Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bike Rides Revisited!

Both last weekend and then this weekend Darrell and I went on bike rides to areas I had biked to before.  Last weekend it rained like crazy and we ended up taking the train back to town, and this weekend I didn't take any pictures - so I am using my old photos to tell both the new story and reminisce about the older one!

The Aare river begins in the alps and then winds its way across much of Switzerland.  It is dammed just west of Bern and creates a reservoir known as the Wohlensee.  A national bike route goes through Bern and along the Wohlensee so we took the part of it that was close to us.

A swan along the Wohlensee reservoir
The trail doesn't just follow the river but goes up steep hills past farms and through woods.  Even this bridge was built so it was going uphill across a tributary stream.

Notice how a bike can ride up/down this pedestrian bridge!
After an hour of biking you come to an overlook over the dam.

The trail continues on the road that crosses at the dam
We turned around at the viewpoint and headed back to Bern past an apple orchard.  While we have eaten beans and rice, we have decided the least expensive (and most local) foods are the A's, B's, and C's.  So most of our diet is apples (they are in season so free if you can get permission to pick them or find them on the ground before the worms do), Beer, Brats, Bread (the B's are very popular here) and then Cheese and Chocolate.  Pretty much covers it I think!

Crisp, tart, and sometimes free!
Our neighbors at our new apartment have an apple tree and we are in apple heaven right now.  We might get sick of them soon - but they are still a staple for now!

The trail home went through a large woods called Bremgartenwald.  It has some beautifully mossy areas that remind me of Arthurian legends.

Just waiting for Robin Hood and his compatriots!
A special spring, known since medieval times, adds to the timeless quality of these woods.  The spring is known as glasbrunnen and the water in the spring is now piped up through a rock.  I had to look around the other side to make sure a sword wasn't stuck in it...

The water from the spring is supposed to give you strength
Whether the water gives you additional strength or not, it is certainly sold and refreshing.  Some people bike here from Bern to fill up water bottles to take home.

After the older bike ride, I then went to the Slack Line festival they were having at a nearby campground.  I have never seen so many slack lines as I have here.  They had at least 20 set up for the festival and here is one guy who was really good!

He isn't falling - just bouncing from "cheek" to "cheek" on it!
The bike ride Darrell and I took last weekend went to the north of Bern.  There is a nice "small" castle in Jegenstorf that I visited on a sunnier day.  It was POURING rain when we were there so we just huddled under the train station shelter and Darrell never got to see this castle.

The pretty "Schloss" and pond at Jegenstorf
Even worse, Darrell missed the view he could have had on a sunny day.  The mountains in the background are from the Jungfrau region - where we have gone hiking on several past blogs!  Can you recognize the mountains?

Now you see how gorgeous it can be on a clear day!
We don't always get to see the mountains from Bern, but we did see them last Friday night - biking home as it was getting dark.  The snow on the mountains made them shine in the almost full moon.  We didn't have our cameras but I have a lovely mental image I hope I don't lose!

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