Monday, 21 June 2010

Hiking to the top of La Dole

This weekend I woke up on Sunday with hope that it would be a nice clear day after several days of cold and rain. I walked out the door in shorts and a t-shirt but quickly put on a fleece by the time I was on the train and my rain jacket once I got to La Givrine, which is just past Saint Cergue and the start of my hike.

I had an espresso and croisant at the restaurant there (it's a mistake to let me go too long without coffee) and then headed off.

I soon began to wonder if I'd underestimated the conditions, since it was by now quite cold and rainy - I seemed to be the only one out walking and even the cows were looking at me like I was crazy.

Regardless, I continued towards Cuvaloup but got a bit lost when I missed the turn-off which would have taken me up the mountain, and I spent a bit of time in the 'wilderness' under the ski lifts before getting back on track.

Then, as I was puffing my way up towards the peak, a woman actually ran past me up the mountain, and a bit further on a guy ran past me going down! I saw more people running up the mountain during my hike, as well as a group of unhappy cyclists carrying their mountain bikes up on their shoulders.

It was really cold and windy at the top and I swear there was flecks of ice amongst the rain.

On the way back down the rain and clouds cleared a bit and I stopped at a mountain restaurant for an assiette de viande seche and to warm up before continuing my hike down the mountain.

As usual when hiking, I took far less photos on the way down. I did take a lot of photos of cows but the clouds meant I couldn't take any panoramic pictures of the mountains.

I did, however, take a few movies with my camera. This was quite fun but the work involved in turning it into something I can put on the web means I probably won't do it too often. It's too big to embed on the blog, but you can find it here.

Tomorrow I plan to have another go at hiking in the Jura and I bought myself some Komperdell hiking sticks today so I can blend in with the Swiss, with whom they seem to be mandatory!

Bathing and Hiking

Well Summer is officially here and we've been trying to get out into the sunshine over the last few weeks. However apart from a splash of sun early on we've had lots of grey weather recently.

It started out at Ovronnaz in Valais, where we spent a very relaxing couple of days in the natural hot spring baths and lying in the sun (Linda lay in the sun, I lay in the shade. We both got sunburnt).

We also had massages which pretty much put an end to our plans to do some hiking in the surrounding mountains because we were just too relaxed! I guess we should have done it in the reverse order.

We did, however, drive the car up a mountain road and wandered around a bit in the beautiful fresh growth forest and crisp mountain air.

The following weekend we had a bit of a wander around the Jura above Nyon where the flowers were all out.

And somewhere along the way we nipped across the lake to Yvoire in France where we checked out the gardens.

Then we had a weekend at Chateau D'Oex where we were meant to be going ballooning, but apparently a breath of a breeze was enough for it to be cancelled so we had a rather more quiet weekend driving around the Bernese Oberland and doing some hiking in the mountains.

This was quite a frustrating weekend because we'd taken a day off work to do the flight and instead we had rainy days and Linda even got caught with some urgent work. We did however manage to see some cool waterfalls and lakes, and we visited Les Diablerets which is one of our favourite places in Switzerland.