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National Route Nr.5

We arrived in Lausanne by train the evening of 2nd June 2015. We want to ride the National Route no.5 of Velo-Land-Switzerland (There are 9 different routes throughout Switzerland.)
Romanshorn on Lake Constance to Lausanne on Lake Geneva. Because of the usual south-west wind, we opted for the opposite direction.
From the station to the Camping Vidi in Lausanne are 20 minutes to ride, it's all downhill to the lake. The beautiful campsite is located just next to the building of the International Olympic Committee.
After the tent is set up and we have showered, we take a walk along the lake through the Park of the Olympic Committee and enjoy the sun setting with views to the lake and the Mont Blank Massive.

Starting point Lausanne-Vidy

Stroll through the park of the

Olympic Committee

Wednesday 3rd June 2015 Lausanne - Yverdon les Bains
Kilometer 58.27
Time 3: 47
Height 591 meters

the first

pictures

of Route 5

The Vaud hills, are almost always a little up or down.

We follow sign no. 5 towards the west. After about 5 km. the road is blocked by construction and the route was diverted. It's not so easy to find the route again once you've lost it. In Penthalaz we make our breakfast break. Usually we cycle 15 to 20 km. before we stop for breakfast. Here we meet a young woman who helps us to find the right way.
If you
download this app, ( for free) you won't have this problem. It shows the shortest route on the right track. Unfortunately, I found this app when I got home.

 

 

 

 

From now on, we follow the signs without problems to Yverdon les Bains. We make a sightseeing tour at this beautiful town and take a few pictures.
A shopping mall gives us the opportunity to cover our food and drinks before we go to the campground.
Throughout the day we had sun with scattered small clouds.
A few times we had to pedal like mad and with a total gradient of almost 600 meters, it will bee the hardest leg of this tour
At a temperature of 30 ° we look forward to a refreshing shower.

Castle Yverdon

The Castle Grandson is on the other side of the lake

she feels sure not to be disturbed with breeding

nice campground in Yverdon-les-Bains

Thursday 4th June 2015 Yverdon les Bains - Erlach on Lake Biel
Km. 65.26
Total 123.53
Time: 4:05h
Height 433 meters

Estavayer from the South Gate

Corpus Christi procession

at Estavayer-le-Lac

a lovely town

looking towards the west, to the lake

the north gate with well-preserved city walls

The mosquitoes had a fixed meal last night, we are left with no choice but to seek the nearest
Pharmacy to buy an anesthetic pin
Along the eastern side of Lake Biel we cycle through a wooded area. We are grateful for every meter of shade driving in this heat.
It's Corpus Christi today. In Estavayer-le-Lac, the people wait along the road to see the procession. I hear the music coming closer. Soon we see, dressed in white, kindergarten and first graders pass, led by an altar boy with crucifix.

Again in the countryside by

by small hamlets and farms

sometimes you have to step firmly into the pedals

The cantonal border here runs very tricky, once you're in Neuchâtel, Bern or Freiburg. Estavayer belongs to the canton of Fribourg, i.e. Catholic.
We are glad that the bakery and restaurants are open today. It is common here, that fresh pastry bought at the baker can be eaten at a restaurant with a cup of coffee. That is in France and in French-speaking Switzerland evident. I see at least three different tables with the same bags we have from the bakery.
If you do that in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, they will probably throw you out of the restaurant.
As the saying goes "When in Rome, do as the Romans do".

last views of Lake Neuchâtel

and we are back in the country, here again a field full of poppy

We continue north along the lake sometimes overland or through small villages.
After a while we cross the Broye canal. It is the connection between Lake Murten and Lake Neuchâtel.
In Ins (birthplace of
Albert Anker) is lunchtime. We stop at his birthplace and hope to visit it. (it is now a museum) Unfortunately it is only open every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. So we continue towards Lake Biel.

crossing Canal de la Broye

birthplace Albert Anker ^

< to read, click on the picture

Municipal House in Ins

on the way to Lake Biel ^

< very steep alleyways in Erlach

center Erlach

the penisula seen from Erlach

goodbye Erlach

In Erlach the campground is at the foot of St. Peter's Island. After shower and pitching the tent we made sightseeing through the beautiful village of Erlach. The little roads are very steep, I guess about 20%. The castle is now used as anthroposophist educational institution for normal gifted, mostly children and young people with learning difficulties.

view from the medieval Erlach on the low-lying new district and Lake Biel

Friday 5th June 2015 Erlach - Solothurn
Km. 50.68
Total 174.21
Time 3: 03h
Height 113 meters

Left the new right and the old power plant on Aarecanal in Hagneck on Lake Biel

A simple and beautiful route awaits us today, along the Lake Biel, the river Aare and is all pretty flat.
The first 10 kilometers to the Aare channel we cycle mostly on forested cycle paths.
We are very happy with so much shadow. The weather forecast said 'temperatures will go up to 30 degrees in the afternoon'.
In Hagneck the new Aare power station at sea entry is nearly finished. We take a breather, a coffee and a photo of the power station before we continue.

power station in Hagneck

at Niedau we leave the Lake Biel

flowering field with linseed

Niedau - Büren- Canal

bridge over canal >

storks are looking for titbits on new ploughed field

We were careless for a moment and we lose again the marked route. This time we do not need as long as the first day to find it again. In return, we pass a flowering flax field. It is the first time that I see such a field in Switzerland. In the Nordic countries you see often those bright blue colored landscapes.
In Nidau the route leads along the eastside of the Aare. We pass a shopping center just at the right time for a hearty breakfast.
Büren a.d. Aare is too nice to cycle past; we make again a break and visit the town in more detail.
In the afternoon the route is mostly on gravel paths which are routed around the villages. On the left side along the Aare just before Solothurn, we get to the TCS campground (English AA)

center von Büren a.d. Aare

a beautiful medieval town

Saturday 6th June 2015 Solothurn - Brugg
Km. 83.75
Total 257.96
Times 4: 46 h
Height 269 meters

old hospital Solothurn

flowermarket Solothurn

picnic area

A violent storm woke me up about 23:00 hr. I did not expect that it would come to this. I have forgotten to fasten the storm ropes. Hardly back in the tent, it started to rain cats and dogs. (After such a hot day I should have expected something like this).
The sun rises early and has dried the tent before leaving the camping.
We cycle into the center of Solothurn to visit the Ursen-Cathedral. Today is market day. The temptation is great to buy fine things but our luggage bags are already quite full.

 

landscape along the Aare

Wonderful made

fish ladder at

the power station Aarburg

church Aarburg

home for young people Aarburg

Olten

The river Aare accompanied us throughout the day, sometimes on the left sometimes on the right side, past small villages and somewhat larger towns such as Olten and Aarau; it is a very varied route.
Shortly before Aarburg is a river power plant. The company Alpiq built an exemplary fish ladder. I have never seen such a beautiful bypass.
The old town of Olten pleasantly surprised me, an old wooden bridge and houses from the 17th and 18th centuries have impressed me.
We know our cantonal capital Aarau, so we stay on the bike path along the Aare and after a while get into Brugg.

we leave on a wide and

beautiful bridge Olten (castle Falkenstein)

and continue along the Aare

Aarau - Capital of our Canton

Here was formerly the Bernese call the shots

Castle Altenburg, now youth-hostel

We stay in the hostel Altenburg. Here lived Lanzelin ( 991), son of Guntram the Rich (progenitor of the princely family of the Habsburgs. A family once ruler of the mightiest empire) His son, Radbot is the builder of Castle Habsburg and the monastery Muri.
On the side of the castle is still a remnant of a Roman wall to see. This area around Brugg has been an important Roman legion camp Vindonissa. (Here the rivers Aare, Reuss and Limmat come together and form a natural passage towards the north). This important way had to be controlled.
We get the room "Otto von Habsburg", named after the eldest son of the last emperor of Austria.

before the castle Habsburg was built, this was the seat of the Habsburg Dynasty

breakfast room in the castle Altenburg with an old fireplace. Left coat of arms of Altenburg, in the middle the Habsburgs Dynasty and on the right side the city Brugg

< at the front of the 1000 year old castle Altenburg, is still a residual wall from the Roman period to see which is another 1,000 years older

Sunday 7th June 2015 Brugg - Winterthur
Km. 76.61
Total 334.57
Time 4: 38 h.
Height 564 meters

the Badstrasse in the lovely old town of Baden

< city gate ^ medieval street which leads to the river Limmat

Today we don't need to break down the tent but can just sit at the table and enjoy breakfast. It's a small youth hostel with not many people. We start again a beautiful day with a clear sky and the weather forecast is good.
After about 13 km. we cycle through the old town of Baden, cross an old wooden bridge over the river Limmat and have a break in the garden of the monastery Wettingen.
The path is well sign-posted and we can easily get oriented to the Limmat River. I was scared to enter the traffic of the densely populated area around the airport Kloten but I was wrong. Throughout the city we are guided only by cycle paths until we are back in the country.

we leave Baden over this bridge and visit

Wettingen with Convent

and continue through the country

along Katzensee,

around the airport,

always on cycle paths

We leave the Limmat and continue along the Katzensee, through forests, cornfields and meadows. After Lindau and Winterberg we get to a bigger marvelous forest with temperature of 30 °.
A river flows through the forest. Cyclists confirm us that it is the river Töss, which we will follow tomorrow. We are now leaving the official route because we are looking for the campground Schützenweiher. It is a well known place for locals, so we only need to ask once to find the campsite with good accommodation facilities.
After setting up tents and have a shower we have a lot of time to enjoy the late afternoon and evening. There is a beautiful pond, plenty of hiking trails and a restaurant vis-à-vis to enjoy a cooling ice cream.

between Bassersdorf and Winterthur on endless bike paths.

schützenweiher with camping and restaurant

Thursday, June 25th 2015 Winterthur - Romanshorn
Km. 80.62
Total 415.19
Time 4: 29 h
Height 560

old town of Winterthur

along the Töss

Rikon with Tibet-Monastery

At the date you see that 2 weeks have passed.
The weather has been so bad and the forecast was not much better for the following days. We decided to go home and to postpone the final leg until the conditions are summery again, (The advantages to be retired.)

Today is the day; we drive by car to the point where we interrupted the journey, at Schützenweiher in Winterthur.
We unload the bikes and ride the final leg "easily". I.e. everything that is not necessary and heavy, we leave in the car. Once in Romanshorn this evening we take the train back to Winterthur.
The Campsite is located in the north of Winterthur and the cycle route in the south.

betweenThurbenthal and Bichelsee, the hamlet Seelmatten

Beautiful half-timbered house in Sirnach

At this bridge in Will we find the Thur

a little further the river is quite a bit quieter

continue on paved and gravel roads

This gives us the opportunity to explore the old town. After visiting the centre we have to find the Tösstalstrasse witch leads us to the last stage of the cycling route.
Until Turbenthal we follow the river Töss. We come through the village Rikon.
In 1959, the uprising in Tibet took place. Of the 100,000 Tibetans who fled to India, 1000 were taken to Switzerland. In Rikon they built a monastery.
After Turbenthal we turn left towards Bichelsee.
The path leads offside the main road, along small hamlets and farms.
Via Sirnach we arrive at the city of Will at lunchtime. There are many lunch options: two shopping centers with restaurants or we can choose from different street restaurants.

through a covered wooden bridge

and along the Thur

we get into the fruit City Bischofzell

here we missed a sign but at Riet

we are back on the right track

along Casle Hagenwil

Before we find the sign-posted path again, we cycle to the river Thur. Luckily a cyclist passing by helps us on the right track. After 2 to 3 km on gravel roads along the Thur, we see a highway gas station with restaurant located parallel to our gravel path. Through an open barrier gate, we get to the restaurant and treat ourselves a dessert.
The next approximately 15 km to Bischofszell we cycle on gravel roads mostly along the river Thur.
Bischofzell is the "fruit center" of east Switzerland. Many glasshouses are in their surroundings.
Via Hagenwil, Steinebrunn and Hungerbüel we reach the goal of our journey, Romanshorn on Lake Constance. Upon arrival we see a zeppelin hovering over Lake Constance.
The train brings us back to Winterthur in les then 2 hours where the car was waiting for us to drive home, but first we treat ourselves to a cooling ice cream.

a zeppelin glides across Lake Constance

target in sight, the Bodensee

strawberries in container

goal achieved

the car is waiting for return journey but first a cooling ice cream at restaurant Schützenweiher

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