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Published: October 27th 2009
Evian and Monte Blanc
From Freiburg to Morges, a beautiful train ride highlighted by endless fields of grapes all in the process of being harvested and the gorgeous Lake Geneva with a backdrop of the pre-Alps and Monte Blanc. We met Jackie at the train station which was by far the easiest meet and greet we encountered on the trip thus far. That night we had a lovely French Swiss dinner with the our hosts, Jackie, Sylain, and adorable Marina. About 8 cheeses to choose from and a traditional hash brown like potato fritter, salad and of course some great Swiss wine. Delicious! We learned an interesting fact, that 98 percent of Swiss wine is never leaves the country. The following day we took a walk along Lake Geneva and explored the village of Morges. The weather was quite chilly but the sun was shining and the walking kept us warm. Monte Blanc and Evian, the town in which the water bottling company originated, could be seen clearly on the French side of the lake. We met Jackie and Marina on the lakeshore path and were shown through the grape and apple fields on the way home as we snacked along the way. When we
returned we had an impromptu game of futbol which got increasingly competitive as the game went on, Marina is quite the athlete!
That night we were taken to an incredible restaurant that served all organic or "biological" food including raising their own animals and once again some great Swiss wine. Many courses were served and there was an art exhibit by a local artist for our viewing pleasure. By far the fanciest and tastiest place we've eaten on the trip. Yummy! With bellies full, we headed home for an early evening.
The following day Jackie drove us up the valley to Valleorbe which is home to an extensive cave system. We spent the day exploring the cave and then hiked around the beautifully mossy covered forest surroundings. The cave also had an impressive collection of colorful mineral deposits from all over the world. It was very cold deep in the forest, but the cave was a constant and comfortable 11 degrees C. We followed a trail up to another cave with a very small entrance and decided to leave that one to the professionals. We traveled back to Morges by foot and train and then foot again, to
On Lake Geneva
arrive just before dark, snatching a few more apples on the way to stave off our mounting hunger. It was a long, adventurous day and we were glad to be back to the warm house and were greeted with a grand local mushroom pasta dinner.
Our last and final day in Morges was spent getting to our next destination. Sylvain, Jackie and Marina were kind enough to offer us a ride to Saanen. After a informative tour of Sylvain's factory we all packed in the car and took off. On the way we stopped for a really nice fondue lunch in the town of Gruyeres. Over our lunch conversation we discovered that there was a misunderstanding in our next destination. We were headed to Sarnen and they thought that we had said "Saanen", very similar sounding with the French accent. Sarnen being an extra 2 hour drive from Saanen, we decided to skip the castle tour and Sylvain traversed us through the Jaunpass. We got to see snow for the first time in a long time and enjoyed the beautifully scenic route, ending with a HUGE waterfall overlooking the valley and a pink sky sunset.
We stayed in
Sarnen couchsurfing for a several of days before we headed out to the alps. Sarnen was a lovely sleepy little village with 10,000 people, just south of Luzern. Our hosts Tuba and Phillip were very welcoming and warm giving us a key and taking us on a walking tour of Sarnen that night, with a short stop at the local pub. The next day was spent hiking a little, and later a night out in Luzern courtesy of Tuba, Phillip and their friends. The next day we explored Luzern in the light, seeing all the major sights; The old wooden bridges and cathedral, stone wall still mostly intact surrounding part of the old city and our favorite a massive dying lion, with a spear lodged in his side. Mark Twain described this as, "the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world". We finally received word from Pianta Monda, an agricultural cooperative deep in the Italian Alps, which our friend Ingo had told us about. We packed our bags and eagerly headed there the next day, tired of the cities and yearning for some real nature....
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