Friday, 22 July 2016

Sensory overload

Yes it was - all day 

We start the day by starting up the Oberalpass. . The road started climbing over the pass within 50 metres of the hotel. The engine of the bike had not even warmed up properly and we were climbing rapidly. It was one of the gentler passes and one can tell it is going to be this because a cog railway also goes over the pass. We actually went over this pass  seven years ago in the Scenic train called the Glacier express that went  from Zermatt in the west to St Moritz in the east of Switzerland. 



Then it was up a more secondary road and over the steeper Passo del Lucamagno. "That sounds somewhat Italian" you might well say. Here all the road signs were in Italian including a big welcome sign. But something does not compute here. I stop for petrol and find it is charged in Swiss Francs. We ask the nice girl at the coffee shop. "The border with Italy is 40 km down the road" she explains. " But this area is the Italian speaking part of Switzerland and Italian is the official language here in this region ". Well, that explains a few thing and we say in our best Italian  "Gratzie" to her for her explanations. 

So we don't cross into Italy as we turn off just before the border and head off up into the hills again to the Italian sounding Passo del San Bernardido. This is a major highway route but we find the old road and cross the pass on the twisty and winding old route. Back to tight hairpin corners again. Yawn! 

The super highway we did not go on ( complete with a very long tunnel) 


The "by way" we did go on. The camera unfortunately does flatten out the steepness of the landscape. 



We get down the pass. " well,there just happens to be another pas ahead of us. So now it is up and over the more  Swiss sounding Splugen Pass. Many of the passes we have crossed have dams and  lakes near the top. I guess they go with the dammed windy road ! 


This time we do pop into Italy to be of course welcomed by another " sort of " border crossing. 


And in case there was some doubt as to which country we were in...   ! 


That is our road way up there 


We follow a pink bus which has extreme trouble getting round the corner. He took several bites at this one.


And one has to like the kissing rocks 


After one hour in Italy it was time to head to Switzerland again over the Maloja pass to St Moritz where we plan to stay the night. I thought it would be a nice gentle pass. Many many tight hairpin bends can see the road winding  up between the trees. The heavy traffic on the hairpin bends makes life "uncomfortable".  


Past some beautiful lakes 


And down into the swanky ski town of St Moritz for the night. Yet another day of sensory overload. I am one very tired Pony but a very satisfied one. We have just had three days of not a cloud in the sky,  balmy temperatures , no wind and to top it off stunning scenery. It is almost overwhelming. I go to bed that night a very tired Pony but a very satisfied one.  


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