23 June 2010
After breakfast we started to head back towards Meiringen, taking the along the north side of the Brienzersee. The water was still and the reflections of the morning clouds on the lake were just mesmerizing.
The plan was to climb to the top of Grimselpass that day. It would be over 1800m (5900 ft), the most climbing that we would do in any single day on the trip.
Piaw found a nice little bike path that followed farm roads and bypassed the town of Meiringen. Soon we reached the Lammi Restaurant. It was only about 11:00 but I would have been happy to stop to eat a lunch of bratwurst. Unfortunately, the kitchen would not open for another hour! So we plowed on, deciding that we would have lunch in Guttannen.
Past Innertkirchen, the valley was quite narrow, and it seemed rather jarring that despite the heat along the climb, there were hills just a stone's throw away that were covered in snow.
By the time we got to the supermarket in Guttannen, they had already gone out for lunch. (Most supermarkets are closed from noon to 2pm.) We went to a restaurant instead.
After lunch the valley widened a bit, and although there were tunnels where the road cut straight through the mountain, at most of the tunnels there was a bypass for bicylists to use.
The climb continued past a reservoir. This was just the first clear view of the summit, but I was already famished. Not good! I stopped to eat a snack at the dam.
The remainder of the climb was rather drab looking. Mostly rocks, snow, and lifeless pools of water.
Piaw, Lisa, and I finally got to the top around 5pm. The lake at the pass was still partially covered in ice, and it was quite cold and dry there. Cynthia and Kekoa had hightailed it up to the pass after lunch and had already staked out rooms at the Hotel Alpenrösli for us.
The climb had really destroyed us, and we ate an enormous dinner at the hotel restaurant. I had two pork cutlets, fries, veggies, more fries, two eggs, some hazelnut pastry, and a beer. The waiter just laughed at us as we kept asking for more and more food.
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