Driving the Sustenstrasse / Route 11 to Wassen

We flew into Geneva at 7:00 am on June 5 with beautiful views of the alps. The airport is small and easy to navigate – we were through customs, baggage claim, picking up our car and on the road within a couple of hours. Our destination was Wassen, a small village with a population of 400, in the canton of Uri. The village is on the Gotthard Railway, famous for its switchbacks near the village, before it enters the Gotthard  Tunnel.

After driving through Interlaken,we decided to take the Sustenstrasse / Route 11 to Wassen. It’s a two-lane road through the mountains, filled with switchbacks, sheer drop-offs and incredible views. It’s listed as one of the most thrilling drives in the world, and definitely lived up to the description. In addition to the steep grades and switchbacks, there are several tunnels, stone arch bridges, beautiful villages, glaciers, and plenty of pull outs to take a break and take in the views.

To add to the excitement there were several motorcycles, Porsches, Audis and BMWs passing on the few straight areas as well as curves. One heart stopping moment I came around a curve to see a motorcycle heading straight at me. Not passing, just taking a wide curve and pulled back in at the last moment. And then there were the bicyclists at the highest pass. Given what it took to get up there, they are in a class by themselves. There were plenty of white knuckle moments, but given the chance I’d drive it again.

The drive ended in Wassen at the Hotel Gerig. It was the perfect place to stay after a long day of flying and driving – quiet, simple and with gracious hosts. Their small elegant dining room filled with beautiful paintings and jazz quietly playing in the background was a relaxing place for dinner.

After dinner we walked through the village and up to the church. There we found a small cemetery and more beautiful views