10. Flüelen – Wasen – Beginning of the Gotthard Road

Altorf – Tell-monument

The next day we came first to Altorf, the capital of the canton of Uri, a quarter of an hour from Flüelen. After Altorf, our path led through several small towns, such as Bötzlingen, Klus, opposite which is the village of Erstfelden. To the right of the road are beautiful meadows, through which the Reuss flows; on the left, vertical rock walls rise from enormous heights, but still towered over by the Windgelle or the Mattenstock. At the foot of the even higher Bristenstock is Amsteg, where we took a break. It was fasting day and we had to content ourselves with pastries since there was no meat in the house. On the other hand, we had the pleasure of looking at the innkeeper’s splendid collection of stones, among which were splendid crystals of the kind one can buy there from poor children on the street. We leafed through the visitor’s book again, but in vain. Annoyed, but at the same time with ambitious pleasure, I wrote in the book:

No one from Mainz or Darmstadt can be found here.

We are the only ones from front to back.

The Gotthard Strasse actually begins near Amsteg, right next to the new bridge that arches over the Reuss. There is hardly a wilder valley to be found than the Reuss Valley. While the road, now on the right and now on the left bank, often stretches over strong stone bridges, gradually climbs up, the river rushes in rapid, youthful leaps over mighty rocks into the deep mountain gorge and wets with milk-white foam the trees and bushes along the shore. The first place you come across, Intschi, consists of only a few houses and a post office. Mighty blocks of stone are scattered all around the valley like a sea of ​​rocks, and you can often hear the roar of the water rushing over them for half an hour. After crossing the Mayenbach, which falls from the nearby heights, on a solid, stone bridge, you reach Wasen. Because of the falling darkness we had to spend the night in this small village. The food was bad, as was the wine. A bedding for our horses could not be found in the whole village.