May 2007


From Athens to Zürich

Greece and Apulia

Croatia and Slovenia

Northern Italy and Switzerland

You can scroll or click on the flags

I leave Athens, via Pireus over the island Salamina, the channel of Korinth and along the gulf. In Rio (Patra) I go over the bridge and continue on the mainland till Igoumenitsa. There I take the ferry to the south point of Corfu and cycle to Kerkyra where at 11.30 pm another ferry leaves for Brindisi (South Italy).Through the valley "Olio" via Alberobello to Bari. The next ferry brings me to Dubrovnik (Croatia). I cycle along the coast of Dalmatia and over a few islands. Via Trieste, Venice, Verona, Lugano and Gotthard back to Bremgarten (Zürich)

Take off in Athens

Total kilometre

Total altitude

This cycle route from 25.04.07 to 25.05.07 was one of the most beautiful but most strenuous I ever made. Greece and Croatia with their many islands are very hilly. The advantage of such a landscape, it offers a different panorama at every bend. The total altitude my odometer shows is over 18.000 meters. That is two times the Mount Everest, not from the foot of the mountain but sea level.

The weather is also responsible whether or not a journey remains a in great memory. During the whole journey I have had 4 hours rain on the morning from Pula to Porec (Istrien). That was the only rain I have had. In Greece the sky was sometimes cloudy, but I was not at all sad about this natural sun protection.

Greece and Apulia (South Italy)

Monday 23.04.07. From the airport Venizelos in Athens to the youth hostel in the centre of the city 39.08 km.
I am always anxious whether or not the luggage and bicycle is on the conveyor without damage. Fortunately everything is there and I get my bike ready in ¾ hour. 21.4 Kilo is the weight of the four panniers at the airport of Zurich (without steering bag). That makes about 35 - 40 kilo for bike, luggage, food and water.

Like most airports, Athens' is far away from the city. The first 5 km, I cycle on the motorway with a broad hard shoulder. It is the only possibility to leave the airport area. There is another way, however not official and without signs. It is used by the airport staff a German woman tells me who has lived in Athens for many year.

I arrive around 18.00 h in the youth hostel "Aphrodite", enough time for a shower, supper and a stroll through the city.

Panorama of Athens

Church on my way to Athens


church in Roman Agora

Tuesday 24.04.07 Sightseeing day in Athens
At 09.00 am. I join a group for a 4 to 5 hours "Sightseeing Walking Tour" around the Akropolis. Our group consists of 2 Canadien girls, me and the guide.

We pass the government building where the changing of the guard takes place. We visit the Temple of Olympius Zeus, Roman Agora/ Market of Caesar and Augustus, objects of interest around the Akropolis and the Akropolis itself.

Later in the afternoon I take the tube back to the youth hostel and have a nap. Such a "walking tour" is more strenuous than cycling up a steep hill.

Tempel of Zeus

Changing of the guards

Harbour Pireus-Salamina

Wednesday 25.04.07 Athens - Korinth 94.60 km. total 133.68 km.
From the youth hostel I cycle to the harbour of Pireas. I see the hectic life and the many ships. 10 km. Northwest from Pireas is another, smaller harbour with ferries to different islands. I take the one to Salamina to avoid the busy road north around the bay of Athens.

I cross the island and get on the Westside to the mainland again. Now it is not far to the channel of Korinth, "Isthmia" the Greeks say. It is a 6.3 km. long and 21 meters wide channel that connects the gulf of Korinth with the Saronikos gulf (Mediterranean). The steep walls rise up to 84 meters, a breath-taking impression, built in the years from 1881 to 1893.

West of Korinth is the first campground I will stay at.

Left Gulf of Korinth, right the channel

Bridge of Rio (Patra)

Entrance to the campsite

View of my tent on the Gulf

At the market place.

Thursday 26.04.07 Korinth - Lambiri 104.22 km. total 237.90 km.
I cycle along the Gulf of Korinth to the west. On the left are the mountains and right the Gulf. The increasing tail wind, cloudy sky, and a temperature of 19° make cycling a pleasure.

The restaurant of the campground is still closed, the season starts on the first of June. The next supermarket is 5 Km back. With this strong wind, it is not encouraging. The owner of the campground offers me to come with him at 6 pm. He has to go to town anyway.

Above the bakery/3 room apartment.

Generous baker

Many little chuches along the road

A funeral takes place. A huge column follow the two clergymen through the small village. I don't have the courage to take a photo, therefore I take one of the cemetery.

This monastery is close to Megara.

Along the Gulf of Korinth

Friday 27.04.07 Lambiri - Neochori 81.03 km. total 318.93 km.
Today I get up early in the morning, because the next campground is in Mitikas 160 km. away.

With a strong tailwind soon I arrive at the bridge in Rio (Patra). It is not easy to cycle straight ahead on the large bridge with such strong wind, now coming from the right. My way leads through Etoliko (lying on an island and connected with 2 bridges to the mainland) to Neochori.

It is 1200 o'clock, time for a break. In a baker's shop I buy a few cakes, one filled with vegetable and the other one sweet. I sit down beside the bakery on a wall and want to eat the cakes. The Baker's daughter comes out and asks me to come inside. A chair behind the bar is organized and we talk together. Most of the Greek youth speak English. After a while I say good-bye and want to continue on my way. The baker daughter returns and says; over the shop is a 3 room apartment. If you like to stay overnight there, you can have it. I accept her offer.

In the afternoon I go to the market place with many cosy coffee-houses. A man asks me what age I am. I say 67. He looks surprised and says we are the same age. May I invite you to offer on a Greece coffee? We sit down at a table and I show him a few Greek letters I learned before starting my tour. He writes the whole Greek alphabet into my booklet.

Now I can start learning the Greek alphabet by heart. (In which I succeed surprisingly well). A great help is that all traffic signs are in Greek and Latin.

Shower with solar equipment

Harbour of Mitikas

Sunrise at the Gulf of Korinth

Saturday 28.04.07 Neochori - Mitikas 73.26 km. total 392.19 km.
In the early morning I go into the baker's shop to pay my overnight stay. Now the baker and his son are there. He doesn't want money. It looks like he is offended. Instead he gives me bread and two cakes. I am speechless with such hospitality. I will write him a letter when I'm at home again. His daughter speaks English and can translate my letter.

Today I have to surmount two crests of about 170 meters. One before and one after Astakos. This small town lies idyllic in a bay. I encounter a lot of fish-farming along the coast.

At 2 pm. I pitch my tent in Mitikas. That means the afternoon visiting the small town. First I order a coffee frappé. That is coffee, sugar with shaked milk and ice cubes. A wonderful refreshing beverage which I had yesterday for the first time. I sit on a terrace and enjoy my ice coffee. I have a view of the opposite shop. Many customers come along with their car to buy something but nobody switches off his car, even the police has his chat inside the shop while the car runs.

The Greek landscape, hilly and many seas with fine bays to bathe.

I see many in different colour on the roadside

Interior view of a miniature church. Icons, candles, lighter, oil lamp or chalice

Sunday 29.04.07 Mitikas - Parga 118.86 km. totalt 511.05 km.
My way to Paleros runs along the lake. The terrain is up and down. On both sides of the street are many sheep, sometimes guarded by one or two dogs a few times running and barking after me. So far I am faster than the dogs. If it were the other way around, I have a tear gas spray in my steering bag and I would not hesitate to use the gas.

I cycle on a fantastic route with beautiful bays for bathing and each bend offers another panorama. From Aktio to Prevesa is a 2 km. channel under the sea. For cars dutiable and cyclist absolutely prohibited. I know from other cycle websites that a free transportation service for cyclists exists. After 7 minutes waiting, a car with trailer comes along. My bike is loaded on the trailer, and we set off to the other side of the channel.

Few photos which will show an impression

of the Greek mountain world

Here you can certainly spend a relaxing holiday

A free taxi journey

A 2 Km. channel to Preveza

Sunset in Mitikas

Monday 30.04.07 Parga - Kerkyra 110.42 km. total 621.47 km.
From the campground to the main street (12Km.) the elevation is 200 meters. Now I am on a plateau with marshland. The frogs croak to race each other and the birds whistle out of full throat.

I meet two retired Greek cyclist. Their bicycles are from Germany. They are obviously proud to greet me in the German language. They come from the next village and make a small trip. They are astonished at the equipment on my bike. The luggage bags in front and on the back. They have worked many years in Cologne.

In Plataria a man, who I ask for direction, wants to show me his beautiful house. Certainly paid with D-mark.

On a terrace I have a break with a glass coffee frappé and promptly served in the German language. In Igoumenitsa I take the next ferry to the south coast of Corfu. On this island I get the feeling Greece is passé. The island is specialized to English and German tourists, everything written in English or German. At the harbour of Kerkyra I enquire about the next ferry to Brindisi. The next one leaves tomorrow 12 pm. So I have time to visit the capital of Corfu.

Greece islands

Terrain around Parga

Many, many sheep guarded by dogs with big teeth

Salt production in Mesologi

Harbour of Igoumenitsa. From here ferries leaves to many different islands

Tuesday 01.05.07 of the campground Dionysus to the port in Kerkyra 10 km total 631.47 km.
The campground is well equipped. I use the washing machine and in the afternoon I cycle into the capital. Unfortunately most shops are closed, because it is May 1st, even the Internet coffee is closed.

While waiting on the ferry, 11pm. a large group of Italian Motorcyclists drive up. A radio is switched on and they dance until we can go on board. It is a pleasure to see them dance. I think they do it often because it looks perfect. Bye bye Greece and hello Italy.

Apulia (South-Italy)

Dance until going on board

Until Ostuni it is flat and fauna is in blossom

From Ostuni the valley "Olio" begins

Wednesday 02.05.07 Brindisi - Alberobello 80.03 km. total 711.50 km // daily height 656 M. = total height from Athens 4019 meters

Around 09.00h I leave the ferry. I cycle into the city of Brindisi, first to see the city and second to have breakfast.

Until Ostuni the street is dead straight, nevertheless the fauna is beautiful. After Ostuni the valley "Olio" begins. A valley with left and right settlements of "Trulli". That is one reason why I cycle via South Italy (Apulia) to Croatia. I have heard much of the trulli and want to see it with my own eyes.
The Trulli
The word trulli derives from the Greek word "tholos" (meaning-dome). At the beginning trulli were only a bunch of stones build as a small dome, without any other material. The stones composing the roof are called "ciancole" These impermeable stones are put over the thick stones composing the walls. At the top of the roof there is a decorative pinnacle that can be of different shapes. The roof is normally the top of one single, big room, containing alcoves at the two sides, once used as bedrooms or as a kitchen.

Singles or in hamlet

Farm of trulli

The city Alberobello is mostly made of trulli

Thursday 03.05.07 Alberobello - Bari 60.31 km. total 771.81 km // daily height 151 M = total height 4170 meters
Leaving Alberobello, I take the route through the country via Putignano, Turi and Torre A Mare.

The streets between the villages are in good shape but in the small towns catastrophic. I have to concentrate to evade the holes.

In Bari I find out that the ferry to Dubrovnik leaves only the day after tomorrow. In Brindisi I made inquiries about the ferries but the officer could not tell me about the ferry schedule in Bari. (sitting behind a Computer and on his left a telephone and could not tell me). That means two days in Bari. At the tourist office I inquire about a room for 2 nights

That way you park your "car".


Defence tower in Torre a Mare

Picturesque fishing boats

Selling fish

St. Spirito northern of Bari

Friday 04.05,07 Bari 0 km.
Fortunately Bari has a beautiful old part of town and is worth a visit. But nevertheless 2 days are too long so I decide to make a small trip with my bike tomorrow.

Still well chained

4 like-minded from Slovenija

Fishing boats in Bari

Rain protectioni

Click to read

Saturday 05.05 07 a small trip to St. Spirito 20.14 km. total 791.95 km // daily height 163 M. = total height 4333 meters
In a pamphlet I read that St. Spirito is worthwhile to visiting. The weather is excellent, so a decision is quickly made and I am not disappointed. A very beautiful harbour with many small coloured fishing boats. Picturesque to take a few photos.

Back in Bari, I meet four like-minded bikers from Slovenija. It is their last day of a south Italy cycle-tour. They have travelled many itineraries around the globe. So we have many topics for conversation. In the late evening we say good-bye. They cycle to the Station, I to the harbour.

Croatia and Slovenia

Panorama of Dubrovnik

Sunday morning in Dubrovnik

With 2 Boys from the USA on the ferry



A strong fortress

Water well

Sunday morning, it looks like it is uninhabited.

Sunday 05.05.07 Dubrovnik - Orebic 121.37 km. total 913.32 km. // daily height 1580 M. = total height 5913 meters.
The ferry arrives at the port of Dubrovnik at ca. 6.00 am. It must have been a really strong fortress in the Middle Ages. From the ferry I have a beautiful view of the city. The old part of town is surrounded by thick walls. On this early Sunday Morning I have the impression the tourists have left the city to me.

Between 09.00 and 10.00 am. I start cycling to the north along the coast. The road to the peninsula Pelješac is on an elevation of 200 to 300 meter above sea level. A rocky peninsula on which the ups and downs get increasingly strenuous. A few times I read on a signboard "camping", with an arrow downward. When I am at the camping at sea level, I read "closed". It is frustrating. Way can't they put that signboard above on the road? I think they don't expect cyclist on this road. After the second time cycling downward in vain I decide to go further to the next bigger village "Oberic" where the camping is open the whole year.

One big advantage the road is at that elevation, the views, overlooking the cliffs, beaches and sea, are spectacular. Each curve gives another beautiful view.

I arrive shortly before sunset in Oberic, time to pitch my tent and take a shower. It is a 4 star campground and everything is spic and span.

One of the many bays

Camping in Oberic

This ferry is a catamaran

The harbour of Oberic (penisula Pellesac).

Monday 07.05.07 Oberic - Vela Luka 60.05 km. total 973.37 km. // daily height 968 M. = total height 6881 meters
It will be a strenuous day. The daily height will be about 1000 meters but the distance only 60 km. I have time the whole day.

In the early morning I am invited by my tent neighbours for breakfast. I enjoy the coffee but above all our discussion. My hosts undertook many cycling tours.

Before leaving I go to the reception to pay the overnight stay. The owner said: "Yesterday you have had such a strenuous day, the overnight for you is free. (A fine gift!!)

The distance to the island Korcula is only 2 km. Korcula has a big wall around the old part of town. A stairway leads to the gate with a bridge to let down. Narrow alleyways are typical of cities of the Middle Ages. Also the old town of Korcula, the birthplace of Marco Polo. Now it is a museum, there you can find out everything you want to know about the globetrotter. By the way, I notice in many things that the Italian influence in Croatia is very widespread.

When I leave korcula, the sun burns very strong. I need sun protection every day. Just out of the city a gradient of one in ten begins. When I arrive at the top, I have climbed 500 meter and I am soaked to the skin. It is time for picnic and dry cloths.

I cycle through the island from east to west. In Vela Luka, the end of the island, I find out that the ferry to Hvar start running in June. That is a disappointment. There is a small ferry but it doesn't transport bikes. The only possibility is to take the ferry to Split tomorrow 06.30.

The campground is on the other side of a mountain. A serious worry is not to oversleep. I have to get up at 05.00 am. I need at least one hour for tent dismantling and the 5 km. distance to the harbour.

The owner of the campground shows me his property with many trees. If an olive, fig or carob tree is too old, dies or the tree is felled, new ones shoot around the old one. I take seeds from the carob tree. At home I will put the seeds in soil.

City and island Korcula. Here Marco Polo was born and spent his youth

Broad walls prevent to dry out

The city of Korcula

Birthplace of Marco Polo

After dying or felling an olive, fig or carob tree, new ones shoot around the old one

These young turtles are one year old and belong to the campground

Not only the olives, also the carob tree make new shoots

Tuesday 08.05.07 Vela Luka - Trogir 42.63 km. total 1016 km. // daily height 287 M. = total height 7168 meters.
At 05.55 am I am at the port of Vela Luka. The passage with the ferry Jadrolinija will take 3 hours. I pay 35 Kuna for me and 37 for the bike. (€11)

The crossing is fantastic. The early morning sun shines beautifully on the islands in its full splendour and the blue sky district cuts a sharp contrast to the mainland. The ferry arrives in Split at 09.30 am.

I go through the alleyway of the pedestrian-precinct. There is a celebration for something. A crowd of people are in the city.

Shortly before Trogir I meet a globetrotter from Barcelona. He started cycling a few months ago. If his money runs cut, he works somewhere as a cook and continues his way.

Trogir is such a beautiful city. It is only 2 o'clock but I will stay here for the night. I go to the Tourist information to get informed what is worthwhile to see. They also have Internet connection.

The camping site is on the seashore and I pitch my tent on the beach. Then I go into the city until sunset.

Arrival of the ferry in Split

Beautiful bays to take a bath

My tent on the beach

Clear water

Trogir, lovely old town and attractive for tourist

Wednesday 09.05.07 Trogir - Sibenik (Zablace) 83.92 km. total 1099.92 km. // daily height 486 M. = total height 7654 meters.
I needed 7 hours for only 83 km. The landscape isn't difficult to cycle but breathtakingly beautiful. I make many stops to enjoy this Panorama and make photos. At each bend is an even more beautiful view appears. There are marvellous bays and clear water.

While I admire such a bay a German cyclist comes along and stops to have a chat. We have to tell each other a lot because we cycle in opposite direction. What the landscape looks like is it hilly or flat, how much traffic etc. While we talk, a German touring bus makes a stop and soon we are surrounded by curious seniors.

The campground of Zablace is not officially open yet however the preparations are in full swing. I am allowed to pitch my tent and get the key for the toilet for tonight.

At the Dalmatia coast I see many bays

The coast between Trogir and Sibenik is unique

The same colour!! Then bees must be able to count

Sibenik is unparalelled for sailing

Today I don't make progress. I have to stop many times to enjoy the panorama

Thursday 10.05.07 Sibenik - Zadar via Krka 112.86 km. total 1212.78 km. // daily height 683 M. = total height 8337 meters.
I get up early in the morning and start in the direction of the National Park of Krka. I deposit the key as arranged, in the mail box. It is 20 kilometre to the National Park of which the last 10 km. I have to climb.

I chain my bike and take the shuttle bus to the falls. It is not allowed to go by car or bike to the falls. The series of falls are 60 metre high with a main step of 32m. There are stalactite caverns to visit, a boat tour to the Franciscan monastery, the church and museum. I stay 2 hours at the falls and continue my journey.

Today Zadar is my goal. At the harbour in Zadar I find out that the ferry left this morning to Mali Lošinj. The next one leaves in 7 days. I change my route a second time. I have to be flexible because the summer timetable starts next month. I look on the map and decide for the peninsula Pag.

The ascent to the National Park Krka is worthwhile

There is a shuttle bus to the falls. Biking is not allowed

Friday 11.05.07 Zadar - Šimuni (peninsula Pag) 72.58 km. total 1285.36 km. // daily height 577 M. = total height 8914 meters.
First I cycle to the old part of town from Zadar. Yesterday it was too late and I didn't fancy going to the town. As all cities on the Dalmatia coast, narrow alleyways make a stroll through Zadar pleasant. I have the view to both sides of the road because it is that narrow. Of course a big cathedral is there too.

To Ražanac I have to overcome 3 hillock chains. Then I cycle along the coast of the peninsula. I've never seen such a barren island. The opposite island has no vegetation at all. When the sun shines it looks white to yellow. With the blue of the water and somewhat brighter sky it makes a beautiful contrast.

In the city Pag I cycle over the bridge and have a climb to get to the other side of the peninsula. Here it looks completely differently. Grass and trees change the colour of the landscape green. This side is protected by the northern, dry, cold and gusty winds called, "Bora" mainly in the winter.

The 4-star campsite has a laundry. I bring my washing and after 2 hours a woman brings my washed clothes beautifully folded back to my tent. That is what I call service. In the evening there is even live music in the restaurant

There are only a few people bathing, although water and air temperature are very good.

Little to no Grass

Salt production

Zallev (lake)

I am surprised from what

humans and animal live on

Crossing the lake to the mainland

Saturday 12.05.07 Šimuni - Selce (before Rijeka) 113.70 km. total 1399.06 km. // daily height 1253 M. = total height 10167 meters
To get to the mainland I have to cross the peninsula Pag again. After a half hour waiting, the ferry brings me to the mainland. I have to climb 250 metre to rich the coastal road.

When I reach Senj it is lunchtime, a stroll through the city and shopping for tomorrow. With about 30° and ups and downs I need a lot of water.

In Selce, a holiday place, I spend the night. When I return from dinner to my tent I notice that the water bottles are stolen. A pity as tomorrow is Sunday and the shops are closed. My generous tent neighbour from Wädenswil replaces the bottles.

The Dalmati coast is a paradise for yachtsmen

Novi Vinodolski, 20 Km. northern Senj

I have seen many in the wild. Most of them in Greece

Fishfarming at the Dalmatisc coast

Sunday 13.05.07 Selce - Labin (Istrien) 111.43 km. total 1510.49 km. // daily height 1601 M. = total height 11768 meters
I cycle northwards to the bridge, which connect the mainland with the island Krk. This bridge is dutiable for cars but for cyclist toll-free. I take the route over Krk and Ces as an alternative to avoid the heavily used street via Rijeka. Krk and Ces are nearly deserted, I enjoy this peace. But it is a very exerting day. Above all Ces is very rocky. There are so many ups and downs, that I break the daily height record.

A German cyclist comes toward me. His water is exhausted. We share my water and he decides to go back and come with me to the next ferry. We cycle and talk the next 15 Km. together. He tells me, that he got a bypass on his heart last year. The reason he is breathing so fast is because he has been a very heavy smoker his whole live. My heart sinks a little and I decrease our speed. I think northern Germany is a better place for him to cycle, the country there flat as a pancake.

To the campground in Rabac near Labin are 3 km. down to the sea. I inquire before going down whether the campground is open. That is one thing I have learned on this trip.

Rabac is a resort with many hotels and a fine bay.

2 Metre wide to save Humidity

Bridge, connects the mainland with Krk

Bridge to the island Krk. Pay attention to my solar charger for Mobile and batteries

Monday 14.05.07 Labin - Pula 64.22 km. total 1574.71 km. // daily height 628 M. = total height 12396 meters.
To Pula it is not especially demanding apart from the start to get to the main road in Labin which is 300 metre higher. The road says good-bye to the sea and I cycle cross-country to Pula.

At 12 o'clock I am at the campground Stoja in Pula. I remove my luggage, pitch my tent and cycle back into the city. Pula, first mentioned 3000 years ago, has many historical buildings, of which the Amphitheater is the most impressive. In Istrien the Italian culture is noticeable. Signs of towns are written in two languages and many people understand Italian.

Amphitheater in Pula shows the large influence of the Romans in Istrien

Campground "Stoja" in Pula. The sunset is no longer as beautiful as former days

Market place Augustov Hram

Cathedral in Pula

Tuesday 15.05.07 Pula - Umag 88.51 km. total 1663.22 km. // daily height 705 M. = total height 13101 meters.
The sky is cloudy but I manage to pack my tent dry. Leaving Pula it starts to rain slightly, first a few drops, than I have to take my Pelerine out of the bottom of my pannier for the first time. I stay dry and don't perspire by the next hill (advantage of a Pellerine instead rain suit). For 4 hours I cycle in the rain and only my Pelerine get wet.

Shortly before Porec the rain stops and as I reach the city, I see the first ray of sunshine. After visiting an Internet coffee I have lunch and cycle through the city. Nevertheless I arrive wet at the camping in Umag, not from the rain but sweat from sunshine.

I have supper with a couple from Boswil, about 7 km from Bremgarten. For 10 years I have cycled past there house every day before I retired. We have a nice chat, both their hobbies are cycling.

Dark red/brown earth in Istrien

Narrow road in Porec

I do not see the sense of this bridge. Picture taken in the environment of Senj

Wednesday 16.05.07 Umag - Monfalcone (Italy) 92.45 km. total 1755.67 km. // daily height 635 M. = total height 13736 meters.
Only 20 km. and I leave Croatia. I take the most western border. It leads to the coast via Izola and Koper. Shortly before Koper the motorway begins, not permitted for biker. Just in front of the gas station the cycle path D-8 begins. The gas station operator shows me where the D-8 begins. I follow the D-8 sign-posting and get into the middle of Trieste.

I have to ask only two times to get on the correct track to Monfalcone, the last stretch of rocky coast along the Adriatic Sea, the SS14. With the campground of Monfalcone "Marina Julia" I enter for the first time marshy terrain, flat as a pancake, the lagoon area to Venice.

Portoroz, first city in Slovenija

This is the cycle track to Slovenia

Koper at the slovenia Adriatic

The SS14 from Trieste to Monfalcone

North-Italy and Swizerland

Thursday 16.05.07 Monfalcone Lido di Jesolo (Venice) 107.51 km. total 1863.21 km. // daily height 93 M. = total height 13829 meters.
Today no mountains but to Venice it is over 100 Km. so I leave the camping early. In the afternoon I will wash my clothes for the last time.

Venice is protected by an offshore small stripe of land. There are a lot of campgrounds on this land. I take the one with name "Jesolo international", a 4 star campground with everything a guest need and much more. Washing machine, free of charge internet, fitness area (which I leave to others) large swimming pool, tennis courts, supermarket, playground, restaurant etc. If you feel bored, the camping is not to be blamed. At night it is guarded by a night watchman.

In this tangle of channels, direction indicators are not redundant

With only 4 hours of rain in one month I get accustomed to such pictures

And also on this I can get accustomed

Friday 18.05.07 day of rest in Venice !! Km. 0
I walk to the bus stop. The first bus doesn't stop the second fully occupied goes past me too, in the third one I can enter, with ¾ hour of delay. Viva Italia.

To visit Venice today is not the best day. Yesterday was "Ascension Day" (for Austrian 4 holidays) and it looks like the Reconquista of the Habsburger take place. Nearly all cars on the camping are from Austria.

In Punta Sabbioni I enter the Vaporetto (ferry not for cars) and get off not far from the Markus place. To burrow my way through a mass of people is not my favourite work. It is a long time ago since I have seen so many people like today. Certainly a very beautiful city with its channels, gondola and market places, narrow alleyway and old buildings which are worth seeing. But after 3 hours Venice I take the next ferry and spend the afternoon at the swimming pool.

Side view of the Markuschurch.

Gondola, Gondola, Gondola.

View from the Rialtobridge.

Saturday 19.05.07 Lido di Jesolo - Vicenza 113.57 km. total 1976.78 km. // daily height 130 M. = total height 13959 meters.
I take the way over Treviso and Castelfranko. There I make Siesta and have a look at the old part of town.

In the afternoon I continue via Cittadella, and cross over the Brenta (river from the national park at the dolomites) to Vicenza.

At the campground, I meet a couple with bikes, panniers and pull a Bob Yak (trailer for Bikes). The man is a professional cook, so I can understand that a part of the kitchen is taken with them. In the evening we talk about cycle touring, they are also passionate cyclists and in former times made many tours. Now the children are grown up, and they start cycling again.


The river Brenta, she comes from the national park "Bellunesi" in the dolomites

Grape vines with the dolomites in the background

Sunday 20.05.07 Vicenza - Padenghe (Gardasee) 106.71 km. total 2083.49 km // daily height 252 M. = total height 14211 meters.
Because it is Sunday I can take the risk to cycle on the SS11, and indeed there is not much traffic.

At 11.00 am. I am in Verona on the bridge over the Adige, (river from the Rechen and Brennerpass) and look at the beautiful city. A man comes to me and gives me a lesson in history. In Napoleons' time the Frenchmen stood on the right side of the river and the Habsburger (Austrian) on the left, he explains.

I cycle into the city to the market place and enjoy my Siesta on a terrace with coffee and write a few postcards. On this market square I saw a "tabacci" where I could buy postcards on this Sunday and nex-door a mailbox.

I cycle very slowly through the city. A cyclist comes beside me. He is an inhabitant of this city and offers to explore Verona with me on our bikes. He leads me to many objects of interest and explains why it was built and what function it has today. We are both pleased about our meeting. He leads me out of the city on the right way to the Gardasee and we say good-bye.

Verona with Adige. At Napoleons' times the Frenchmen stood left and the Habsburger (Austrian) on the right side of the river


Gardasee at Dezensano

Does she really have 15 children are?

Monday 21.05.07 Padenghe sul Garda - Como 147.12 km. total 2230.61 km. // daily height 884 M. = total height 15095 meters.
At 07.00 am. I take off, because I want to get to Como. The flat terrain is past. The landscape becomes increasingly hillier and more interesting. I take side streets, as I assume that the main street on a Monday morning has too much traffic.

After nearly 7 hours I make a coffee break shortly before Como. I ask the landlord whether she know the campground of Como. On the bar is a laptop. Google shows exactly the name and location of the only camping in Como. It is not far away and easy to find.

End of the Gardalake. Its water flows into the Po

Campground at the Gardalake

The Comolake surround by mountains

Last washing day

Motorway bridge in the Leventina

On the left entry of the motorway tunnel and on the right the old road

On the "devil bridge". There is a history of this bridge. Click here

Firest view from the Gotthard

Tuesday 22 05.07 Como - Faido 109.91 km. total 2340.52 km. // daily height 1175 M. = total height 16270 meters.
From the camping "Como south" I have to get over a small hill to reach Switzerland.

On top I have the last view of the lake Como surrounded by the mountains. A beautiful place to say goodbye to Italy. A fine downhill brings me to Chiasso the Swiss border.

I still have 600 Kuna (Croatian currency) in my wallet and want to exchange it in Swiss Francs. No bank wants to enter into this big business. So I have a souvenir of a country which has been very strenuous to cycle but one of the most beautiful I know.

In Bellinzona it's lunchtime. From the tourist information, I find out that the campground in the Leventina is just before Faido. That means tomorrow I will take the last hurdle, the Gotthard.

Mainly paving-stones

The Tremola opened 5 days ago, nearly no traffic

Ascent of the Tremola

Still a little snow is left

Summit of the Gotthard

The lake on the summit of the Gotthard is half frozen

An over 30 km. fantastic descent from the Gotthard summit

The famous stone at Wassen.

Wednesday 23.05.07 Faido - Brunnen 98.09 km. total 2438.61 km // daily height 1584 M. = total height 17854 meters.
To Airolo are 20Km. and the first 400 meters ascent. One cappuccino and then I tackle the Tremola. (The old road to the Gotthardpass) There is another asphalted way, better suitable for racing cycles.

The Tremula is made of paving-stones but tyres with 700x35C are no problem. In former times the stagecoach with 6 to 8 horses got over this road. I have luck, 5 days ago the Tremola reopened. There is hardly any traffic. I see a flower growing in the middle of the road.

I have strong head wind cycling down. Now I have the opportunity to see what the Axenstrasse (road along the Vierwaldstättersee) looks like. A few years ago it was very dangerous to cycle. The road was one big construction. The cycle track is now separated from motorized traffic and the course is on the sea side. With views of the lake. But unfortunately when the canton Schwyz begins it is the same as in the past.

In Brunnen I pitch my tent for the last night of my journey.


Along the Axenstrasse is now a cycle path until the canton Uri. From canton Schwyz on it is very dangerous for cyclist

Brunnen in the evening

Thursday 24.05.07 Brunnen - Bremgarten 58.39 km. total 2497 km. // daily height 384 M. = total height 18238 meters.
I leave Brunnen at 07.00 am. It is wonderful cycling that early in the morning along the Vierwaldstättersees. I get off my bike a few times to enjoy the view and take pictures to hold this panorama in my memory.

At Küssnacht I see a baker's shop with terrace, exactly the right place for a break. I get into conversation with a couple whose Hobby is cycling. Last year they cycled in Holland and got acquainted with the Dutch head wind on the island Texel. After exactly one month I am home at high noon.

It is beautiful cycling early in the morning along the Vierwaldstättersee, nearly no traffic.

In the Reussvalley I cycle along such picturesque field

Küssnacht at the Rigi


Happy to be home again without accident.


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