portes ouvertes

It's a dreary day, but we managed to get ourselves out the door for wine tasting at the Domaine de Mucelle. We left just in time for the main downpour of the day, but waited in an old storage barn for the heavy rain to pass before continuing the short walk through town. The rain hadn't dampened the festivities, so we started sampling the wines, enjoyed deep-fried apple rings, and learned a bit about the process and machines for growing, making, and bottling the wine, all done at the domaine. We also tried le moût, the unfermented juice hand-pressed from the grapes this past week.

Walking home to restock the cave with wine as local as it gets - we've got organic chasselas, gamay, pinot gris and noir, and a bubbly one.


more cowbell

This weekend, we watched the annual désalpe in St-Cergue, Switzerlad, where the cows are decorated with giant bells and fancy flowers, and led down from their summer grazing in the Jura to warmer fields and barns below. We remembered to wear rubber boots since the procession passes through narrow roads lined with excited spectators...close enough to get a good whack from a cow tail (that left a bit of a smudge).   

We're pretty excited for the parade of cows, dogs, and alphorns, before the final bell ringers gong through the street marking the end.

Then it's time for treats and enjoying a beautiful fall afternoon before making our way back.

Goodies for everyone.


lounging at lake neuchâtel

A sudden head cold put my ambitious hiking plans on hold for today. Instead, we relaxed in the little town of Grandson on Lake Neuchâtel.  It was a beautiful day and last chance to wear swimsuits for the season (Okay, I'm accepting the end of summer). We passed Yverdon-les-Bains for a quieter spot across the lake to picnic and nap in the grass before exploring the boat docks and wandering through the streets. 

A little bit of Swisstory: Grandson is famous for its castle, remains of prehistoric settlements, and battle victory for the Swiss in the Burgundian Wars (on my birthday, but in 1476). 

Eglise de Grandson:

Around town:


apple trekking

Derek and I are surprised by how good we've been feeling post-marathon, but my yoga/run/walk/via ferrata-filled Friday plus yesterday's long hike are leaving me a little lower on energy today. It's a lovely Sunday to take it easy = a ten mile walk to carry home fifteen pounds of apples and some squash. It was a nice break from rolling out of bed and heading out for the usual Jura run. Our first stop, La Cabuche in the vineyard, for a glass of local jus de raisin. 

We made our way across the river, and up to Russin, still decorated from last weekend's festivities.

Apples! This walk has become a three-year tradition after the Jungfrau Marathon, and so has eating apples on the way back home.


hiking: refuge albert 1er (2702m)

What a beautiful Saturday for hiking! We are having a stretch of warm, clear weather, so Derek and I are hoping to make a few long, high hikes before the season changes. Today we started from Le Tour and made our way up to the Refuge Albert. The boucle also took us to Col de Balme, Col des Posettes, and Chalets de Balme before the switchbacks returning to Le Tour.

First through a dewy pasture before a sudden climb and light scramble up to the long spine that leads toward the refuge and the glacier. We started in the cool shade while waiting for the sun to rise above the peaks and keep us warm on the steady march along the moraine.  

Enjoying the view.

Getting close to the glacier. 

 Glacier du Tour.

We continued a bit beyond the refuge and decided to sit in the sun to watch a few groups of hikers and clouds pass over the crevasses. Great views of neighbouring summits: Aiguille du Tour, Grande Fourche, Chardonnet, Aiguille d'Argentière, and Aiguille Verte.

The groups crossing the glacier look so tiny:

Some interesting cairns.

The original Refuge Albert built in the 1930s by the Belgian king.

Two weeks ago we hiked to the summit of Mont Buet, the snow capped one (pic below). I'm glad we made it up there before the snow did.

After a good break, we started down the spine until the split towards Balme, and followed the trail to continue the loop. The spine up to the refuge looked so small as we made our way around.

We tucked into a lonely plateau covered in lovely greens and oranges and wispy white flowers. 

Soon we reached the French/Swiss border with a view of new mountains to explore. Sound of Music moment...

Nearing the end of the day, we could look back at the route we had covered, and trace the narrow spine leading to the glacier.

Already the sun has sunk below the mountains, leaving us in the shadows, but illuminating Mt. Blanc and the trails we took earlier in the day.