Day 2 | Linthal – Hospental (90KM)
I left the hotel around 9:00 on July 11. A full breakfast was included with croissants, breads, cheese, meats, yoghurt, and cereal…all breakfasts were complimentary throughout the week. I had to prepare for my first Swiss pass, the Klausen Pass at 1952m. I had no idea what to expect as I had never climbed a pass before but I knew if I kept a steady pace and enjoyed the ride everything would be great!
The climb started as soon as I left Linthal. It was a rough start since I had no chance to warm up but again the adrenaline kicked in as I saw the glaciers and snow on the mountains around me. I had never seen anything like this before…the road climbing and climbing winding back and forth like shoelaces. I only stopped to take a few pictures and look back on what I had climbed.
I arrived in the little village of Urnerboden and I thought that was the end of the climb, I was mistaken! The village was in a valley surrounded by high peaks and felt surreal. I did not get a long break and I was back to climbing. To my surprise I quickly arrived at the summit of the Klausen Pass.
I took a moment to walk around the summit then started my descent. The ride down was beautiful as the road twisted and turned and there was nothing between me and a sudden drop over the edge. Amazing waterfalls and a view going on and on gave me chills as I rode into the valley and the descent seemed to go on forever. My mind was completely focused on the road and the view and I was thinking of nothing else.
Once I arrived in the valley, I followed the route along a small crystal blue river for many kilometres. I still had more to climb before I got to Hospental so I stopped at a little restaurant on my way and had a Rivela and relaxed…this was a vacation after all! I was feeling great and went right back to climbing. This stretch of the road had a lot more vehicles however the drivers were very respectful and I did not feel in danger. I pressed on as the day got hotter and cycled through twisting roads and long dark tunnels.
The last 10 km into Andermatt were more difficult mostly because I was tired. When reviewing my trip information I had not realized that some of the hostels were located outside of the larger towns. Hospental was approximately 3 kilometres from Andermatt so I rode through the town and headed to my hostel. I imagine I made it there faster than expected because my luggage had not yet arrived so I returned to Andermatt and explored the town on my bike. The area is rapidly developing into a more commercial ski destination however there are still great places for ski touring in the winter months and is a great starting point for cycling many passes in the area. I would definitely return for skiing, cycling, or even hiking. From Andermatt you can quickly access the Gotthard Pass, Furka Pass and Oberalp Pass.
I returned to the Hospental hostel and my luggage had arrived. From the outside the hostel looks awful however inside it is very clean and well-kept. Each room has approximately eight co-ed bunk-beds and there is a common bathroom, shower, and kitchen. There is a little restaurant across the street in the Hotel Burg. I explored Hospental after dinner and found an old tower (Turm) on a hill looking over the village. I stayed on the hill for while admiring the old tower and the village beneath me then walked around the rest of the tiny village which took me about ten minutes! I returned to the hostel, read for a while and went to bed. I did not feel like socializing…this journey was becoming a cleansing of the mind and it felt great to be alone!