Central Europe Loop – Day 9

My secret plan for this trip was to cycle all the way back to Montpellier from our starting point in Strasbourg, a near impossibility given the terrain-distance-time combination. Day 9 helped.

The night before we stayed at a great little campsite near Interlaken (http://www.campingdulac.ch/), equipped with an Internet/reading room – a first for me. Since it was the end of the season (a sure sign was the half-price ice cream bars…) we had the run of the place, and stayed for a good long time in that cozy room, planning the next day’s route and spending money on the Net. As soon as we left the campsite in the morning we passed this welcoming ‘sign’.

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It was a hilly ride to Interlaken, and breakfast. Interlaken was a bit of a shock for us, after over a week in Teutonic no-name towns. The main drag is filled with souvenir shops and tour agencies advertising their wares in Chinese and Korean. Nothing against our East Asian friends (I’m married to one after all!), but we got out of there pretty quickly.

From Interlaken we rode along Thuner See to Spiez, where we really put a dent in our km/day. Another big pass loomed ahead, and although it was not beyond our capabilities, it was beyond our motivation. We sort of wanted to leave Switzerland, to be honest. Did I mention that Switzerland has no no-smoking policy? My response from Switzerland Tourism states that it is up to the Canton, or even just the restaurant/cafe to make their own rules. Alright, smoking in cafes didn’t make us take the train…I’m just sayin’.

Anyway, we hopped on a train that would take us up and over two passes, then down all the way to Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) and Montreux, jet-setting home to the most famous jazz festival in the world – a definite world away from the cow bells of Alpine Switzerland.

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This train turned out to be a tourist ride, I think. I was a bit more posh than normal at least.

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Then it just got weird. We had gone from German Switzerland to French Switzerland in a couple hours and yeah, it’s different. Felt like we were back in France, except nobody was asking us for spare change or a smoke. For the remainder of the day we traced the northern shore of the lake, till we reached our campsite in Lausanne, home to the International Olympic Committee – a fact even a passerby could not avoid knowing. The Olympics are in your face every where you go in the city. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against the Olympics (except the Dream Team, and all its descendants). I’m just sayin’.

Here are a few random shots from Montreux to Lausanne.

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