Most people who travel by road in Europe, wind up in Switzerland. Or at least, travel through, on their way south, north, east or west.
Switzerland has a lot to offer. Centrally placed in Europe, stunning nature, awesome roads, multiple mountain passes and quaint small cities or villages. It is an expensive country to travel in. However, you can find reasonable solutions. Booking.com or hotels.com will be of great help. Because of these apps and services, smaller, more affordable places also get exposure.
Through Ballons des Vosges, Alsace
The Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park is a protected area. It consists of woodland, wetland, farmland and historical sites. You find it in the regions of Grand Est and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in northeastern France.
From Moto Hotel at Col de Bussang I followed the E512 or RN66, also known as Rue d’Alsace, down to Saint-Maurice-Sur-Moselle. Then onto D465 or Rue des Ballons d’Alsace, which takes you up to around 1100 meters or so. The road has lots of twists and turns, an excellent motorcycle road. Thre are many roads like this one. No wonder motorcycle riders flock to the Ballons des Vosges.
Past Belfort in Altkirch decided it was time for a coffee break. At a bakery close to the city square I had to show my corona pass. The first time since the ferry from Norway to Denmark!
I was en route to Basel but had every intention of avoiding city riding. So I got onto some tiny roads. Across fields and through woods. This part of Switzerland is a combination of mountains, woods and farmlands. Not the most exciting part of Switzerland maybe. But while seen from a small roads perspective it’s still worthwhile.
My recommendation is to put your GPS in curvy roads mode. That or just go freestyling. You never know what you’ll find. And that is the best part of it. After all, the journey is the goal (?).
Burger lunch in Switzerland
Time flies when you’re having fun. At Alpenblick Passwang near Vogelberg I stopped for what turned out to be an excellent burger lunch. Pricey, but hey, it’s Switzerland for ya. But it was a decent meal, with a marvelous view.
With belly full I rode for 3 hours. Detouring takes time. Had to try to make up for some of it. I’d still not entirely given up on Albertville. So it was on a main road past Bern, then past Fribourg. The goal was Lac Lemon and Montreux.
It was afternoon/early evening by the time I made it there. Stopped right south of the city center to fill petrol and have a coffee. The temperature had climbed past 30C. Decided to drop Albertville and started to look for alternatives. It would be too late and too long. A quick search on booking.com brought up a seemingly good suggestion.
Back into France again
I booked a hotel in Chatel, a village ca 43 kilometers from Montreux. A few miles south of Montreux I took off from A9. Soon the road started to climb up into the mountains. About an hour later I’d found the hotel and got installed. Chatel is a typical winter sports, ski resort place. But it’s also a place for hiking during summer.
Chatel area sits an elevation between 1050-2400 meters. I’d booked myself at Le Roitelet, (a wren in English). Great affordable hotel. Two riders from Belgium had arrived right before me. They also picked the hotel on booking.com.
We all booked dinner at the hotel, sat an chatted for a bit over a few beers. The guys had been south into the Alps and were on their way back hom to Belgium. I tipped them about the Moto Hotel in Bussang. It was news to them.
Then it was time to hop in bed. The next day would turn out to be even longer. and lead me into Italy. Below the route of the day.