Highlights: Sarnen, Lungern (and lake), Meiringen
Route 9: Section 5 (Meiringen 600m–Sarnen 474m), with a peak at Hasliberg (1051m)
Stats from SwitzerlandMobility.ch (http://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/cycling-in-switzerland/route/etappe-01002.html): 32km long, height difference Meiringen–Sarnen: 560m (680m in the opposite direction). Their site has the full profile.
We biked this Section in the opposite direction, starting at Sarnen (Sarnen to Giswil is also shared with Route 4:4). Overall, this was a beautiful ride in the late afternoon light, along idyllic and unspoiled hilly landscapes, and passing by two small lakes (Sarnen & Lungern).
We reached Sarnen boarding the InterRegio train that connects Lucern to Interlaken. Because of its destination, this train was super-packed with foreign tourists going to Interlaken (this town is a hub for Asian tourism). And the train controller suggested, very gently, that with our bikes we should have taken a city-city train, which would have been less crowded…..
We arrived in Sarnen past 5pm and everything was pretty quiet. This is a lovely little town with several old and nicely preserved buildings, especially around and above the town square. But because of the late start, we hurried up and did not stop to sightsee.
From Sarnen, we biked south along the entire length of its lake, on a low traffic road.
After the lake and just past Giswil, the road climbs up through a wooded area, to the next plateau and to Lake Lungern.
The initial northern point of this lake, opposite to Lungern, had a surreal look in the late afternoon light, with lush green misty hills jutting in the emerald-blue lake.
From there, the path was mostly tree-covered along the lake, up to the resort village of Lungern.
From Lungern, there was one last steep section, on an unpaved mountain trail, until the Brunigpass.
Because of the late hour, we rested for the night at a simple lodge (Panoramahotel Brunig Kulm) on top of the Brünigpass, a low altitude pass (1,000m) at 25km from Sarnen. And we barely made it for dinner, as the restaurant closed at 8:30pm…….
The lodge, although simple, had 3 Tesla charging stations!!!! However, it was not equipped for storing bikes. That is one of the main issues when staying overnight with the bike. It would be best to check in advance if bikes can be stored indoors; alternatively, one could stay at one of the so-called bike-hotels (https://m.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/near/near-winter/hotels-winter/hotels/swiss-bike-hotels.html?nodeid=77965)
The following morning, having skipped some heavy rain during the night and recharged the bikes at the hotel, we headed towards Meiringen (marking the end-point of this Section).
The resort of Meiringen (see also 8:1) is in an idyllic location, tightly surrounded by steep Bernese Alps.
Here we had our first culinary stop to taste its famous meringues (said to be born here….)
Meiringen is also where Sherlock Holmes “fell to his death” (hence the Conan Doyle / Sherlock Holmes museum).
After Meiringen, we continued on to Spiez (Sections 8:02=9:04).
Links to Introduction and other Sections of Route 9 (Lake Route):