Huningue to Yverdon-les-Bains - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 2 - CycleBlaze

August 21, 2018

Huningue to Yverdon-les-Bains

A bientot La belle (mostly) France, bonjour Suisse.

 August 21 Tuesday 15kms

Huningue to Yverdon-les-Bains 

A bientot La belle (mostly) France, bonjour Suisse.

 Huningue campground , small and not particularly perfectly formed is alive with departures bright and early. The motorcycling Spaniards, 2 metres to our left, call ‘adios’ and ‘buen viaje’ before roaring off into the sunrise, and the Dutchman with the noisy mattress on our right has deflated and pedalled away with a wave. We dine on apple, the remains of yesterday’s baguette and apricot jam washed down with tea. We’re nearly out of gas - but where to find primus canisters?

Plenty of choice for cyclists.
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The route to PBB Basel is a little convoluted, but we’re soon at the Gare with our ticket requirements written clearly. We are entering Swiss territory, literally and metaphorically. All must be ordered, organised, ticketed and reserved- and this includes velos which are charged for at every change.

We eat a breakfast of yoghurt and fruit in the sun on the seats in front of the station, chatting to a Canadian chap who has lived locally for 6 years. He has a leg injury and is grateful for the efficiency of the health system for those with insurance. Semi threatening security guards accoutred in flash uniforms patrol among the fast moving crowd of commuters, approaching anyone with a hint of dodgyness about them. They seem to think we’re harmless. But curtly address another chap who has been doing a repeated circuit for a while now.

Our journey from Basel to our destination, Yverdon, requires only one change, seemingly on the same platform, so should be a breeze. Should. When the train arrives we are ready at the carriage indicated by the guard, only the correct carriage is up the other end of the train! As whistles blow, we search in vain for the cycle sign to no avail. In the end we put our bags and velos into a carriage assigned to wheelchairs. The guard, with broard Jamaican accented English, is understanding, but we will have to move to the other end of the train when it stops at the next station. We should have refused- moving bikes along 6 carriages is bad enough but it means having to leave our bags back in the original carriage. Eventually bikes and bags are reunited and we are dripping, just in time for the change at Biel Bienne. All goes well on this part of the journey, apart from having to help a young Asian girl move her massive suitcase from our bike space. 

The journey through the gorge to Yverdon, reveals glimpses of a pretty landscape, still relatively green after the big brown of the rest of Europe. Houses have steep gables and some have room beneath for livestock. All is neat and tidy and seems to function as it should.

Our friend Karen, and daughters Alex and Christy, meet us at the station and help us alight from the train with our array of baggage. Yverdon is a smallish town on Lake Neuchâtel, with an interesting collection of small shops, one of which is filled with models of characters from Tintin’s stories, including a metre long shark. Are these for sale or just decoration? There is a castle of sorts and several historic buildings.

Blake and Mortimer- great graphics but lots of text.
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Primal scream- Swiss humour?
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Lac Neufchâtel - pleasant swimming.
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Yverdon’s castle.
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In the land of fondue, but with a difference.
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Our talk that evening revolves around what makes Switzerland tick (no pun intended) politically and socially. It’s a fascinating insight into a society that seems to have both radical and conservative policies operating side by side. The use of referenda and the solutions to the usual problems facing society are creative to say the least. 

That night we nod off and dream of sprinting down long railway platforms alongside  trains that never end....

Today's ride: 15 km (9 miles)
Total: 3,394 km (2,108 miles)

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