After making a big loop around town, we returned to the hotel to check out. John waited with the luggage while I retrieved our car. We caught the 10:15 ferry to Cadenábbia, on the western shore of
We soon crossed back into the Italian-speaking part of
We hooked up with the A2 and headed north, through Bellinzona. At Biasca we got off the A2 and continued north on the Strada del Lucomagno – a smooth, wide, two-lane road – which tooks us over the Passo del Lucomagno (#13, 1914 meters). On the ascent we wound up through a dramatic green valley flanked by steep wooded slopes dotted with slate-roofed cottages. At the top we passed a small reservoir held back by an enormous concrete dam, and then we traversed a long, broad, high-mountain meadow called the Val Medel. This area seems to be a very popular destination for Sunday picnickers, as they were out in full force, camped out on the sandy banks of the lovely river bisecting the valley.
At Disentis / Mustér we headed west on route 19, towards the Oberalppass (#14, 2044 meters) to Andermatt. This was an awesome stretch of road and I think John was beginning to regret his insistence on driving the
John took over driving after lunch and we continued down the other side of the Oberalp to Andermatt, a popular ski resort town. We continued on route 19 up the Furkapass (#15, our highest pass of the day at 2431 meters), distinguishable by the razor-edged peaks towering above the road. From the top of the Furkapass you can see the Rhônegletscher (Rhône Glacier), the source of the
The road down the other side of the Furkapass was a masterpiece of asphalt – a long descent of switchbacks and straightaways to the valley floor, across the river, and then we began the equally impressive ascent of the Grimselpass (The photo above shows the descent from the Furkapass and the ascent of the Grimselpass across the valley; the photo below is looking back at the Rhône Glacier and the road descending from the Furkapass). Now that we have driven sixteen of the highest mountain passes in
We ran into a huge traffic jam along the Thuner See just west of
More photos from Bellagio to Kandersteg: