2019 – Jungfrau Treffen (pt 2)

4th September 2019

We are actually looking to get the UK convoy to Grindelwald today after our long way round. Things don’t always go to plan though….

We leave the car-park in a long line and reach the traffic lights just up the road which change leaving 3 cars separated. When the lights eventually change again the others are nowhere to be seen. Shaun’s sat-nav throws a ‘wobbly’ and my sat-nav is a tomtom rather than a garmin and has a completely different idea on the route. I take the lead and we try to find the others. No luck. My only option is to follow my own satnav back past the hotel and onward. When we get as far as Como I follow the sat-nav which tries to put me on a toll motorway. That can’t be right……can it? We backtrack and do another lap of the town. Eventually we pull into a McDonalds to regroup and for coffee.

We decide to set the sat-nav for the lunch stop at a hotel in Andermatt. After all that we end up taking the same route out of Como onto the motorway. We follow the motorway and turn off to take the San Gottardo Pass. The road takes us pretty high, pretty quickly. The views are spectacular and we have to stop a couple of times for photographs.

Our little group continued and met up with the others in Andermatt as planned. The food had been slow to arrive for them so we decided to try a smaller place just down the road. Good decision. The food was excellent though rather more than the ham and cheese sandwich we were expecting.

It was good watching the others driving past. You don’t often get the chance to see the convoy on the road when you are usually part of it.

After lunch we continued through Andermatt and up and over the Sustan Pass. This is a spectacular road and we were lucky enough to have brilliant sunshine in which to enjoy it. It is everything you expect from a mountain pass. We just had to stop several times for photographs. It was a little sobering though when we had to slow for an air ambulance rescuing some poor motorcyclist. We drive on – carefully.

The ride down was as spectacular as the ascent but was spoiled a bit by having to follow a couple of slower lorries. We continue on and make it safely to Grindelwald in great weather. Unfortunately the forecast is not looking great.

Todays video……

5th September 2019

Grindelwald Day 1……

First day officially of the Jungfrau Treffen. It was great meeting old friends and making new ones as the 3-wheelers gathered in the car park outside the leisure centre. The variety of 3-wheelers was as fascinating as always. over 30 cars were gathered and it was a great sight.

Todays route took us up into the Emmental mountains along some great narrow roads. Famous for its cheese we did have to stop to crawl past some of the local cows. Great fun driving today though Laurens certainly didn’t hang around.

I had a passenger today. Tcherek was over from California writing for MogMag and she brought her friend Jocelyn. She had never ridden in a 3-wheeler before so it must have been quite an eye-opener today. I think she enjoyed it though the rain for the last 20 minutes or so may have dampened things a bit.

6th September 2019

Grindelwald Day 2…..

We met at the usual place after breakfast for a 10:30 start. A longer drive today past Thun and into the Gantrisch National Park and on to the Gurnigel hillclimb. The hillclimb was great fun right up until we got into the thick cloud. Unfortunately our lunch stop high up in the mountains was in thick cloud obscuring what I am told is a spectacular view.

After lunch we head over the Jaunpass before heading back to Grindelwald. On the way back the ‘comfort’ stop was a bit too quick for some of us so we got separated from the main group. No problem. We lingered for a coffee and made our way back at our own pace. Another good day in the mountains even though the weather was mixed again.

The evening meal turned out to be quite an ‘event’. i wanted to try out my 360 degree camera so i caught a lift with Chris. It is strange sitting on the wrong side of a 3-wheeler when you are so used to driving. The meal tonight was to be a typical Swiss fondu at a mountain restaurant. We took the road up through Grindelwald then on to a residents-only road that Laurens had obtained permission for us to drive today. The road got quite steep and very narrow. Eventually it turned to gravel. It was damp and cloudy and difficult to stay together. After a number of small gates which had to be passed over our heads as we slowly made our way in the dark we eventually made it to the restaurant. I don’t think everyone was too impressed with this road on this night but it is difficult to find a restaurant that can accommodate 50 people and you can’t anticipate the weather.

The fondu meal was good and everyone made it back down safely. Quite a day.

7th September 2019

Grindelwald day 3…..

The plan for today was to take to the high mountain passes. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t looking great with snow forecast at high levels. Us 3-wheeler drivers though are a hardy bunch so we met in the usual place for a 10:00 am start.

We started out in the dry but under heavy cloud Tcherek was my passenger for today and before long we were heading into the mountains.

We stopped for coffee at the top of the Sustenpass as it has a large car park. We assumed there was time for a coffee but before we sat down Laurens and a large group continued onwards without us. Oh well, it looks like we will be doing our own thing. Apparently the road further on was closed anyway so we had our coffee as planned.

We drove on after our coffee following the original planned route. When we climbed the Furka pass thing definitely got snowy. The roads were still good so we continued on up. Driving up through the snow was spectacular and I really enjoyed it. We have had a quite amazing variety of driving conditions on this trip. We found an excellent stop for lunch. before I knew it Tcherek had paid for my lunch – very kind of her but very naughty as well.

After lunch our little group continued on and after the top of the pass the snow quickly disappeared. We descended the Furka and headed up again over the Grimsel Pass. This was a spectacular run in and out of cloud. We had to stop for photos. Sometimes it is good to be part of a smaller group so you can stop whenever you want to.

We continued down passing dozens of tiny mopeds that were on some event. We then hit a line of traffic. Apparently there had been an accident involving one of the mopeds a short distance in front of us but it would be some considerable time before the road would open again. Nothing we could do other than walk back up to the last village we passed and had coffee. No sacrifice really and the time soon went. We wondered back t the cars and were accompanied by some of the local cows on the way to milking i assume. It wasn’t long before the road cleared and we could continue. We learned that there had been a fatality in the tunnel a short distance from where we stopped so we could hardly feel aggrieved at a delay to our day.

We continued on back to Grindelwald feeling a bit subdued. The early evening light coming through the cloud was beautiful as we made our way along the valley towards Interlaken.

We walked into Grindelwald for our last evening meal together tonight. Chas made a speech thanking Laurens and Rineke for another excellently organised event. This really is such a great event with great people in a marvellous location. We say goodbye to those leaving early in the morning. I’m sure we will all meet again.

8th September 2019

As usual, many of us in the UK convoy stay over an extra day in Grindelwald before heading for home. The weather was pretty wet all day and after some 11 days straight of driving I joined Roger, Chris, Mark and Heather and took the train down to Interlaken.

We had a nice lunch before heading back to the hotel for a nap. The UK group then treated Laurens and Reneke to a meal by way of our thank you. I had to laugh at the gift Shaun & Libby bought for Laurens….

My thoughts now turn to leaving the group in the morning. I have my own itinerary for the next few days. It has been great being part of a group but it is good to travel independently as well.