We arrived in Morges, Switzerland, to stay with family, Marc and Jocelyne Wanner [David's uncle and aunt], at about 7pm – after a long trip on the Autoroute from Paris. We programmed Molly [our GPS] to avoid the toll roads, but after a detour through Fontaineblue she steered us back onto the autoroute and we ended up with another €35 toll GRRR!!!!!!
We stopped in an aire for lunch of baguette, wine [Sandi only, not driver Dave], and pomegranate.
Sandi's passion for pomegranate remains rampant.
The countryside was fairly flat, with occasional chateaus.
Armed with some "pad kos" we crossed the Jura range of mountains, which was displaying all the autumnal colours and flurries of falling leaves. Wonderful Jocelyne had a great supper waiting for us and we flopped into bed early-ish, to sleep the sleep of the road-weary travellers.
The Swiss weather was pretty warm for the first few days and David was quite happy in slops and shorts. On Thursday we basically loitered indoors for the morning, to catch our breath, then popped in to visit tante Henriette for tea, and back home for yet another scrummy dinner.
A clear view of Mont Blanc from the balcony
Jocelyne and Marc feed and wine us so well we’re going to be many kilos heavier by the time we leave! At this point we had best explain that lunches and dinners are not events that just fill the tummy. They are social and gourmet events, usually interspersed with consultations with the French and English dictionary, as we all play at wordsmithing!! Often there is a starter, like grapefruit, or special cured meats, followed by a cooked meal of fish, meat or chicken with several veg, and often salad too – plus wine twice a day. Then there is dessert – 4 choices of ice cream or home-made chocolate and/or raspberry mousse [so far] and biscuits, then fresh fruit, peanuts, then coffee and Swiss chocolates!! Sandi manages to pace herself, but David simply cannot say “No” [surprise, surprise]! We’ve worked out that we spend 4-4 ½ hours at table each day [breakfast 1hr+, lunch 1 ½ hrs, dinner 1 ½ -2 hours]!! We find we are exhausted at night, because of all the fine French we try to absorb, as well as the heat. The flat is very warm +- 25 deg C [so we keep popping onto the balcony for a welcome breather, where the temp is at least 15 deg colder], and keep our bedroom window open all day and night to cool the room.
We were invited to dinner at Liz and Daniel [David's cousin] on Friday evening. Liz is from New Zealand, and the whole family – papa Daniel, and 3 gorgeous kids; Alexandra [in matric], Stephanie and Philippe [both studying Economics at Uni] - can speak English, so chatting was not a strain. Trying to understand the nuances, and contribute to French conversation, when there are more than 2 people chatting, can be quite taxing! After a delicious meal, Liz produced a regional speciality for dessert, just to finished us off. tarte au resin.
On Saturday we strolled along the lake, Lac Leman, under clear skies and sunshine, enjoying the last of the dahlias planted in profusion along the promenade. Of course Sandi took a zillion shots with the new camera.
We came across a tree full of these strange fruits.
We even found some highly fragrant musk roses, which instantly brought back visual and olfactory memories of the glorious Bulgarian Rosa damascena.
The hedges full of bright berries were another favourite.
Then another dinner at the flat that night, with Francois [Marc & Jocelyne’s younger son]and Marion, his partner. They were invited for Sunday night, but surprised us all by arriving 24 hours too early!
On Sunday – brunch with the Wagnieres – Loise, Laurent and baby Ellia, and the parents, cousin Eric and Corinne. A divine coffee-shop experience in the village of Echallons [Maison de Ble et de Pain], where everything is locally produced and one can watch the bakers doing their thing while eating scrumptious yoghurt, viande seche, cheeses, patisserie, breads, jams and bottomless cups of coffee, tea and/or hot chocolate, with tarte au crème to finish.
After that we took a trip up Mt Pelerin to a special viewpoint to see a panoramic view of the region, walking up through a forest to a lift station, which takes one up to the top of a tower overlooking sheer beauty.
Vineyards along the lake
Then a short visit to Loise and Laurent’s home in a lovely rural village called Apples, before heading back to Morges for more food!
Loise and Laurent's beautiful daughter, Ellia
By Monday the weather suddenly changed and the daily temperatures dropped by 10 deg. We took a rainy and misty trip up into the Jura mountains for a cheese fondue of note at the Maison Dent de Vaullions, before a quick visit to Marc and Jocelyne’s dear little chalet next to the Lac du Joux.
We even spotted an original bricelet
machine hanging from the rafters!
We took off on our own the next day, which was clear and sunny, but frosty, with the help of a Mobilite public transport ticket, to visit Lausanne and Ouchy.
We took a quick walk down to the Morges market in icy cold weather and bought some sunflowers and walnuts for M&J.
We were amazed to see a sign board outside a shop, advertising some hearing aid or other, with our dear friend, the lovely Dalene Morriss’, picture on it! Wow, her model shots have appeared all over the world!
We walked back for another family lunch, this time with uncle Christian and his cousin Christiane.
David accompanied M & J for the afternoon, while Sandi stayed in the apartment to complete some Council work which had a deadline, while Christiane was given a lift back to her 4 storey home in central Lausanne. She has an elevator in the house to take her to the top floor of the house where she lives. There are 3 apartments on the other floors, which she rents out to tenants. The afternoon proceeded with a visit to tante Marie, in a nearby old-age home,
followed by a 5pm painting exhibition where Marion had some paintings for sale. The snacks were very colourful, including this pain surprise
which is a hollowed-out loaf, made into sandwiches, which are then stacked back inside.
On our return the amazing Jocelyne effortlessly whipped up yet another great meal, in time for a 7.30pm dinner-date with Anne-Christine [Marie’s spinster daughter].