Innsbruck, Austria to Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Day 95 – Tusday 27/07
Innsbruck to Imst – 59kms Total 4734kms

Started raining last night at around 02:00 and we thought it would rain all day but thankfully it stopped around 10:00 when we left.
The cycling paths again were great for the most part but there was this very dangerous section on a small bridge were there was a metal stainless steel plate that Monique rode over and lost control falling on her knee. Thankfully it was nothing serious we bandaged the wound but she will be getting some good size bruises.
Tomorrow it’s supposed to be very nice so hopefully we can go over the 1800 meter Arlbergpass. The following day’s its forecast for bad weather, but we’ll see especially with Monique’s knee.
We tried for the first camping on the river Pegerbach but it was busy and noisy so we asked around in the center of town and found another much quieter one nearby.

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It was pretty cold this morning.

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But the views were still great.

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We were doing good time along these smooth cycling paths.

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That’s the 171 we were following.

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Around 13:00 the clouds began to break up.

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And thankfully the weather to warm up again.

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By now we were steadily climbing, those dots bellow are kayaks on the Inn.

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The views began to get better the higher we rode.

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Some really high mountains to the South.

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As we continued upriver the valley was getting narrower.

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It’s just great cycling around here.

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Just before Imst.

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Near the camping in Imst we saw these really beautiful flowers and just had to take a picture.

Day 96 – Wednesday 28/07
Imst to Pettnew 47kms Total 4781kms

Got up to a slow start and were finally on the road by 10:30. Monique was a bit stiff this morning so we decided we will take it easy, their is a camping in Landeck about 20kms up the valley and another one about 20kms or so further up. So it doesn’t look like we’ll be making it over the pass today.
We cycled along nice cycling paths again with some very beautiful scenery all around. When we got to Landeck we found the camping to be bad so we continued up the valley.
The hard climbing began soon after Landeck and heavy clouds moved in. Soon afterwards the rain came and soaked us good.
We knew the forecast had changed a bit and the weather would not get better for another day, we also knew that Pettneu is at 1230meters and it would get cold and wet so we were hoping that the camping would be good.
Unfortunately the camping was not good so we got a room at Hotel Weintrauben. Pretty good for the money.
After checking the weather forecast again it looks like rain for tomorrow also we will stay here two nights.

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At first the weather today looked promising.

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With more great cycling paths and scenery.

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At one point along this route we came across this ancient roman road.
The wheel tracks can be clearly seen on either side of the steps carved out or rock to help the horses with traction.

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I walked a little up track to see where it led.
Hiking along ancient roman routes through the Alps would make for a great hiking vacation. Someday perhaps.

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Up and up we went.

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Monique trying to see the Inn.

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The railroad bridge over the 168 and Trisanna river.

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We were now following the 316. The Inn has gotten much smaller.

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There was a slight loss of elevation just before Flirsch.

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We even saw this glacier, but the weather was closing in again.

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And sure enough just as we started climbing up to Pettneu am Arlberg the rain came down and soaked us through and through.

Day 97 – Thursday 27/07
Rest day – Pettneu

Did pretty much nothing today the weather was horrible outside, there was no way we were going to attempt the Arlberg pass in this weather. So we just did some shopping, update the webpage, drank beer and watched films. This hotel was very old with a lot of character and we had a lovely and large corner room so staying for two nights was nice.

Day 98 – Friday 28/07
Pettneu to Bludenz – 50kms Total 4831kms

Got up early, showered, went downstairs for a huge breakfast and were on the road by 09:00.
The morning was cold and the climbing began easy enough. But right after St. Anton the real climb began at over 10% for the rest of the climb. We were not expecting this and to top it off it also began to drizzle.
A few kilometers further up the road we had to go through a couple of galleries which were noisy and a bit scary going uphill.
At the top of the 1800 meter Arlbergpass it was freezing cold so we got into this restaurant and had a nice hot goulash soup to warm us up before the decent.
Going down seemed even steeper with many more hairpins. We were happy to get down to the lower valley were it warmed up enough for us to take off a couple layers of clothes.
It was at the camping this evening that we decided we aren’t going to go over any more passes higher than 1000 meter for the rest of the tour.
We met two nice like minded couples today, the first was Trineke and Jan whom we met on the cycling path before Bludenz, they are cycling to Rome. And the second couple Bert and Marijke, we met at the camping. They are also cycling to Rome but in stages.
Camping here is very good with a super market near by and great scenery all around.

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Getting our bikes out of the hotel garage.

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Looking back down at Pettneu.

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At this it started to drizzle but thankfully the road wasn’t so steep.

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The scary gallery we cycled through. Click to view larger.

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Another rest stop in among-st the hills.

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We were cycling into the clouds.

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Just before the summit the going got very hard.

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No bicycles allowed in this tunnel, we had to take the small road just to the left.

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The top is just in view, at those buildings up ahead.

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It cold up here but very beautiful, these pictures do not do it justice.

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The only sign we found to show the height, just outside the restaurant were we had some nice goulash soup to warm up.

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The cold downhill begins.

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The road split here, the one on the right is the 198 heading North, we took the 197 heading West, downhill. Click to view larger.

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View down the valley.

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The very steep hairpins. Click to view larger.

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Monique just loved these downhills.

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Looking back up at the 198 heading North. Click to view larger.

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The Alfenz river.

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We had to get even further down the mountain before we could warm up a bit.

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New cycling path under construction.

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There were many areas with a small shed, benches and even barbecue pits for people to use.

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We even saw some really beautiful waterfalls along the way.

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The best kind of cycling, a low grade downhill along smooth roads.

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Even going through tunnels was nice.

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Another great waterfall.

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Just great cycling.

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Jan and Trineke who we met, there on their way to Rome. We wished them luck going over the Arlberg pass.

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Bert and Marijke who we met at the camping and had a nice chat with.

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Our camping spot in Bludenz.

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And the view from our tent.

Day 99 –  Saturday 31/07
Bludenz, Austria to Chur, Switzerland via Lichtenstein – 86kms Total 4917kms

Got up, had breakfast and while waiting for the tent to dry we chat with another nice couple Andre and Rik, who were also going to Rome. We had seen them yesterday evening but had not the chance to talk to them.
After the nice chat with Andre and Rik we looked for and found the nice cycling path and continued downhill on a beautiful clear morning.
At Feldkirch we turned and headed south for Liechtenstein and soon after we found the Rhine again and headed past Vanduz, into Switzerland past Sargans and finally to Chur.
The whole day was sunny, warm, a good tailwind and great scenery it was perfect.
Camping here is ok I guess for this time of year, but if your thinking of coming here in high season do it early in the day as it fills up quickly. We were lucky to have found a spot.
After dinner and a few beers at the camping restaurant we decided to take the train over the 2400meter Furkapass tomorrow and get off the train at the summit and ride downhill.
We had so many fond memories of the 2500meter Grossencloknerpass, we did not want to spoil them with a lesser climb 😉

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The lovely couple Andre and Rik.

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Finally a sunny day, and easy downhill, super smooth cycling paths and a tail wind, what more can we ask for. Click to view larger.

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Great cycling in T-shirts again.

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We passed a few lakes right after Nenzing. Click to view larger.

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We believe this was the Lichtenstein border.

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One of many beautiful castles along the way.

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On the Rhine river which borders Lichtenstein and Switzerland before Vaduz.

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Difficult to get lost around here. The place is totally geared for tourists.

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When we stopped for a tea we noticed these two guys walking in the field, but when we looked closer…

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…we saw they were cutting the grass with a small lawnmower, we think they’re still busy 🙂

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We stayed on the great cycling path next to the Rhine all the way to Chur. Click to view larger.

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No comment.

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A lot of wine grown around here.

Day 100 – Sunday 01/08
Chur to Brig – cycled 48kms Total 4965kms

Got up at 06:00 and were at the station around 08:00 to catch the 09:00 train. We had to change trains twice but no real problem.
The views from the train were fantastic, we had never been on a train that traveled so high up the mountains, it was scary at times as it got real steep. At one point after the first pass (Oberalpass 2044m) the train was doing hairpins going down to Andermatt, first time we had seen this. The tracks were going through a tunnel in one direction and next to a cliff the other.
After Hospental we entered the 15kms long tunnel which went under the Muttenhorner 3099m, the Leckihorn 3065m and the Saashorner 3036m, WOW. It did get a bit claustrophobic when the train stopped in the middle of the tunnel to let another train pass.
So now we have been over, around and under the Alps 😉
We got off the train at Geschinen and cycled downhill all the way to Brig.
This camping is about 5kms after Brig and its just a huge family camping with large swimming pool and a million kids running around.
The weather today was very good but got hot and sticky by late afternoon. Thunderstorms came late at night but blew over quickly, hope that’s all for the night.

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Vies from the train.

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Looking back down the valley.

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A huge dam possible holding back either the Napls or Curnera lakes.

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The downhill to Oberalpsee.

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Oberalpsee.

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Andermatt.

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Between Andermatt and Hospental.

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After Hospental

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Back on our bikes after Geschinen.

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Great downhill riding.

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Shame not all alpine passes don’t have trains to the top 🙂

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Camping near Brig, storm clouds moving in.

Day 101 – Monday 02/08
Brig to Saillon – 75kms Total 5040kms

OK, this day was very nice. We got up at normal time and after the heavy thunderstorms of last night we waited a bit for the tent to dry and straight away got on the nice cycling path.
Most of the today the weather was good but as the day wore on it became hotter and hotter.
The ride was nice mostly on dykes next to the Rhone along farmland and woodland. Another milestone today, we cycled over 5000 kilometers.
Near the end of the day the wind picked up to near gale force and when we reached the camping it began to drizzle. By the time we put the tent up it started to come down pretty good. The rain lasted all night long.
Camping here is real good.

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We just had to stop and check out this guy hard at work…

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…building his log cabin. Very impressive.

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Later in the afternoon the weather began to change. Click to view larger.

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The views were nice but we began to worry.

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And by the time we neared the camping it began to look really bad so we tried to hurry as much as possible.

Day 102 – Tuesday 03/08
Saillon to Montreux – 64kms Total 5104kms

Woke up to rain but it soon stopped and we got on the nice cycling path in gray weather. The weather improved as the day wore on and around noon when we reached Lake Geneva the sun came out in full force.
It was a great day of cycling. We rode through Montreux, saw many statues of famous rock stars  and very expensive looking hotels.
At the camping we met Yves from Belgium riding his very impressive motorbike around Europe for vacation. Very nice guy we had a pleasant chat with. He’s hoping to become a police office in Belgium.
Camping is bare minimum here but very good priced for a camping on the water close to Monteux.

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The view this morning.

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And more great views of waterfalls.

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Looking back at the valley we down.

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Our first view of Lake Geneva.

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Chateau de Chillon near Veytaux.

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Our steads posing in from the Lake Geneva.

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One of the famous rock stars we passed.

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Posing at the lakefront camping with the valley we rode down behind us.

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We saw this very beautiful old boat crisscrossing the lake.

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Yves and his very fast bike.

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Our great camping spot right on the lake.

 This was our last section of the Alps and we still enjoyed the ride despite the cold and wet weather. We will be crossing this area again mostly going North to South or vise versa. Even though we really enjoyed the train ride, we did want to cycle over the Furka pass. Now we have a real reason to come back through here.

Continue on to part 5, Lake Geneva, Switzerland to Nantes, France.