Fresh snow on Mont Blanc at Saint-Gervais

Starting from the Alpine spa town of Saint-Gervais, my ride was under the flanks of Mont Blanc (4809 m.), showing brilliant white with lots of fresh new snow from the previous night's storm..

Fresh snow on Mont Blanc

Spectacular view of the north face of Mont Blanc (4809 m.).

View of the Valais from the Col du Forclaz

Over the border (unmanned) to Switzerland and then the fantastic view from the top of the Col du Forclaz (1527 m.) along the deep valley of the Rhône, the Swiss Valais, dominated by the Finstaarhorn (4274 m.) Down the ladder of hairpins through the vineyards to Martigny; now 28°C.Lunch in the shade of.some thick-leaved cherry trees around the Roman amphitheatre.
Posing in the Roman amphitheatre in Martigny

And a bit of lunchtime posing in my white gear in the near-vertical sunshine. Yes there must have been Roman gladiators here.

Down the Rhône and then up through more terraced vineyards above Aigle to the sleepy village of Les Diablerets. We enjoyed a GLME Summer Camp there in August 2002.Over the watershed between the Rône and Rhine at the Col de Pillon (1546 m.). Fast but tricky descent from the col to Gstadt; heartland Bernese Oberland this... impoverished towns don't have Mercedes Benz dealerships...

A fine ride; Switzerland at its best, early summer sunshine, white capped granite mountains, deep glacial valleys with smooth roads challenging their sides with ladders of zigzags finally breaking out over the col in to the next valley, which is almost always quite different again.Haslital, Bernese Oberland

Arrived at a family-run hotel in Hasliberg Gelden above Meiringen. The Haslital is unnervingly beautiuful, like all your dreams of choclate box photos come true! Nice room with a view of mountains, glaciers and waterfalls. And the hanging valleys up to the Grimsel pass (2164 m.) that I first rode on my XJ750 in a trip out from London in 1984. No mobile phone, no internet weather forecasts and definitely no €uros on that trip.

  Rest day in the rain at Brienz

Last night the mountains on the other side of the Haslital were showing their snowy peaks but demurely wrapped in folds of mist. Overnight, there was heavy rain and there's now a lot of mist; the road is still wet. Rain is always a disappointment but I was expecting a rest day. The forecasts show a clearance which should allow a reasonable bike day out tomorrow plus a dry ride home to Marseille on Thursday and Friday. Still possible that I'll get to ride the three biggest passes here, Grimsel, Furka and Susten.

Next day Susten - Furka - Grimsel - Great St Bernard