Mike at Faulensee where we enjoyed an evening glass of wine
Early morning mist swathed the valley giving mysterious views down the valley. No urgency to get going this morning as our ride was only about 55km. We were still on our way by 0930 and by then the sun had risen over the valley and burnt off the mist. We had our first photo shoot by the Aareschlucht George and I had a quick squint at the view from the coffee shop. Reinforced my desire to walk down this some future time.
The cycle up to our first pass was not as difficult as we thought, on our ride down to Meiringen we saw lots of cyclists heading uphill in the opposite direction, probably making their way up to the Grimsel Pass. Interesting to see how some were very heavily loaded, others on ebikes, makes one think about the direction cycle touring is taking. Too soon for a coffee stop in Meiringen so we continued on our way. Had a lovely photo of Mike by a cycle statue, bit of a challenge hauling his bike up to the lower level! The go pro then decided to go on the blink just as I wanted to take some footage of Mike cycling in front of a waterfall. Used the camera instead but poor Mike had to do several re-takes before I was happy! Came across a ‘farmer’ cutting the reeds along the river banks and shortly afterwards a highlight of the day, an irridacent flash of green flying down the channel – kingfisher spotted
End of chilling as our next climb was ahead of us. Hardest of the day 170m up a steep road. Thankfully we made time for a couple of breaks to look at the view and catch our breath. We dropped down through the woods to a viewpoint over the Giessbach Hotel and waterfall. Had to push back up the hill after crossing the river as the path was steep, rocky and there were a few walkers out. Much harder than I thought this section would be. We then had a lovely ride down (with a few up bumps) to Iselwald where we went off route in search of a coffee. Found a great spot in the Hotel Chalet du Lac for our break overlooking the Schloss Seeburg and the Brienz lake.
Next significant stop was Interlaken after a nice route along the lake on minor roads. Took a small detour along route 380 to stay by the lake shore and had our jam and cheese sarnie overlooking the outflow from the lake. The wind started to pick up and it became a bit chilly so didnt linger.
Hadn’t visited Interlaken before and was surprised by the smart shops and ‘victorian’ hotels along the Hoheweg all facing towards the Eiger. Shame that we didnt have bright blue skies to take photos, but one can imagine it. Didn’t feel that we had really had lunch so stopped off at a fantastic bakery (Mohler takeaway) for a shared salad and couple of deserts. Lovely treat.
Neither of us were too sure about the ride from Interlaken to Spiez as a lot of it was along the side of a fairly fast busy road. As it so happened much more fun than we thought it would be as the surface was good, our pace was fast and we were well protected from the traffic by a safety barrier. Dropped down to Faulensee (the far side of the Burg Spiez is on) and agreed it would be a good spot for a late afternoon beer. Not much further to our hotel in Spiez and we were very glad to have booked a hotel by the marina rather than the main town on the hill above the harbour.
Lovely hotel in a perfect location. Our room overlooked the castle and we had a small balcony to enjoy the evening sun. As we had arrived late afternoon there was plenty of time to walk along the lakeside path back to Faulensee for our beer and wine. Watched the swans and lake birds scouring for food as well as a group getting ready for a waterski/board trip on the lake. Mike enjoyed the views!
Our day was rounded off with a couple of pizzas on the terrace at our hotel. Beautiful day, not too long and our legs still had more in them which is a good feeling. One note to self is that it is fine having shorter days if there is plenty to look at along the way or nice places to explore in the evening (as we had today) but on more remote rides we need to make sure that we get the right balance and dont feel we are spending a long time hanging out in simple hotels without much to do – ie need to plan longer rides for those situations. Click on play below to see a video of our ride and a screenshow of our photos
Link to detailed route page and map click on route title