Six years ago I brought the BOSS for a short jaunt around Europe.
We stumbled across the Furka and Grimsel passes without knowing what to expect.
It totally blew me away !!
That day had such a profound effect upon me, I have desired (vowed) to return for six long years.
Today's weather was shaping up to be better than yesterday's so I set out up Furka pass with just the hint of fog in the air.
Unfortunately, I immediately landed in the middle of a bicycle race - uphill - slowly.
Cars, buses, motorbikes, support vehicles and hundreds of bicyclists were inching their way up Furka pass trying to avoid the cars, buses and motorcycles coming down the hill. It was total mayhem and I dared not stop for a photograph lest I lose my place in the queue.
With the threat of boiling poor Henry's juices, I pulled over at the top and let him cool down. This wasn't hard as it was about 4o on the top of the pass and the wind was picking up. I added a few more layers and headed down to the lookout/ restaurant.
On this spot, six years ago, the BOSS took some photos of me that are some of my all-time favourite ever pictures.
Today, as I was getting my photo taken by some stranger, I was overwhelmed with homesickness and missed my baby terribly. She should have been here taking the photos!!!
I pushed on to the bottom of the hill and the clouds over Grimsel were gathering. I didn't linger but headed straight up the mountain to the next lookout to take some more photos back up the valley. It was here that I was hijacked by a bunch of Italian riders who adopted me and made me their mascot. I escaped after half an hour and 400 photographs to ride with them to the top of the pass.
By this time the cloud had moved in properly and the top was total white-out. Not only that, but it started to rain on the other side. I stopped and put even more layers on including all my wet weathers and winter gloves.
With heated grips going full pelt my fingers were still numb from the wind chill. I needed to get off the mountain fast.
At Meringen the Susten pass valley looked much clearer so I pushed on after a bite to eat. It was indeed quite stunning and the rain held off long enough for me to take it slowly both up and downhill. There's was a fair bit of traffic - because it's Sunday - so I shall spend one of the next three days riding the same three passes in an anti-clockwise direction.
I got back into Andermatt at 3.30pm - far too early to be calling it a day.
Gotthard Pass looked clear so I headed up the hill again. The Gotthard loop is actually a full day ride so I just went to the top of the hill and back down again. The pass used to be a cobbled road but they put in a major road and cut out all the fabulous hairpins. The cobbled road is still in place for the mountain bikers - and intrepid motorcyclists.
Then they put in the St Gotthard tunnel which cuts deep into the mountain directly from Switzerland to Italy leaving the mountain roads to the adventurous.
Boy am I gonna have some fun tomorrow.