73km Landeck to San Valentino

Switzerland!Valley viewOne day, three countries. We woke up in Austria, had lunch in Switzerland and went to sleep in Italy. Our mini one-day tour of Europe was thanks to the Via Claudia bike path, which uses one of the easiest paths over the Alps for cyclists. None of the border guards were interested in our passports. Instead they just waved us through the various checkpoints, sending us up a series of switchbacks towards the Passo di Resia. On our way up we passed a man we’d seen earlier in the day, although the last time we’d seen him he was with his wife and son. As he slogged his way up the hill along with us, we wondered where his family had gone. The mystery was solved when we reached the top just before he did. His wife and son were sitting on a bench by a bus stop, looking very rested. Obviously they took the easy way up and left him to do the climbing on his own! We were a bit surprised, since the pass only reaches 1,504m – not high at all for the Alps, but to each their own. Even though the road doesn’t rise very high it’s beautiful nonetheless, surrounded by alpine fields and with a teal green lake to admire on the Italian side. We were able to enjoy the scenery for the first time in days as the weather has finally improved. The clouds cleared and blue skies showed themselves again, although it is still desperately chilly for this time of year. The high temperature for the day didn’t even reach 20°C and we were glad to have plenty of climbing to keep us warm. We made good time climbing and by early afternoon we’d done almost a whole day’s work so we settled by a lakeside picnic table and waited for dusk to pitch our tent.