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To start our bike season, we want to cycle the "Route 99" from Lausanne to Zug in Switzerland, called the "Herzroute".
We had to wait a long time due to the miserable spring weather.
Eventually, on 21 June 2013, the longest day of the year, we take the train to Lausanne in the afternoon, so we can begin the journey early next morning.

Part 1of the Herzroute Nr.99


Herzroute view in a larger map

Vineyards and Lake Geneva seen from Epesses

The slopes are steep. Right in the blue area a little boat

 

Tower in Lutry

 

Saturday 22 June 2013. Lausanne - Moudon
km. 49.71
difference in altitude 676m.

(Ouchi = start of the Herzroute, Lutry, Epesses, Chexbres, Boi de Romont, Le Pigeon, Oron la Ville, Rue, Ursy, Moudon.)

From the campsite Vidi to Epesses we have to stop a few times to find the right way. There are only a few road signs with "Herzroute 99". , But that changes in Cully, where the slope begins to Chexbres. As from now on we do not need the map anymore, we just follow the signs "Herzroute 99".

From Epesses direcktion east

Cog wagon for processing the grapes

View of Lake Geneva seen from the Bois de Romont

The weather is fine and in Epesses we have the opportunity to take a breather at a viewpoint, It offers a splendid panorama over the Lavaux, (the vineyards along Lake Geneva.)
The distance from the shoreline to Chexbres is about 4 km and the ascent is moderate (6%), but the following 4 km to the Bois de Romont, with up to 15%, is tough. On the summit we have the last chance to take a look at the Lavaux.
There is a opportunity to change the battery of flyer-bikes or bikes with borrowed accumulator in a restaurant for free. Comfortable seats with a great view are included!

View on Cully and Lake Geneva seen from Bois de Romont.

On top of the Bois de Romont

is a battery changing station with

restaurant and comfortable seating

In the shadow the little puddles don't dry, so Slalom-route is announced

A wonderful landscape for cycling

< Church of Chattilens

The route is well signposted. We cycle through small villages, on paved and gravel - cycle paths, through forests and meadows to the north.
Via Oron-la-Ville, we arrive at the village Rue where the inhabitants boast to live in the smallest town of Europe. Let's hope for them it will last many years more. However, judging by all the cranes standing around, their dream will soon be vanishing.
Arriving at Ursy the weather has become very nice so we decide to go to a small campsite in Moudon, near the river La Broye, with swimming pool included.

Sometimes it goes up steep

Rue from afar

Rue the smallest city in Europe

Rue from near

Campground in Moudon

Hikers along the river Broye in Moudon

Small hamlets and individual farms between Oron and Rue

Moudon with the river Broye

Sunday 23 June 2013 Moudon - Laupen
km. 82.89 total 132.60
difference in altitude 1013 total 1689

( Ursy, Romont, Torny la Grand, Montagny, Domdidier, Avenches, Murten, Salvenach, Jeuss, Laupen.)

Between Ursy and Romont

Castle in Romont

A mighty tree

Gothic Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame-de-Assumption in Romont >


In the forest between Mannens and Montagny

Last night it rained. Fortunately, the morning is dry and we can prepare ourselves for the moderate ascent of 7 km back to Ursy.
During the ride it starts raining again and we still need our rain shield to cycle to Ursy but then it stops raining. Here in Ursy, we are back on the Herzroute 99.
From a distance we can see the hilltop of medieval knight's town Romont.

Although today it is Sunday, the bakery / pastry shop is open.
After a hearty breakfast we head for the old town. First we cycle to the knight's castle and the Round Tower "Tour à Boyer" (13th century). Diagonally opposite located lies the castle of the Gothic Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame-de-Assumption.

Montagny town and the castle were destroyed by fire in 1504 >

At the edge of a rape field is poppy in bloom

Church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Avenches.

Click on picture to read

< Avenches trough a Roman gate

Roman amphitheater and museum

Today's route is a constant up and down on bike paths through woods and meadows.
Inside the forest where the sun can't dry the gravel roads, we have to cycle like in a slalom to avoid the puddles on the path. Between Torny and Montagny it's almost all through forest.
We encounter many horse riders. It seems this is a popular sport in the canton of Fribourg, as we encounter many horse stables. During picnicking in the forest, we see different groups of horses. It seems they avoid a small bridge and take a small ford to cross the river nearby the bridge instead. Maybe the horses are afraid to cross the small bridge?
Soon we reach Avenches, called the capital of Roman Helvetia "aventicum" 2000 years ago. The amphitheater and parts of the city walls are silent witnesses of the past. People work hard on sceneries, so I think they are preparing for upcoming theatre events or concerts. In town I see young people dressed as Romans with shield and sword.
After almost 10 km we are already in Murten. It looks like "Bern in miniature". No surprise, since both cities are built by the
Zähringer dynasty. (11 to 13 century)

The first grain field

Main street and Bern-Tower of Murten

With its arcades, it has much resemblance to Berne, but it belongs to Freiburg >

The medieval town of Murten

< with tower.

During lunch in the city, we consider where to spend the night. Camping is not an option looking at this overcast sky. As for preparations for the trip, I wrote down a few phone numbers of B&Bs and the first call is a direct hit:
At a farmers family E. Ryser in Laupen there is a B & B close to the cycle route.
At 16:00 we arrive there and receive a very warm welcome.
A protected area for the bikes and a place to dry the wet tent is also available.

Murten with its lake

The river Saane bei Laupen

Center of Laupen

A shelter for the bikes

The farmhouse of the family Ryser

at the Herzroute in Laupen

Monday 24 June 2013 Laupen - Thun
km. 60.20 total 192.80
difference in altitude 337 total 2026 m.

( Laupen, Bramberg, Köniz, Kehrsatz, Flughafen-Belp, Münsingen, Route 8 folgend nach Thun.)

A few pictures from Laupen Castle

The look through the window does bode ill. I see dark clouds from east to west.
Mrs. Ryser, also a passionate cycler, proposes a different route. We should take Route 8 to Thun, because it is not worth cycling over the mountains with such low-lying clouds.
She goes to the computer and prints out the corresponding map. What a service!
We say goodbye to the Fam Ryser and before we cycle away she gives us fruits for a second breakfast.
We cross the road and after a few hundred meters we can already see the Castle Laupen (12th century). The castle owes its existence due to the fact that Sense and Sarine flow together here. Its task was to protect this transition and -probably more important- to collect a lot of customs duties.

Through the forest in Bramberg, direction Aare

Arrived at the airport of Bern - Belp

We stay on the Herzroute. It stopped raining and the sun even shows up here and there in the course of the morning. After 10 km cycling through the forest, the route splits: to the right the original route but we go straight ahead via Köniz, through Könizertal to Kehrsatz, so to speak, around the Bernese Home-Mountain "Gurten".
We cross the airfield in Belp and reach the river Aare.
From now on all bike paths are on flat terrain. In Münsingen we take a lunch break before we visit a family member. Afterwards, we cycle the last stretch to the beautiful city of Thun.
The campground lies in the suburb of Thun at a lake in Gwatt.

View on the Belpberg from the Aare valley

On Tuesday morning, June 25th we cycle to the city Thun to have breakfast.
Beside the overcast sky, it is also grown cold (12 degrees) and rain must be expect. We decide to take the train back home and to complete the Herzroute when the weather forecast is stable for several days.

Along the river Aare towards Thun

City of Thun and Aare with castle

A farmer with a sense of natural beauty

Part 2 of the Herzroute


Herzroute 2.Teil auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen

09th July, the weather news promises a stable high for the next few days.
We start this time directly from home with the aim to the city of Thun, where we have interrupted the journey exactly 2 weeks ago.

Observation shack at the Flachsee (Reuss between Bremgarten and Rottenschwil)

 

Passing farms

Ballwil

Tuesday 09 July 2013 Bremgarten - Willisau
km. = 81.07 total 273.87
difference in altitude 781 total 2807m.

(Bremgarten, Rottenschwil, Sins, Attiswil, Ballwil, Urswil, Sempach, St,Ottilien, Willisau)

Producing much electricity

The route runs sometimes through

 

the Peasants farm

Sempach, entrance gate and Church of St. Stephan

This gate leads to the city of Sempach

< These signs show the right way

We start along the "Flachsee" (artificial lake), a paradise for bird watchers.
Via Sins, Ballwil and Urswil we arrive to the original route which officially begins in the city of Zug.
From here we don't need the map anymore and follow the route signs "Herzroute 99". Still we have to be careful not to miss a sign; otherwise it is tedious to find the route again.

View on the lake of Sempach from Homel

Ornithological station Sempach

Slightly higher one sees the lake still

Beautiful farmhouse in Lucerne

Lucerne, peaceful landscape

"Stöckli" at Etzernerle

We cycle through a beautiful landscape with farm houses and sometimes the path leads us even through the property of a farm. The dogs are obviously used to cyclists, because they are not barking and running after us.
Now it's happened to us. Instead of Buttisholz we arrived in Rüediswil. There must have been a sign in Etzenerle which we must have overlooked.
We are eager to visit the chapel of St. Ottilia. On our map we can see that the chapel is only a few miles away.

This chapel is dedicated to the Holy Ottillia saint of eyes sufferers and the blind >

Always a little bit up and down

Late Romanesque bell tower from the beginning of the 13th Century is considered the oldest building in Willisau

City gate in Willisau

< Castle for the Bailiff

This chapel (in German only) should not be missed because it tells a very interesting story.
Along the Soppisee, through the forest, on gravel and tarmac paths we arrive at around 16:00 in Willisau. I have a room reserved in the sports center of the town.
We have enough time for a stroll through the neat little town. Back at the resort we spend the evening in a restaurant.

A peaceful landscape here shortly before Willisau at Wüschiswil

Wednesday 10th July 2013 Willisau - Burgdorf
km. 59.35 total 333.22
difference in altitude 891 total 3698

(Willisau, Zell, Madiswil, Ryschberg, Affoltern i.E. Lueg, Burgdorf)

A better view for breakfast (here in Gondiswil) you can hardly imagine

Since we don't have to pack our tent this morning, we are already on the bike at 08:30h.
We take breakfast approximately after 15 to 20 km. We start through the city Willisau and via Olisrüti and Mittmisrüti we cross the main street in Zell (Lu), then along the Zeller forest and via Hüswil to Gondiswil.
Now it's time for breakfast and with a magnificent scenery in front of us we enjoy bread, cheese and milk coffee. The "postman" who passes by gives us a free newspaper to keep us informed.

Gondiswil

Typial Emmental

Auswil

In the area of Dornegg

Ochlenberg

< Church of Madiswil

In Gondiswil we leave the canton of Lucerne and enter the canton Bern, clearly visible due to the typical Bernese farmhouses with the round arches. Via Auswil we come to Madiswil with its beautiful church and its square. After crossing railway tracks and the river Langete over a bridge, the path rises steeply and in no time, we climbed already 150 m. Luckily the bike path goes through or along forests, because the sun is so strong that we are soon soaked with sweat.
After a hilly passage we get into a quaint hamlet called Ryschberg. A mountain dog and 3 kittens are greeting us. Under a huge linden tree is a small bench which invites us kindly for a coffee break. We chat with a farmer who takes the horses from the pasture and brings them to the stable. It is so hot that the poor animals are covered with flies and horseflies (biting flies).

Here in the area of Ochlenberg we are happy that the path leads most of the time through the forest

 

3 times Ryschberg

 

We keep on cycle hilly terrain until we reach Affoltern i.E. The word "flat" was for sure not invented by the people from Emmental.
In Affoltern i.E. we visit a cheese factory. One can follow the process of cheese makeing by standing on a balcony at the first floor watching the experts doing their job. For hygienic reasons, the view is separated by a glass wall, so a nice photo is not possible.
We leave the "Herzroute" and take the alternative route via the Lueg to Burgdorf. It is the highest point of the area and with good weather you can see the Alps.
Via Guetisberg we hurtle down 300m and arrive already at 15:00h in Burgdorf. No problem at all, in such a beautiful and bike-friendly city we love to spend our time.

Unique peace on asphalt

and gravel roads

sometimes up somtimes down

Exhibition in Affoltern i. E.

Emmental, in the area of Lueg

Burgdorf with the river Emme

Thursday 11 July 2013 Burgdorf - Langnau
km.54.61 total 387.83
difference in altitude 986 total 4684

(Burgdorf, Luterbachtal, Mänziwilegg, Walkringen, Arnisäge, Blaseflue, Zäziwil, Signau, Langnau, Gohl.)

Pleerwald

Gently up through the Luterbachtal

Lauterbach

We leave early, because a group of young people from the USA take down their tents at 5:00 a.m. and are not very quiet. Unfortunately ruthlessness behavior seems to be in fashion today. They started in Amsterdam and cycle to Barcelona with a trip through Switzerland.
The advantage of the early start is the pretty fresh temperature in the morning.
First we cycle uphill on gravel roads through the Pleerwald (forest). Then it goes slowly up through the Luterbachtal to Bösarni where we have our breakfast.

Luterbach

Bösarni

Walkringen

Biglental

Cows have right of way

Through the forest at Adlisberg

Via Wikartswil we come to the station Walkringen. We chat with the station master about the history of the railway which belonged to the SBB and now it is property of the BLS.
Before we continue she says from now on we will be earning some Mountain awards. Steeply and steadily it goes up via Arnisäge to Blaseflue.

An old grain store

They feel bloody good

 

A door with the key on the left

Landscape between Lugibächli and Arnisäge

Here on the photo at Blaseflue you do not expect that the path leads so steeply up, but it's in fact 25%, 'first gear is inevitable. >

Suddenly we are faced with a shield: 25% slope. With our entire luggage and the heavy bikes it would be only possible for a short distance but we don't know how long the climb will be. We look at the map for an alternative route which leads down to Zäziwil and via Signau to Langnau. There's even a bike path from Bowil to Langnau. Arriving there, it is already early afternoon but lunch is still served. I like something spicy as a result of the strong sweating earlier this day. I have the crispy fish pieces in a basket.
Via Bärau we cycle up 4km through the valley Gohlgraben where the only campground in this area is.

Blaseflue

Bärau, farmhouse with "Spycher"

Friday 12th July 2013 Langnau - Brenzikofen
km 68.58 total 456.41
difference in altitude 892 total 5576

(Gohl, Langnau, Schüpbach, Eggiwil, Röthenbach, Bätterich, Schwarzenegg, Eriz, Horenbach, Buchen, Steffisburg, Heimberg, Brenzikofen.)

The three small children have a lot of fun

Church of Röhtenbach i.E.

After Röhtenbach it goes up

From the campground in Gohl to the center of Langnau the path lasts only 6 km downhill, i.e. in no time we find a restaurant to have breakfast.
Well fed, we cycle the way back to Schüpbach and follow the river Emme to Eggiwil and turn right to Röthenbach. Here we meet again the Herzroute.
It's still early but the temperatures are rising steadily. Three small children have great fun in a plastic pool outside their house; they obviously enjoy the cool water.
In a garage, we can inflate our tires. Continuing our trip I realize how necessary it has been.

Up in serpentine

Büelmeschwand, gardening

Trüebenbach

Hirsetschwändi

Alphüesli

Wolfrichti

After Röthenbach the road gets up steep in switchbacks but for only a few km and 150m difference in altitude.
In Büelmeschwand we meet a woman who keeps her ornamental and vegetable garden in good shape. Her beautiful farmhouse is a blast, of course, also decorated with flowers.
After about one kilometer through the forest, we pass an Alphütli (mountain hut), an ideal place for a picnic.
Not far away we can see many satellite dishes and military vehicles fenced in. No idea what it means.
In the area of Schwarzenegg we meet four Flyer cyclist who enjoy the view at a rest area.
On one side flows the river Rotache (the spring not far away) and right in front of us we look down on the Zulg which flows into the Aare in Steffisburg.

A short flat piece in Emmental

Four like-minded

View of the Hohgant

Eriz

Hay harvest in the background river Zulg

Direction Horrenbach

With the Flyer cyclists there are many things to talk about. They are on a two day trip so they only carry little luggage. Two are traveling on a rented bike and the other two have their own bikes but with borrowed Batteries.
We continue via Eriz, Linde, cross the river Zulg to the other side of the valley towards Horrenbach.
In Horrenbach we take the shortcut to Buchen. Another 150 meters down on switchbacks, to Prässerebach and up again.
In Wägli we come back to the Herzroute and face a 400m descent to Steffisburg.
We reach the campground Wydeli in Brenzikofen via Heimberg.

Spycher at Tal

Short cut Horrenbach - Buchen

In Serpentine down to Loch

Prässerebach

At Burghalte

Wildi

Through this valley flows the river Zulg direction Steffisburg, far left

Saturday 13th July 2013, the ride home Benzikofen - Bremgarten.
By bike to Bern, about 30 km. with a breakfast break in Münsingen.
With the train (1 hour) to Zurich and from there by bike to Bremgarten via Dietikon (lunch) another 30 km.

The Aare in Bern. On the far right pools for the bears

Zytglocke in the city of Bern >

A few tips for e-bikes

Advantage to cycle with a flyer-bike are following;
if you already have a flyer, it is recommended to change your own battery in a depository for a rented battery. (Fr. 5 per day, for the whole journey = 7 days = total CHF 35. Your advantage: You can exchange the empty battery for free at all stations for a full battery. On each day you get to pass 2 to 3 stations. As a consequence you can cycle always with full power which allows you to cross a gradient of up to 25%. There is a map where all stations are in Switzerland, ask at the company
Flyer
Another plus: You protect your own battery.
It is recommended to take not too much luggage. Book a pension or B & B (Approx. CHF 45) in advance.
If you don't have a flyer, you can rent one at almost all railway stations. For the "Herzroute" look at
www.rentabike.ch

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