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E-mail from Friday, August 26th, 2016
We have seen them.
They're very high and very impressive.
And they're wonderful to see without the knowledge you'll be cycling over them...
The Swiss Alps.
But let's go back.
The first thing we noticed while cycling in Switzerland through Basel, was the tremendous amount of cyclists. That took some getting used too after France.
I've never been to Switzerland before and on the first day I was a bit disappointed. Busy roads, lots of industry and a lot of people. The author of this route did his very best to get from Basel to the Bodensee as 'flat' as possible, in which he had succeeded very well apart from a few nasty climbs. But in this way you have to give in to the beauty of the landscape around you. Thankfully the route got more beautiful by the day: we saw more of the high mountains and cycled through idyllic little towns.
A couple of things I've noticed:
- all cows have bells around their necks
- not only cows with bells, but also a lot of ringing of church bells to tell the time every fifteen minutes
- there are a lot of buzzards (and Remy wanted to photograph them all. Sigh....)
- I don't like the German language that much, but the Swiss German sounds very pleasant to the ears. You need to listen harder to understand them though. And sometimes you can't make heads or tails of it
- Friendly people. You're greeted and car drivers give you right of way whether you have it or not
- and it is very, very expensive
This afternoon we traveled via Austria to Liechtenstein. We're on a camping with a beautiful view on the mountains (see attached photo). The weather has been hot since our last email. Thankfully we find a small fountain every now and then in a small village where we can get our bandanas wet, which we put under our helmet. Sometimes we make each other wet as well.
Remy has been to Switzerland and Liechtenstein before and knew this camping. Liechtenstein is also a country I've never been to.
As for "first timers" for the both of us:
- swimming in the Rhine
- swimming in the Bodensee
- kept awake by a busy beaver who decided to start lumbering a few meters from our tent
And tomorrow is the big day where we go up in the Swiss Alps. Where we'll be climbing very long and very high... Glug.
Those who are about to cycle over the Alps salute you.
Remy & Gea
The Rhine in Basel