4 May 2009

The Swiss Alps

Ah, good old Black Forest!
Just when spring hits the region I am back to continue my trip. Cherry, apple and pear treas are all in bloom, I stroll around with my mother and enjoy the beauty of the nature. All the while my bicycle impatiently wiggles its tail and cannot wait to leave - on a clear day it is possible to see the snow covered peaks of the Swiss Alps from here!
Crossing the Alps in May isn't trivial. There is still lots of snow everywhere. The pass of St. Gotthard that I used to cross the Alps back in 1997 has more than 9 meters of snow!!! Nine meters - that's the height of a three-story-building!

But some passes are open all year. I decide to cycle past the tiny country called Fuerstentum Liechtenstein and take the Julierpass (2248m) to arrive in the jet-set-famous town of St. Moritz. Kempinski Hotel lures the international old money, film star and otherwise yuppy scene with 5 stars and lots of glamour. When I arrive the place is closed for spring break and looks like a dump. Not only the Kempinski looks like shit, also the whole town. Cheap built high-rise-holiday-bunkers distract from the few original local style dwellings from back-in-the-days. (Poor profit hungry idiots - God/Allah/Buddha etc. bless them for they don't seem to have the wits of knowing what they are doing. Hey, why don't you also invest in some real estate on the Belgium coast? No wonder the richies come in their Bentleys, Ferraris and Porsches - the town of St. Moritz itself isn't much to bragg about anymore).

Alright. I stay in a cozy bed and breakfast, wash me and my laundry and hit the road again the next morning. From St.Moritz there is a way downhill via Maloja Pass (1815m) to Lago di Como. But I prefer to stay a little longer in the mountains and take the Bernina Pass (2330m) eastward. The road goes parallel with the Raetische Bahn - a train crossing the pass!
And here I say it again: EVERYBODY CAN CYCLE OVER THE ALPS! Just do it. It is so much easier than you think. No extensive training needed. All you need is time and willpower. When you get tired then rest for a while or push it (...here on the road across Bernina Pass you even have a train for backup!)

On top of Bernina i meet Andrea, a nice Italian fellow who invites me to visit his hometown near Milano once I pass by the region. I hesitate to follow his offer. I didn't originally plan to pass by the region. But then again - why not? Milano is supposed to be a nice town worth a visit, no?
From Bernina I let it roll down into Italy. And once I arrive I do the very best of all things in Italy - I sit in a small cafe next to a giant church and have a coffee with a brioche for breakfast. And then another coffee and another brioche :)

... oh, one thing I almost forgot about Switzerland: chocolate. It tastes so good because of its makers. They are quite a funny bunch!

There were many more different types, some with long hair and some with long horns and some with both. Some without hair and without horns. And some with quite fashionable piercings that could easily compete with what is running around in Berlin these days...

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