Last night we stayed in the outstandingly excellent Lausanne Guest House. It was very modern and spotlessly clean with ultra fast WiFi; all my backlog of photos shot up to their final resting place in the clouds within seconds. We also had the latest Samsung TV in our room so I watched the World Cup Final in colour.
After the Final a huge thunderstorm struck, the heavens opened and the temperature plummeted. It was a reminder of how quickly the weather changes in the mountains. I felt cold.
This morning the Famous Five (Claude & Marie, Christof, Paul and I) assembled at 6.30 and set off to the shores of Lake Geneva. I popped into the first Boulangerie to buy a pain au chocolate because, in many ways, we are still in France and I’m glad I did. After another 3 hours of walking we were still without breakfast. One cafe was down to their last two croissants blaming the Boulangerie for closing on a Monday.
We settled on a restaurant which would open in 10 minutes. But they had no breakfast menu. In the end they toasted a little bit of yesterday’s bread but there was no jam. Add a black coffee and tub of white liquid and orange juice and the bill came to a handsome 57 francs.
We walked towards Vevey and Montreux along the shores of Lake Geneva. It was jolly nice. The steep sides of the lake have endless intricate terraces of vineyards which are ancient and UNESCO listed. Today was the day they were being sprayed and because this is Switzerland the spraying was done by helicopter.
In among the vines run full size Swiss trains. I say “full size” because the whole area looks like some extravagant model railway with its bridges and tunnels, roads and model buildings.
But did I enjoy it? Not really. We walked 31 km with back packs while tourists lay in the sun. Flashy sports cars roared along the road with flashy people going nowhere. We stopped at a touristy restaurant for lunch which amounted to 3 portions of chips and 5 salads on a little side plate. Somehow the bill came to 111 francs, including beers. They refused to fill my water bottle until I kicked up a fuss. The sooner we get into the mountains, the better.
Tonight we have an apartment and a party to celebrate our reunion (we all met on the Via Podiensis last year). There is a lot of cooking going on. I’m doing dessert which will be a whole lot of peaches, apricots, strawberries and raspberries with creme fraiche. I have a suspicion we won’t get that far and it will be breakfast instead. I can’t even get in the kitchen.
The Lausanne Guesthouse
Christof points out the VF in Switzerland now known as the 70
Vineyard spraying, Swiss style