Grand Saint Bernard an iconic pass joining Switzerland and Italy. At a towering 2,469 metres 8,100 feet this would be a tough ride. But not today we had read about the frightening tunnels of 5 kms and a busy road with fast traffic. The decision was made we would drive to the old col road, park up and then make our way to the top from there. A mere 8kms ride with 695 metres to climb.
We would cycle through was aptly know 'Valley of the Dead' whether it was the dull day or the silence shattered by falling rocks it certain had an eery feel. Saying this I loved ride through the valley, it reminded me of the bleak Scottish highlands.
Napolean had marched through the pass with an Army ready for battle, supposedly a procession of drums to warn the opposition they were on their way. On reaching the top of the Col they were each given glasses of wine and cheese from the waiting Monks. No wine and Cheese today but the promise of Italian Hot Chocolate.
The quiet Swiss pass below, a tough eight kilometres.
A lake, Hospice, Grand Bernard cuddly toys and promised Chocolate that needed drinking with a spoon.
And a very cold free wheel back to the van.