I’m a day behind as I was in non wifi accommodation for the night stop, but you will need to read to the end for the juicy details.
It wouldn’t be a day hiking in Switzerland without a couple of castles, and the first showed up on the route before the caffeine buzz from breakfast at the youth hostel had worn off. The first, the Chateau de Chillon guards the head of the lake (an attempt at an artsy photo using a lakeside sculpture is attached) and has survived the gate of other castles whose rocks were repurposed. The landward side is so narrow that the walking path, the roads, and the railway are almost stacked on top of each other.
Later in the morning, after some comparably dreary pathside scenery, I bought a supermarket lunch which I ate sitting trail side enjoying the spectacular Chateau de Aigle (I posted that one to Instagram). When the trail gets monotonous, you just need to lift your eyes to the mountains that tower over you. One does need to be selective on such eye raising as the trail can be very rough, and a face plant may be the result of ill-timed mountain oggling.
The evening stop was another memorable one, at the Abbaye de Salaz. It was once an Abbey, but now is a family run farm, winery, and also a provider of affordable (by Swiss standards) accommodation for pilgrims. Donna and Bruce, who I referenced in the previous post, also booked in for the night. After a swim in the river, we were treated to a delicious meal combined with a tasting of their own wines. Janine and Bernard were incredible hosts (Janine runs the kitchen and catering, and her bread baked in the antique wood oven was to die for) and Bernard is the wine maker, so all our questions on Swiss wine were answered. The reason you can’t get Swiss wine in the local liquor store? The Swiss drink it all themselves! Besides, if they did export, it wouldn’t be price competitive. We also learned so much about life in Switzerland – housing, minimum wage, harvesting grapes… you name it, our conversation covered lots of bases. When not entertaining pilgrims, they host wedding receptions, wine tastings (a bit of a given for a winery). Their parents run the cattle and cropping side of the farm. Check them out here: https://www.abbaye-de-salaz.ch/
And if you are doing the VF, try to include the Abbaye on your journey. Highly recommended.
As usual, I slept with my windows wide open. It was hard to tell which were stars and which were front porch lights on mountain-top homes. But that is Switzerland for you.
Daily km: 24.6