Highlights: Land of the Emmental cheese! Burgdorf (Castle)
Route 99: Section 5 (Langnau i.E.670m–Burgdorf 540m)
Stats from SwitzerlandMobility.ch ( https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/cycling-in-switzerland/routes/route/etappe-01434.html ): 45km long, total climbs Langnau–Burgdorf 880m (1000m in the opposite direction). Their site has the full profile. Note that there are several unpaved sections
I started in Langnau, a village in the heart of the Emmental region (from the Emme river) in Canton Bern, where the renowned homonymous cheese is produced. A few old stately houses are testimony to its importance through the centuries as a commercial and cheese production center.
Leaving Langnau, I entered farmlands and passed through one of the many century-old covered wooden bridges on the Emme river.
Most of the ride is on lush green hills with virtually traffic-free roads and in constant view of the distant Bernese Alps. It alternates between forests and green pastures dotted with small and large farm houses and cows grazing the new grass. It is overall a medium-difficult segment because of the many uphill parts.
The end of the stage was announced by the appearance of Burgdorf in the distance, although its castle remained hidden from this direction. Burgdorf reminded me a little of Bern in miniature, with its gray-yellowish stone buildings and the covered promenade with small shops and cafes. Apparently, the old town is an important example of medieval urban planning ( higher and lower sections linked by stairs). Its large landmark Castle (currently under renovation), on higher ground, dominates the town. It was built around the 11th-12th century and it is considered the best Zähringen castle in Switzerland ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgdorf_Castle )–( http://emmental.ch/en/eventmanager/page/schloss-burgdorf/action/offerShow/Offer/ ) . The Castle has some important rooms and hosts the Helvetian Gold Museum, with a history of the Swiss gold rush and gold panning; I did not know that the gold from Emme creek had a higher quality -97% purity- than that from the El Dorado……
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