Sunday, August 30, 2009

Delmont to Burgdorf- 7/31

We were anxious to get to Burgdorf because we had two nights there and a chance to relax a little more and not have to rush and get up so early in the morning. We chose the "long" route for today which took us up a beautiful valley where there were virtually no cars to the village of Movelier.

Up the valley to Movelier

Les & Sue on the climb to Movelier
My little Swiss Miss enjoying the countryside

It was worth it. We then made our way through Laufen (famous city that is one of the major european makers of toilets in all commercial places, named after the city), on our way to climb the famous Passwang.

It was a beautiful ascent winding up the valley to the really steep part of the climb with its "wedding cake" switchbacks (imagine the different layers on a wedding cake, then picture a mountain road with it's winding turns). This was a very steep climb but really gorgeous and worth every percent of the gradient.

Where things started to get steep up the Passwang

Near the summit of Passwang

Every tough climb deserves a great descent and if the time of day is right, a great lunch. The descent lead us to the town of Balsthal. We were clearly in the German speaking part of Switzerland now. Just before entering the main part of town I saw a great looking restaurant so we swung in. What a great surprise. The place was owned by a woman from Kenya and she made us one of their specials, a spicy shrimp dish with some very interesting spices. Very cool.

The restaurant in Balsthal

Our African inspired shrimp dish

Lunchtime map review by the "captains"..."Where the "F" are we??"

After lunch we made haste to Burgdorf through many tiny farming villages. We even got lost on a dirt road in the woods. Quite an adventure, but we finally made it to Burgdorf, 70 miles and 4,100 feet of climbing. Tomorrow would be the Swiss independence day.

Looking back at Balsthal and the Passwang

Typical post-ride cocktail session, in the lobby of the Hotel Berchtold

Mike (front), Chris (back left), and Bob (back right), the "posse" holding court at their usual spot. Three of the best guys you'll ever meet!


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