The weather for the hike was amazing, close to 30,even at 1900 meters... But, before I go into the details, I must say, the driving is wearing on me a bit. The freedom of hiking location it gives me far outweighs having to deal with the driving, but, I can honestly say, when Geneva and Valais are complete, I will be a lot happier that the long drives for hiking are done. Today was roughly 230 kilometers each way,and I think (at least for the drive home) I should have had the top up and air con on as the sun (which was 32 on the drive) beat me up a bit.... Yes, I forgot a hat!
For this hike, I will talk about the Hike, the canton, Montreux, and the balloon festival at Château-d'Œx. There are so many beautiful places in Vaud, one just has to reach out to find them. I will also say, I am just touching the surface.. Lutry is beautiful long with Vevey. Two more places I can say are worth the visit.. Not to mention Lausanne.
Part I: On to hiking
The hike was much more enjoyable than I thought it would be. But, like all good hikes, there are ups and downs. This time, the hike took a roughly 300 meter decline before it went up again. Which was fine. It was an easy hike and really, enjoyable all the time. Parts of the hike I had to go on the road which was also exciting as it is an 8.5 kilometer climb from the town of Ollon, which zigzags back and forth and there were many cyclists climbing. I am so amazed at how great of shape the Swiss are in.. old, and young, men and women, all climbing on their bikes and not stopping until they got to the top, Col de la Croix.
The hike was not terribly long, somewhere between 7.5 and 8 k. It took about 2 1/2 hours to complete the loop, but I suspect the long climb had a lot to do with it, which was about 4k all the way to the end.
With all hikes, I love the farm animals. Today, I saw lots of cows while in the car, but none on the hike. But, I did get to pass some pigs maybe 15 minutes into the hike. They were awesome, and it was great seeing two of them curled up next to each other sleeping.
It is old hat by now, but the views were amazing. Really, everywhere I looked was a photograph. It gets very hard to choose where to click and not click because I want to capture it all, but at the same time, I would then fill this blog with hundreds of photos.
The wanderweg's were out in full force today. The trails were very clearly marked even if my map was not.
I hope you do not mind too much, but I took a couple of panoramic photos as well. The amount of beauty would either have to come in the form of multiple photos or in the form of panos. I like panos so these are how you get to see the area as I was going down to the bottom of the hiking area.
Just another beautiful photograph. This was about 60% into the hike after maybe an hour of climbing and a break along the way.
Yes, there was a lot of snow around, and I was lucky enough to get to walk in some as it blocked the wanderwegs.
Along the hike I met an elderly couple, I am guessing close to 80 years old each, who were from Belgium and hiking for a bit of time in Switzerland. I am not sure I was too happy seeing how great of shape they were in when my belly kept bumping into them every time I turned (ok, I am kidding about that, but.....).
Part II: On to Canton Vaud
I was really putting off this canton for a while because it is far away. But, the weather was absolutely perfect for a Fathers Day hike.
Vaud is the 21st Canton to join Switzerland. It is located in the southwest part of Switzerland in 1803. It is a French speaking canton, which is a nice change from German (no offense to German, just saying its a nice change :)). You know you are there, or close when you start seeing "Sortie" instead of "Ausfahrt".
Some of the things that are interesting about Vaud that you might find interesting, include the following:
- On the south western side of Vaud you can find Roman columns in Nyon. Here is an interesting 360 view that you can see them. I didn't go there I should mention.
- There are roughly 725,944 people who live in Vaud and 28% of those are foreigners.
- Something I did not know until I did the research, but the Union Cycliste Internationale is located in Vaud. This is the world governing body for sports cycling
- The highest point in Vaud is Diablerets, which is 3,210 meters and the lowest point is Lake Geneva, which is 372 meters above sea level.
Oddly enough, when I started the canton hikes last year, there were lots of demographics regarding single women. I think someone has been keeping tabs on me as I have noticed this information has not been showing up for a while now... Therefore, I am just going to make up numbers which are not true, but to my favour. 88% of the population in Vaud are women, and of that 88%, 75% of them are single.
Part III: On to Montreux
If you have not had the pleasure of going to Montreux, I highly recommend it as it really is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. But, the ambiance is also just as amazing. Many famous people have lived there and spent lots of time there. Why? Well, I think the answer is simple. The views are stunning, the lake is beautiful, the people, the food, the numerous cultures, and of course, the statue which I have been so excited to see for a very long time is there.
Oh wait, it is not this one, though, how cool is it to see a giant fork sticking up out of the water like that? It is that of Freddie Mercury, who lived in Montreux. Having always been a fan of the band Queen (the very first concert I ever went to was Queen)... Nothing made me happier than to see this the first time I visited Montreux.
I put Château-d'Œx on the list because it is a place I found in Vaud in February when I went to the Château-d'Œx Hot Air Balloon Festival. My goal was to take some timelapse photos of the balloons taking off and landing. I admit, I got a bit lazy and didn't complete the work, but I did manage to put together a sample.
A sample from the shoot..
Some raw footage put together