Gstaad

June 30, 2018

Map link

Dan was otherwise occupied today so I could do whatever I wanted. And what I wanted to do was to ride my motorcycle – all day. Now where to go? I would go south, to the Alps, but not over any of the major passes. Even though I haven’t been on them for “too long”, I didn’t feel like dealing with the crowds that I was certain to run into on Grimsel or Furka Pass.

So off I went, with no real destination in mind. I took some photos along the way.

This overpass exists solely to connect the house to the barn

I enjoy riding through the countryside, as I never know what I’ll see. Today I saw a train engineer crossing an overpass who returned my wave with more enthusiasm than expected. And a father was riding a quad through his fields with his young son on his lap. Later in the day, in the mountains above Gruy√®res, man was power washing what appeared to be cheese boards out in front of his shop. Things that I notice, but not things that I could catch with the camera.

But there were other things I could catch with the camera.

Raking hay on the hillside

More hay cutting

I came up behind this set up just as I was nearing Gstaad. I still don’t know what kind of bike it was, but it used a lefthand knob shifter, something I’d never seen before.

And he took advantage of a construction stop to remove his jacket and light up a cigarette. I guess a 3/4 helmet allows for such activities…

Paraglider landing

Someone on one of the motorcycle forums had mentioned some lesser-known roads in the Alps. I was going to explore one of them now, not knowing what to expect at all.

What I didn’t expect was the 5 CHF gate fee to access this semi-private road. I debated on whether or not I should do it, but I figured what the heck, I have a job now; I can afford 5 CHF! So I dropped my coin into the slot, the gate raised and I continued on.

I had the road to myself (mostly) which was a good thing, since it was so narrow.

At the end of the road was a lake and a restaurant – a perfect combination. I parked the bike and found a table with a view.

Huus am Arnensee

The beer-battered perch was excellent and I enjoyed the sights and sounds of this remote alpine region. Hikers came and went, SUPs (stand up paddleboard) plied the lake’s smooth surface and kids played on the shoreline; it was a delightful location.

I haven’t seen one of these in a long time!

Diving class

The return road to “civilization”

The return road had a detour. I am not sure why, as the road seemed perfectly serviceable. Perhaps it was to alleviate two-way traffic down the narrow, winding road. The detour road was also narrow and winding – and unpaved.

Now that I had reached my half way point, I planned my random return home. I ended up retracing some of my route, which with views like this, was not a problem.

At one point earlier on today’s journey I had an oncoming car flash its lights at me. This rarely happens here, so I proceeded with curiosity and some caution, looking for the reason behind it. After a few minutes of nothing unusual, I shrugged it off – until an oncoming motorcyclist gave me the signal of “police ahead”. Aha, perhaps something really was coming up! I had almost given up on this second warning when I entered the town of Moulins and saw a plethora of police motorcycles in a parking lot and a couple of officers inspecting some vehicles. They were otherwise occupied and didn’t even look up as I passed. Not that my quiet little BMW would ever raise a suspicious eyebrow.

This is how Swiss roads stay nice – they are rebuilt

I saw many, many classic cars on the road today

I was leaving the mountains behind and entering a more agricultural area – perhaps I could find some apricots to bring for Dan?

And I did! There was a nice layout of fruits and vegetables in the village of Riggisberg. I stopped and looked them over, picking out some fresh butter beans, tomatoes, apricots and (of course) cherries. With my topcase loaded with the bounty of the countryside, I completed my journey home.