Highlights: Disentis Monastery, Trun, Ilanz, Rhine Gorge, Versamer Gorge, CHUR
Route 2: Section 2 (Disentis 1135m–Chur 562m)
Stats from https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/cycling-in-switzerland/routes/route/etappe-0919.html 64km, elevation 800m (opposite direction : 1350m). Their site has the full profile. Note that a third to half of the trail is unpaved, at times on rough surface, so you need good tires. It shares its path with Eurovelo 15
This is a long ride with some important elevation. Although I had to catch up with the extra 8 km to Disentis left from the day before, these were irrelevant since they were all downhill.
Approaching Disentis it is impossible not to notice the massive Monastery on the higher part of the village. Indeed Disentis is a monastery village with many churches and chapels.
After Disentis the route picks up altitute.
Continuing along the Rhine, next village is Trun ( http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/trun.html ). Here it is important to detour into the village since Route 2 passes on the opposite side of the railway . Trun is historically very important. It is where the «Graue Bund» (Grey League) was founded in 1424 (one of the three leagues that made up the Canton Graubünden ). We can still see the building where the Grey League used to meet, which now houses a museum.
Passing through Ilanz (http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/ilanz.html) again it is important to detour into the town. The historic center has many 16th and 17th century buildings as well two decorated town gates. Important for e-bikers, a charging station with several types of cables can be found in its historic center.
Continuing westwards the road climbs about 250m to give impressive views of the Rhine Gorge / Rheinschlucht / Ruinaulta (flims.com/en/experience-resort/nature/rhine-gorge). The magnificent landscape of the canyon with its incredibly tall grey rocky walls and upper Rhine river below has suggested the appellation of «Grand Canyon of Switzerland»
After a thrilling descent through many hairpin bends, the road crosses Versamer Gorge. Here I parked the bike and walked on an 1897 steel bridge overlooking the rumbling stream 70m below. But the photos do not capture the dramatic plunge so I skipped them.
Then the road reconnects with the Rhine Gorge via an extremely picturesque route, passing next to straight rocky walls, natural tunnels and even a split rock, all the while with vertiginous views of the Rhine below.
Finally, after an 80km ride and 730m elevation I arrived at my next Hotel in Chur (churtourismus.ch/?&L=4) (see 6:01). I love the historic center of Chur , with beautiful old buildings and squares arranged through non-linear alleys. The town is vibrant with commerce yet it is able to maintain its medieval atmosphere. Chur is also considered the oldest town in Switzerland, with settlements dating back 5000 years.
Links to Introduction and other Sections:
- BIKING THROUGH SWITZERLAND (with an electric bike)
- Route 2: Section 1 – Andermatt to Disentis
- Route 2: Section 3 – Chur to Buchs SG,
- Route 2: Section 5 – St. Margrethen to Kreuzlingen,
- Route 2: Section 6 – Kreuzlingen to Schaffhausen
- Route 2: Section 7 – Schaffhausen to Bad Zurzach
- Route 2: Section 8 – Bad Zurzach to Rheinfelden
- Route 2: Section 9-end ; Rheinfelden to Basel
- Route 6: Section 1 – Chur to Thusis