What an adventure so far, and it`s only been two days. Here I sit at Mountain Hostel Gimmelwald, high above where Tolkein was inspired to create Rivendell, land of the Elves. Today we biked 65 miles from French Switzerland, where we camped in a thunderstorm last night in Chateau d`Oex, through countless pastoral villages and towns to have lunch on Lake Thun (Thunersee) on the waz to Interlocken and then end up below Gimmelwald, where we took a gondala (the same one seen in the James Bond film “In Her Majesty`s Secret Service”) up to our hostel, which is enchantingly beautiful (built in the 1500`s) with its views of waterfalls and glaciertops that are the very peak of Europe.
Yesterday we set out on our journey after flying into Geneva and taking a train to Vevey along the clearest lake I`ve ever seen. It was near 100 degrees down there and we wanted to enter the mountains as soon as possible, so the first ride of our trip was the toughest thus far – climbing through and above Monteaux up hills twice as steep as popular Colorado challenges like Ward, *averaging* a mighty 18-percent grade as we made our way into the wooded, idyllic foothills of the Alps, which tonight I find myself surrounded by while drinking dark beer and looking forward to telling my 3-year-old I`ve seen where Heidi lived. Many, many tales to tell, and we`ve only begun…
2 thoughts on “Hello in French & German from Switzerland”
‘tag/bon jour; Is this fact or fiction about Tolkien? Makes perfect sense as Englishmen (and Englishwomen?) historically love climbing mountains from Africa to South America to the Himalyas to the alps. FUN.
“The valley of Imladris (within which Rivendell is situated) was based upon the landscape of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. Tolkien was said to have journeyed to this region; his original painting of Rivendell is significantly similar to the Lauterbrunnen itself.”