Up and Over Susten Pass Switzerland


interlaken

Our last morning in Interlaken the sun was shining on the valley.  After packing up and a quick goodbye to the neighbourhood is was time to move on.

friends

Lazy Rancho was an excellent campsite in every way and if we ever go back we will definitely stay here again.

Lazy Rancho

After some map studying and discussion of which route to take we were headed off and pass the first peaceful valley after leaving the lakes.  Our destination for this day was Lake Como, Italy.  Our route options were take the motorway north to Lucerne and then head back south or take one of the passes through the mountains.  We chose to go the Susten Pass route through the mountains.

valley 1

When we were planning this trip I had my thoughts about what kind of challenging scary road situations we might find ourselves in, but driving to Interlaken and seeing the roads were not near as bad as I had imagined I wasn’t quite mentally prepared for this day.  It was memorable for sure.

road

Very pretty driving along the valley and later as we have climbed partway up the mountain looking back down at some of the 26 bridges and tunnels on the route.

valley below

Keeping in mind we are in and English car on a right hand driving road, pulling a caravan.  So as the passenger I am in the middle of the road, not taking photos and driving!!  The two poles on the road are guides although the pass is closed in the winter months.  I will have to give my husband major credit because he did an amazing job of driving on this trip in some very difficult situations.

snow guides

The lower part of the drive was challenging sharing the road with the bicyclists and the motorcycle and sportscar drivers taking the bends at the max speed and testing their driving skills, as it was a weekend day.  The steeper upper part was challenging in other ways.  There were not many places to pull over, especially with a caravan but we were glad to see this parking spot.  Because of the sharpness of the curve as we went around it the jockey wheel of the caravan caught the road and we stalled for just a moment and then surged ahead.  No not the least bit concerning!

stopping point

I’m not sure we saw any other motorhomes or cars pulling caravans on the entire 29 miles from Interlaken to Wassen.  I am sure most were much wiser and took the motorway route, but hey we survived.  However at this point I had my doubts.  The clouds were closing in and the visibility was getting worse.  For a while when we were parked there were no vehicles at all coming or going and it made me wonder if the road was closed ahead.  Finally a few vehicles came down from the top and we moved on.

tunnel

Passing through another tunnel and under a waterfall.

waterfall

Here we are at the summit at 7428 feet or 2260meters. There is a parking area which we could barely see and from pictures I saw there is a lake and it looks very pretty.  At this point we didn’t stop and kept driving.

fog

This side the road is much steeper and curvier on the way down, but a very welcome sight at the time!

down

Dramatic scenery with the winding road just past the railing in this picture.

descent

Keeping focused on the valley ahead.

valley

Finally we reach Wassen.

town

Now back on the motorway and next decision to take Gotthard Pass or Gotthard Tunnel??

motorway

We chose the tunnel, it’s only 10.5 miles long!

gossford tunnel

We reach Lake Como and the directions to the campsite are to take the road on the west side of the lake as the east side is too narrow for caravans in places.  The west side road shown here from another day was basically road -tunnel -road -tunnel.

como tunnels

This was a memorable day, and we would go up the pass again, but without a caravan and more time to stop and enjoy the views, hopefully on a clear day.  Now it is time to explore Lake Como coming up in the next post.

Lake Como

 

Categories: Europe, SwitzerlandTags: , , , , ,

8 comments

  1. I don’t know how you took photos! My eyes would have been closed tight! What a view!

  2. We did this on a day trip coach and I was scared!!

  3. Stunning photos ! I give you and your husband a lot of credit ! That must have been frightening at times !!

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