in front of me. When she came back 5 minutes, the iced tea was almost all. She said with a smile that I was very thirsty. I was embarrassed. Then I said thank you and said goodbye. The youth hostel was found quickly. After showering, I washed clothes and ate a little something. I enjoyed the evening. I stayed in Lugano for the next 2 days.

After these 2 days I wanted to go via Italy, over the Simplon. So I left early because it was going up and down. The day was warm and sunny and I made good progress. Sometime shortly after noon I arrived in Domodossola. I realized that I didn't have any maps of Northern Italy with me. For the time being I was not worried, because Simplon would certainly be indicated. But I did not find this junction. 2 times I asked someone for directions, where something could speak German. They showed me the direction and said it was then written. Nothing, nothing like that from Simplon. When I politely asked someone a third time, a little annoyed, and explained where I was driving through, she said it was written in Italian and was called Sempione. One was for a mistake. Then I also found the said board. When I looked at the clock, I realized that it was too much of a sight to drive over the pass. At that time I didn't have a tent with me. So I decided, disappointed, that I would take the train down through to Brig. I just caught the last train. When I arrived in Brig I looked for a youth hostel and found one in Visp. The disappointment was still great. Still, I was glad that the accommodation worked and spent the evening there.

After these 2 days I wanted to go via Italy, over the Simplon. So I left early because it was going up and down. The day was warm and sunny and I made good progress. Sometime shortly after noon I arrived in Domodossola. I realized that I didn't have any maps of Northern Italy with me. For the time being I was not worried, because Simplon would certainly be indicated. But I did not find this junction. 2 times I asked someone for directions, where something could speak German. They showed me the direction and said it was then written. Nothing, nothing like that from Simplon. When I politely asked someone a third time, a little annoyed, and explained where I was driving through, she said it was written in Italian and was called Sempione. One was for a mistake. Then I also found the said board. When I looked at the clock, I realized that it was too much of a sight to drive over the pass. At that time I didn't have a tent with me. So I decided, disappointed, that I would take the train down through to Brig. I just caught the last train. When I arrived in Brig I looked for a youth hostel and found one in Visp. The disappointment was still great. Still, I was glad that the accommodation worked and spent the evening there.

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