Schadau Schloss where we had a welcome coffee
After a lovely breakfast sitting on the deck overlooking the marina in early morning sun, it was time to get our cycle kit on and head off on day 3 of our tour. Uphill from the start as the main route lies 65m above the lake where the railway line runs and the new part of the town is. Beautiful church (Dorfkirche) at the top of our climb, very striking blue frescos. After admiring that and catching our breath we were back on our way.
The route soon made its way into rolling countryside, passing through fields, traditional farmsteads, orchards, woodland, over a deep gorge, and skirting the main road which was not that intrusive. All the while we had glimpses of magnificent mountains, some still snow capped.
We had chosen to divert off Route 8 onto Route 66 so that we passed Schadau Park on our way into Thun. Oh my gosh the first bit was a very steep climb up a rugged forest track, which I quickly decided was push territory – a group of about 5 lady cyclists on their e-bikes were tentatively making their way down the hill, don’t know which way was worse. Didn’t feel so great and fortified myself with Mike’s power drink. Fortunately it didn’t take us too long to get to the top and we were rewarded with beautiful views of Thun lake framed in the distance by the Eiger. Had an orange and a cereal bar which did a lot to help me back on my way.
We had an enjoyable ride down through shady forest paths to the outskirts of Thun where the wind took us by surprise. Mike manfully took point and I drafted behind. Was ready for a coffee by the time we reached Schadau Park and was very happy to find that the Castle was open for business and we sat on the terrace overlooking the lake enjoying a very nice coffee.
Next stop was Thun proper, fun watching some people trying, with various success, to surf on waves caused by the lake water flowing through the flood barriers under the Gottibachsteg bridge – see the video! The Aare quai was packed with restaurants and people enjoying their lunch on pavement cafes so we wheeled our bikes and headed up to the (quieter) Obere Hauptgasse shopping street which was much more fun to cycle through and very pretty. The central square (Rathausplatz) was very impressive and I cycled round it a couple of times so Mike could get footage from different angles. Sightseeing would not be complete in Thun without visiting the Stadkirche and Schloss perched above the old town in a very old part of the town.
Cycled up the old cobbled streets, enclosed by stone walls to the Church where we had our cheese and jam sarnie. The Schloss is now also a smart hotel, and conveniently had a terrace restaurant. Planned on having a beer but they said we needed to have something to eat as well, even if only a desert. Mike plumped for a chocolate mouse with vanilla ice cream (which quickly melted in the heat) whilst I had coffee and a surprise, very nice panacotta with berry coulis and a small piece of apricot cake. Lovely views from the terrace and in the shade of the awnings not too hot. Mike however had a sunny seat and had to move to find some shade. Lovely stop and felt well treated, however there were still quite a few km to go!
The second part of our day was cycling mainly through expansive farmland of corn and other crops with some sections along the river where the trees provided a very welcome shield to the wind which had picked up a lot over our lunch break. it was good to be able to look back in parts on the snow capped mountains including the Eiger and remark how far we had come in just 2 days. Our penultimate stop before reaching the hotel was a beer garden just short of Bern Airport. Lovely setting under the trees, full of people enjoying a warm summer afternoon. Stuck with one small beer as we still had to climb up the hill to the hotel!
Ended our tour with a picnic on the balcony in our room, enjoying the sunset, and happy to have had a very successful trip. Parts of the ride were hard but overall it was well balanced very achievable on our old bikes and wonderful to have had perfect weather to explore and enjoy this area. Click on play below to see a video of our ride
Link to detailed route page and map click on route title