With rollerskis across Switzerland

…that should actually be possible, thought Lars, a 10-year-old cross-country skier from Interlaken. He started his expedition at the beginning of the summer holidays and reached Zurich in the evening of the 6th day, where he visited his grandmother. He covered a total of more than 200 kilometers, broke his pole, fell and had a runny nose and tested many Swiss swimming pools. A small extract from his diary.

Day 1

School was over, finally we could start. Mama swayed quite a bit with the whole mountain of luggage that was tied up on the tandem. At the top, the tent and the camping chairs were enthroned - I didn't want to leave them at home. At Lake Thun there was a beautiful route. The bicycle path ran directly along the water, almost like a rollerski track. In “Faulensee” I jumped into the lake for the first time, then I went on. In the afternoon I had to walk a short section on the edge of a bigger road, but all in all everything worked out fine and we arrived in Thun early.

Day 2

The first day had been easy and so I started in good mood - the distance to Bern was not so long. But oh dear, it was mega windy and of course we had to rollerski directly against the wind. I tried to ski fast and hardly moved at all. In the afternoon we passed the Belp airfield and there I just fell into the grass at the roadside - I don't know how that happened either. After that we unfortunately had to ski a bit up the hill to Wabern, at the beginning of Bern, I was totally knocked out. In the evening we went swimming in the Marzilibad and played soccer until it got dark.

Day 3

I had to climb a steep little road up to the Bundeshaus. But what I was actually interested in was a good breakfast in the old town. There were rolls, croissants and lemonade. After the experiences of the day before I was not so motivated, but everything went much better than I thought. The way out of the city was great and we made fast progress, how cool! We covered a total of 47 kilometers to Solothurn that day. Most of the time on small roads overland. The "Badi" (Swiss word for public swimming pool, editor's note) in Solothurn is absolutely brilliant. My brother and my father came to visit us.

Day 4

I think dad was sleeping on my sunglasses, when I got up in the morning they were broken! Help! We could fix them with tape. The route led through quiet villages and many cornfields, my brother went with us - sometimes on his rollerskis, sometimes on the back of the tandem. Because of him I started with cross country skiing. Normally he is much faster than me, but today he was lazy. In a super great hotel called "Bären" in some village we ate schnitzel and chips. Very far away you could see the Bernese Oberland mountains. In Aarburg we first went to the swimming pool again.

Day 5

15 minutes after the start an accident happened. Somehow I must have got too close to mum's tandem with my pole, in any case there was a bang and my pole was broken! I was totally scared, my beautiful pink Klaebo pole was ruined! We had no spare poles with us and in Olten we couldn't find a sports dealer who could have helped me quickly. So we had to alert my dad. I skied almost to Aarau without poles. That was not so pleasant, especially because I had to cross about 100 railway tracks and curbs. In Schönenwerd Papa reached us with new poles, so nice! The rest of the day was a torture, traffic everywhere, factories and streets, I was tired and my nose was running. Somewhere I must have caught a cold.

Day 6

The first stretch from Brugg through the city my mum put me on the tandem. When there was not so much traffic I shagged off again myself, but I had to stop and blow my nose again and again. So we only got to Zurich at a snail's pace. And how hot it was! Oh no. This is not how I imagined the end of the trip. But somehow we managed it anyway - the best thing about Zurich was rollerkiing on the “Bahnhofstrasse” and of course jumping from the diving tower in the Badi. The next morning we skied a little bit along the lake of Zurich and then up the slope to my grandmother. She was very happy to see me. And so was I!

Photos: Thomas Ulrich / Ursina Dorer / Annette Marti