Holzegg to Meitschligen
A surprisingly chilly and windy night doesn't make me sleep well and, lying awake in my sleeping bag, I decide to leave with first light.
The hiking day starts with a steep, 1000 vertical meters descent. It takes a lot of concentration. Dim light and after so little sleep. An unfavorable combination. Still, I eventually make it. A somewhat boring stretch follows. Up and down and up again. 3 hours after hitting the trail, Lake Lucerne comes into view again, far below me, shimmering in a wonderful Caribbean like emerald green. I take my first break, soaking up the view before descending steeply to Sisikon, from where I follow the Trail of Switzerland to Flüelen. The trail is notorious for being closed as this part of the lake is prone to rockfall and landslides. Luckily, I can walk it all the way. Sometimes along the busy Axenstrasse, through tunnels, along the lake or trails carved into the sheer rock face. All in all a great, diverse, enjoyable stretch with a lot of Swiss history in it. The Tellsplatte is right by the path, the Rütli on the other side of the lake. To my surprise there's hardly anyone on the trail. Good for me.
Right before leaving the lake I pass by a gravel beach, especially made for swimming. Obviously, I can't resist the water and go for two swims. A great feeling with the walls of rocks around me.
From there it's a quick hop to picturesque Flüelen, where I follow the Reuss River upstream. A flat, easy 20 kilometer walk along the river bank until Amsteg, where the valley is turning into a gorge and the trail is climbing away from the river. Yet, it remains easy to walk. I don't mind. The first half has been tiring.
Being a Friday afternoon and beginning of the public school holidays in many parts of Europe traffic is heavy. On the motorway as well as the adjacent the smaller highway. Dutch motor homes and cars with trailers are fighting with the climb, slowing down the traffic. I'm impressed how the engineers were able to fit two roads and a railway line into the narrow gorge. A technical marvel for me.
I pass by small mountain villages. The motorways visible and the cars noisy. It feels a bit weird. My camping spot is the same. The motorway and railway are to my right, the highway to my left. And there will be plenty of traffic throughout the night. But I don't mind. It's a suitable, honest ending to an interesting day.