Aigle picnic spot, SwitzerlandOctober 10 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C
We are back in Switzerland! Today's home is a small roadside car park overlooking a picnic area close to the Grand Eau river.
We know we keep going on about how stunning Switzerland's scenery is, but it keeps on impressing us. Today's drive over the Chablais Alps from Bioge to Abondance was just phenomenal. The route snaked back and fourth as we climbed and dipped with views of mountains that urged you to go out and buy Toblerone more effectively than any TV advert ever could.
Reaching a good altitude, we entered a world of ski towns. Chocolate box wooden chalets, their balconies bedecked with fairy lights and garlands of fake greenery lay poised for a winter full of snow and visitors. Chopped firewood of various grades sat in neat stacks along the sides of dwellings and wagon wheels (from carts not the biscuit factory) adorned many a wall. Red geraniums spilled over baskets hanging outside what seemed like every home and a few even had veg patches.
Winding our way back down to the valley floor, we emptied our waste water at a service point in Abondance then ended our journey at Aigle a little further on. The half dozen parking bays were full but the gate was open to the picnic area, part of which stored logs and gravel. We parked up in here, ate lunch, then moved to a designated spot when one became available.
The location provided fresh spring water which flowed via a pipe into a trough like we'd seen in Austria. There was a fire grill, wooden picnic bench and marble round tables with seating. A black squirrel, the second we'd seen in as many days, hopped along the logs amongst a flurry of finches.
As always in Switzerland there was easy access to walking trails. We took a slow wander up a steep wooded slope past a small artificial waterfall and ancient pine trees to a viewpoint with vistas over the vine covered valley. From a handy bench we watched pickers plucking bunches into white grapes into boxes. These were then tipped into cylindrical metal vats which a tractor transported to a pickup point on the road. We were surprised to see short trains travelling up and down the hillside via a switchback track. We always think of trains running in a straight line.
That evening Will followed a Swiss recipe and made fondue, heating emmental and gruyère with other ingredients in our bain marie. We skewered cubes of bread and dipped them into the gooey mixture. Neither of us are very fond of this dish, but it came out well and was fun to eat in its home country. Perhaps a better wine would improve the flavour for next time.Read more