Thursday, July 8, 2010

Camping in Switzerland

Sunny days make us tan and turn Joshua into a pirate

For most of our time in Switzerland we camped in campgrounds. There was always space, if only a grassy spot between no-longer-mobile homes. People must find these campgrounds with their mobile homes and decide they'd like to just stay. We saw a lot of this, each campground was mostly stationary mobile homes, with a couple of grassy areas for tent camping.

Our neighbor one night in Schupfheim

We also spent two nights up in the Emmenthal hills, 1000m, at Balmeggberg. A clan of friendly people have built a somewhat self-sufficient community, complete with yurts, composting toilets, solar showers, beautiful vegetable gardens, chickens, and a projector and sheet strung up for watching World Cup games in the barn. Emily, Thomas, and Max came up for the second night, when we were blessed with some cooling rain, and we camped on top of the chicken coop - one of the few flat spots on the property.

Chicken coop camping, tiny tent to the right

After Balmeggberg we headed further west, with Emily, Thomas, and Max in the trailer. We rode into Brenzikofen just as a rain started to loom from across the fields. We set up our tents in a hurry and Joshua and Thomas used the bicycles to put up our handy tarp as a fort where we had dinner. The rain didn't last very long, but it wet everything except our gear and our lovely fort, which Max called The Restaurant. Homemade sun-dried tomato pesto with pasta for dinner... mmmm.

Campsite Brenzikofen, tarp shelter on right

Lots of laughing in the fort (Emily & Joshua)

Thomas and Max

The following morning, Emily had to head back to Zurich, but Max and Thomas stayed with us for the day of riding to Bern, where they took the train back to Zurich.

After a fantastic night of sleep, the team is ready to depart

Our first view of the Aare River, which we will follow for the next few days

After toiling mightily, Max passes out exhausted

The cashimere chicken picked some chamomile for tea later

Another awesome Swiss bicycle path

After we left Bern, which is an amazing old city, we rode through the park/forest to Hinterkappelen to camp. We had another beautiful river day along the Aare. We stopped for quite a while at the bike shop in Aarberg, another beautiful old town. Ramona got a fancy handlebar bag.



We camped in Staad, and then had a huge day where we decided to go over the mountains instead of around via the river. Then had our first 'wild camping' experience, when we ran out of steam at the bottom of the pass. It was after 6pm and we had already ridden about 60k. Joshua took a look around and found a little hidden spot in the trees.

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