No train option

After finishing school my wish was to reach Florence in the Tuscany by bike. With the first Etappe I reached the south of the Black Forrest and found a nice bed & breakfast in a small village. Coffee at 7a.m. was no problem for the house lady. The next day an old salt station in Switzerland housed me and before the Gotthard Pass I got a second breakfast at a regional outdoor pool made by the pool attendant, curry wurst with fries at the veranda with a gorgeous view at the Vierwaldstätter Lake next to a big mountain wall. On the way to the Gotthard Pass a stop at a local bike shop could solve the problem I realized to face. It was early in the year, the pass street maybe closed and the gears were not proper at all for the Alpes. The shop owner helped me out with both immediately, he changed the cassette and called the pass station. I could go ahead to cross the Alpes. At the top the snow were milled off the road. Downhill strong head winds made me even more tired than the climb and stopped me at Hotel Cato Verde in Airolo. Further to Lago Maggiore again strong headwinds ruined my nerves and bad weather settled me in Bellinzona. Having lunch in the restaurant I asked the waiter about a dish called “vitello filet”. He showed me a size of a big dog with his hand over the ground and made a helpful sound like “muuäähh”. Ok, vitello filet. With training clothes only in my handlebar bag it felt not very comfortable in Italy but on the road it is always like on a fan mile there and my Koga Miyata Road Winner is in the colors green • white • red. Reaching Piacenza the next day I decided to return home again tomorrow. Bad weather lied down over the Apenin Mountains. Back in Bellinzona I tried to catch a train for the return but I couldn’t take my road bike with me. A good friend helped me out after some days of waiting for a chance to cross the Alpes again. He picked me up by car. That was really, really nice of him!


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