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Cycling Down Gotthard Pass on Old Tremola Road

Rigi Panoramic hike lake lucerne

Is it called biking if all you do is squeeze the brake and not peddle? That’s what I kept thinking to myself the entire time as I was cycling down the Gotthard Pass on old Tremola Road in Switzerland. Granted, I still had to turn (there was lots of turning) and keep the bike upright as I traversed the serpentine cobblestone road, so it must count as biking, I thought. Regardless of if I call it biking, it was an immense amount of fun. And the best part – anyone can bike down Tremola Road – no training necessary!

Not only was it an adventure that few people take on, but cycling down the pass was a ride through history. It was the perfect example of taking the road less traveled, which is something I always aspire to do when I travel. I can’t imagine a better way to experience this historic pass that connects the North and South of Switzerland over the Alps.

Cycling and Hiking Switzerland’s Alps and Lakes

I spent my first 4 days in Switzerland in a cloud…like a literal cloud. Swiss Alps? I don’t think there are any mountains here – I couldn’t see anything but thick clouds and rain for 4 days. This is certainly not the scenario you want when you are in one of the most famous and picturesque mountain ranges in the world. But you can’t control Mother Nature; sometimes you just have to make the best of it.

Hiking in the Clouds

Is Switzerland still amazing when you can’t see the Alps? Yes – it might be moody, but you can still get out and enjoy the trails, the culture, the cows, and the transportation still rocks! I was with a small group of writers traversing our way from Zurich to Lugano (north to south) by hiking and biking. Thanks to the challenging weather we had to change some of our hiking around Lake Lucerne, but we were still able to get out and huff and puff our way through some pretty epic climbs.

Gotthard Pass Clouds

We arrived at the top of the Gotthard pass by van after a day of hiking in the rain. As most passes go – it was pretty barren; not a tree in sight, and thanks to the nasty weather – it had a light dusting of snow, and was quite cold. I was just excited to get into our warm, comfy hotel room and get cleaned up after a hard day outdoors in the elements.

Hospice St. Gotthard (built in 1237) didn’t look like much from the outside, but once inside, it was stunning. This ancient building had a completely modern interior, all made of wood. And even though it looked like it might be cold and uncomfortable from the outside – it…

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