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August 24th, 2000 · No Comments

August 24, 2000 Raron, Switzerland to Abondance, France

Day 237

Switzerland is so very beautiful. Today we rode by miles of vineyards with grapes nearly ripe on the vine. I never thought of Switzerland as a place for growing wine, but it definitely is. The vineyards start in the valley and creep up the hillside, crisscrossing as they go.

Switzerland has 4 official languages. The closer we got to France the more everything looked French. The signs changed from German to French, at first the train station was called the “Bahnhof” then I saw a sign calling it the “Gare”. When I stopped at a bakery, it was once again called a patisserie. Of course I doesn’t matter what you call it, I can always smell it! The aroma of the bread is so inviting.

All morning I peddled down the valley, on back country roads and sometimes on a bike path. It was such a lovely day and the farmland was just bursting with crops ready for picking. What a wonderful time of year it is!

The last part of the ride was to be a climb, I was not surprised when I got to the uphill part as it was listed on the DRG. I was surprised at how long I took getting up the hill. It was so hot and the road was steep. Instead of taking 2 hours to climb it, I took 3 1/2 hours. I stopped along the way to take pictures of the all the wonderful scenery.

Al Young was the rider who nearly broke her neck in France a couple months ago. She is back on the trip, riding in the sag wagon until her Doctor gives her the “thumbs up” to ride a bike. In the meantime she is walking each day, walking 20-30 kilometers! Al is a great lady, she always has a smile on her face and something pleasant to say.

Al the Alien loves to reach out and try to grab a bunch as I peddle. I keep telling him “that’s stealing!” He tells me “grapes belong to the universe.”

Tags: Northern Europe · Switzerland · world travel