We lost an hour of sleep, springing ahead, during the night, but after waking up with French toast and a walking tour of the vineyards we took a picnic to colorful, mostly sunny Annecy.

Walking near the lake and through the narrow streets.

We stumbled upon a small festival, stopped for a glass of wine, were pulled into the April fools tradition - poisson d’avril - sneakily attaching fish to peoples' backs.

A final stop at Pont de la Caille, a high suspension bridge with nice views, on the way back to Challex.


a bit of suisse

We're having company this weekend. My cousin Emily, currently on a study abroad program in Paris, is coming down to visit us on her Easter break. We want see as much as we can during her Saturday to Monday visit...and hope the weather will allow it. Since today was cold and rainy, we headed to Château de Chillon in Montreux directly from the train station.  

After a tour of the castle, we spent the evening taking a stroll through Gruyere and warming up with a pot of fondue. 


ski: chamonix

Today offered a much needed break from the wet gray weather. We had passes for Chamonix and a perfect day to use them- clear blue sky, new snow, and empty pistes. I thought I was done skiing for the season, but today renewed my interest. I won't mind waiting a bit longer for spring as long as there is snow and sun.

Enjoying the view.


waiting for spring

Lots of damp gray weather is keeping us in a bit more than we'd like. At least we've got second breakfast, veagn blueberry scones, vacation planning, and a cuddly kitty to wait out the rainy spell. Thanks to the rain, we're looking forward to escaping for some fun in the sun in Crete this April! 


festival du chocolat

The best thing about living near Switzerland has got to be the abundance of amazing chocolate. Can you believe this is the fist time we have gone to the annual chocolate festival? We took the train to avoid car show traffic around Geneva - two 20 minute rides and we arrived at a festival tent full of chocolate samples from some of Switzerland's finest chocolatiers. Even a vegan can find enough  dairy-free dark chocolate to start to get a stomach ache, but we paced ourselves as best we could against the ubiquitous treats. I ate some of the sweetest chocolate covered raisins ever and had a cup of hot cocoa and we nibbled bits from each exhibitor. 

One of my favorites was these rabid chocolate bunnies...their maker told me they wouldn't smile (hehehe). Not chocolate, but these candy apples were bright and beautiful in the sunshine.

Once we made our rounds, and stopped at every table, we hopped the chocotrain to visit the local chocolate factory, Favarger. (My absolute favorite that I buy every week!) Yeah! 

We spent a little time sitting in the sunshine on the lakefront, and then decided to spend the afternoon walking. We rode the train partway back, had a little picnic, and then walked along the river toward home (with a kilo of chocolate in the backpack).

River trail near Satigny.


hiking: la vuache

There's just enough sunshine and warmer temperatures to keep us from wanting to ski again this weekend. We decided it was a good day to wander out "that way," to the Vauche hills between the Alps and the Jura. We parked in Chaumont, and started hiking up the spine to Mt. Vauche, a short hike, topping at 1101 meters, where there is still a bit of snow. This easy hike showed us that it is going take some work to build our legs back to our weekly, longer, tougher hikes in the Alps...but I can't wait. Winter will be back this week, extra cold, and hopefully some new snow, but the light is changing, days are getting a little longer, and there are plenty of green things pushing through the ground.

After we made our way back down to Chaumont, we visited the hilltop ruins of Château de Chaumont, and enjoyed the beautiful view of the surrounding countryside and the Alps until some dark clouds made their way over. Only half an hours drive, it felt like we had traveled somewhere far away...there's still so much to explore.