Summer of 2022.
Part 5: A short stay in Switzerland.

The train trip from Geneva to Yverdon-les-Bains

July 13, 2022. Barcelona Spain to Arnex-Sur-Orb, Switzerland.

Another country today, this time to catch up with Denis, my mate in Switzerland. 

Denis had also missed the wedding in Italy, so this would be a good time to talk bullshit and relive old times. 

A common pastime of old farts. 

In the morning the lifts in our hotel in Gràcia weren’t working, so I asked to get someone to help us with the bags. 

When we got to the lift we discovered they were working again. 

The trip to the Barcelona airport and check-in was very smooth, as was the flight to Switzerland. 

Vueling performed well, even the disembarkation was handled in an orderly manner –  yet again. 

We found the railway station, within the airport, and booked our tickets. We weren’t due to catch the train until 14:05 hrs so we had some time. 

We then got some lunch. 

Two very small ham and cheese rolls and a glass of wine. 27SF or just over A$40.

Our short stay in Switzerland isn’t going to be cheap.

However we aren’t paying for accommodation, which will be a saving. 


Around the Restaurant Chalet du Surchet

July 14, 2022. Arnex-Sur-Orb, Switzerland.

After a chatty night with Denis we had a latish start to the day. 

Even Switzerland was feeling the heat of the European summer, so we weren’t about to exert ourselves too much. 

It’s so dry in Switzerland that they have imposed water restrictions. 

Who said that climate change is a hoax?

Afternoon tea at the Restaurant Chalet du Surchet, then we had a short walk, along the hilltop near the chalet. 

As you would expect from the Swiss countryside, the views were spectacular.

We then drove around the area to get a better look before heading home.

That night’s dinner was at The Toucan Restaurant. 

Located in an old farm building and offering local food and wine, this is an institution in Arnex and we have been there a number of times before. 

With the weather being so warm, we ate outside, in their large shaded terrace area, as did everyone else.

This is unusual but so is the climate at this time.


The town of Grandson on Lake Neuchatel

July 15, 2022. Arnex-Sur-Orb, Switzerland.

It was another unusually warm day in Switzerland.

Denis is a fan of art and we always seem to gravitate towards a museum or gallery when we stay with him.

Today was no exception and we decided to go to Lausanne to see an exhibition of Art Brut.

I won’t even try to explain what this art form is, but rather I’ll cheat and copy the the introduction that was on a poster near the entrance.

‘What is Art Brut?

Art Brut or Outsider Art, is made by self-taught people who often live on the margins of society, either as rebellious souls or as beings that are impervious to normative and collective values.

Among them are prisoners, residents from psychiatric hospitals, eccentrics, loners and outcasts whose creative expression exists for itself without any concern for public criticism or what other people might think.

They invent their own creative space, seeking neither recognition nor approval. 

Totally original in their chosen means and materials, utterly singular in their creative process, they produce works that are untainted by artistic tradition.’

As you would expect, from this description, the exhibition was somewhat of an eye-opener and very left field.

The term Art Brut was created by the French painter Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985).

He was also responsible for gifting the museum, that housed this exhibition, to the City of Lausanne.

It was opened in 1976.

Dubuffet also donated much of the art featured in the show.

We then drove to Lake Neuchatel (Newcastle) for an afternoon drink at Terrasse du Pécos. 

It was then a walk into Grandson, a beautiful village that was also on Lake Neuchatel, where we had another brief walk around.


Lausanne around Lac Léman

July 16, 2022. Arnex-Sur-Orb, Switzerland.

While Australia has been going through a cold spell, the temperatures in Arnex have been in the 30’s.

The interesting thing about the type of heat that Europe is is currently experiencing, is that nowhere is designed to handle it.

All the homes, public buildings, restaurants and cafes have heating, not cooling.

Now the hot spell has spread to England and in some places the temperatures are expected to reach the 40’s. 

We spent the afternoon with a couple of Denis’s friends by Lac Léman, near Lausanne.

It was great to get views of the city from over the lake.


The beach at Lac du Jeux

July 17, 2022. Arnex-Sur-Orb, Switzerland.

Rather than staying in Arnex during the day, we felt it was best to get into the mountains.

At least the temperatures were bearable there.

So the drive this afternoon was to Le Pont for a coffee.

Then on to Châtel (Altitude 1,432 m) for a walk to the viewpoint for a pre dinner snack, which included a rather tasty wheat beer, at Restaurant Châtel.

Denis is a real ‘tooth’ and always has been – it’s impossible to fill him up.

And now, the same can be said for Thea as well, who’s appetite certainly wasn’t abating due to her current medication.

We toured more local villages on the drive back to Arnex.

Over the years Denis has taken us through many of the villages around his home in Arnex and they all seem to have one or more of Martine’s relatives, the Morels, living in them.

I suggested to Denis that when the locals marry they need to get a DNA test, just to make sure they’re not marrying a cousin.

This was our last day in Switzerland, as we would be heading back to Berlin tomorrow.

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