Diary blog: three amazing days in French-speaking Switzerland, Romandy!

This travel blog is about our weekend getaway experience in French-speaking Switzerland. Here, you can read how we spend our days and how much fun we had!

We are back on our way to Amsterdam after some amazing days spent in Switzerland. Both super tired and that is not surprising because it was such a great and full weekend! In this blog, I will tell you all about our time in Switzerland.

A warm welcome in Geneva!

First a small recap. Half a year ago, during our road trip through New Zealand, we met Marie and Cédric. They come from Switzerland and travelled around New Zealand in a campervan for eight months. We met them during a hike and started talking. It had a great connection and so we travelled together from Glenorchy to Wanaka the following days.

A few months later, when Marie and Cédric were back in Switzerland, they asked if we wanted to come over. Of course, we didn’t hesitate for a second. And so this Friday evening we fly to Geneva. Marie only told me what to pack, furthermore the whole weekend is a surprise for us. And what a surprise it was, we have been taken so good care of these three days!

After a very short flight (Amsterdam – Geneva is only 75 minutes flying) we are awaited with a Swiss flag and lots of hugs! So nice to see each other again! Marie and Cédric live in Concise, a village near Lausanne, an hour drive from Geneva. Along the way we see the beautiful Lac Léman, also called Lake Geneva (but do not use this name with people who are not from Geneva).

The apartment where we will stay these few days is located in a tiny village of Eclagnens and offers a view over the meadows and with the Alps as a background. When the weather is good, you can even see the Mont Blanc. We drink and chat comfortably. The evening ends with a game of Uno, the game that we played almost every night in New Zealand!

Are you also planning a trip to the French-speaking part of Switzerland? Click here for an extensive travel guide on Romandy!

Romandy day 1: hiking Mont Grammont

The alarm goes off way too early. After the Swiss wine from yesterday, which tasted a little too good, we have trouble getting up. But after a delicious breakfast of fresh baguette and our new addiction Ovomaltine (a kind of chocolate paste with cookies in it), we are ready for the day! Marie informs us about the first activity: a hike to Mont Grammont, in the Swiss Alps. After an hour driving through the rolling Swiss countryside, we arrive at 9.00 am at the start of the hike in the town of Miex. The beginning is pretty tough, there is a big increase in the route. Ries is leading as usual and is almost running up the mountain. We follow him, panting. After half an hour, we arrive at a large green meadow. There are three brown-red chalets and between the slopes of the hill, we see some large cows grazing with cowbells on their necks. This is so pure Swiss, the only thing missing is a purple Milka cow.

Lac de Taney, a beautiful lake surrounded by many trees

We walk for half an hour and we arrive at a beautiful little lake, Lac de Taney. It is surrounded by forests and is crystal clear. Unbelievable how beautiful everything is what we see so far! Now the second part of the hike starts, up to the summit of Mont Grammont. Again we are dealing with a considerable increase. Where we didn’t encounter anyone else in the first part of the hike, it is busy now. Not surprising, since there is a trail run going on today. Non-stop runners are passing us by. Later we hear that they are running 35, 45 or 33kilometresrs, unbelievable!

When we arrive above the tree line, it really starts to get heavy. We climb over loose gravel, Ries is still leading the way. When we are almost at the top, we see a viewpoint on top of a cliff with a beautiful view of Lac Léman. Here we rest for a while, we eat baguettes with Gruyère (Swiss cheese) and let Ries shoots some pictures with his drone. After lunch, it’s only a fifteen-minute climb to the summit, where we are really high, at more than 2200 meters. After a few photos and a little rest, we decide to start walking back.

Swiss wine: The vineyards of Lavaux

Three hours later, we hiked over 25 kilometres and are back at the car. All four of us are tired, sticky and warm. It is a sunny day and we tanned quite a bit! We drive to Montreux where we walk around and admire the Freddy Mercury statue. Freddy Mercury seemed to be crazy about this city after he had performed there several times.

Afterwards, we continue our way past Lac Léman, driving through pretty little villages and sometimes stopping to take pictures. One of the most beautiful places is the Unesco World Heritage Lavaux, an area full of vineyards. The vineyards are private grounds, but we really can not resist to enter them. With the golden light of the setting sun, we walk around, take some pictures and secretly taste a few grapes. They are full and sweet. In about a week and a half Les Vendanges starts, the harvest season.

A cosy dinner with a view on the vineyards of Switzerland

The evening we conclude with fillets de perche meuniere, a typical Swiss fish dish. The owner of Le Relais de la Poste, the restaurant where we eat, surprises us with a bottle of white wine from the year 2000, more than 18 years old! He is delicious and the perfect ending to this beautiful day!

Romandy day 2: the Jura mountains and Creux du Van

At half-past seven I wake up, the sun just rises and the mountains are framed with an orange glow. The others are still asleep, so I spend an hour working on a blog and then setting the table. After another delicious breakfast, we get in the car towards the Jura mountains. These mountains lie on the border between France and Switzerland and are not nearly as high as the Alps.

On our way, we stop in the small village of Romainmôtier. We walk to the church that has stood here for centuries and see the rest of the picturesque village. All houses here have red shutters with geraniums underneath. It feels like we are going back in time a few centuries.

A Swiss tour through the Jura mountains and Creux du Van!

After twenty minutes wandering around we get back on route and drive to the mountain La Dent-de-Vaulion in the Jura Mountains. It is possible to hike from the valley here, but Marie has an injury in her knee and so we decide to go upstairs and only walk to the top for the last 15 minutes. A beautiful view awaits us at the top. From here we see the three lakes in the area: Lac Léman, Lac du Neuchâtel and Lac du Joux. We enjoy the peace above, take some pictures and then walk back to the car.

It’s really a special weekend. Because we know Cédric and Marie from our world trip and since nature is very similar to that of New Zealand, it feels like no day has passed. As if we are still in the middle of our world trip and we just pick up where we left off in Wanaka.

Creux du Van: a 160-meter deep cliff in Zwitserland

A short hour away is Creux du Van, 160 meters cliffs that surround a deep valley. Before we walk to the cliffs, we eat lunch at the Alpine restaurant Le Soliat. The menu is not big, but there is cheese fondue, and what’s more Swiss than cheese fondue? After a nice lunch, we walk towards the rock walls. It is beautiful but also horrifying what we see there.

We are at the top of the high cliffs, which go down steeply. There is no fence or other deposit and if you take one step too far, it is over. Almost 4 kilometres long, we walk along the cliffs. To get a better idea of what it looks like a few feet next to our feet, Ries lets his drone up and makes some videos and photos. This is a really cool place and definitely worth a visit!

At the end of the afternoon, we drive to Concise, the hometown of Marie and Cédric. The tiny village has only 800 inhabitants and is located on the clear blue Lac du Neuchâtel. We swim in the ice-cold water and dry up in the sun. The autumn has already started in the Netherlands, but here it still feels like summer. It is 25 degrees and the sky is blue.

Raclette with Swish cheese: a perfect combination!

In the evening Marie and Cédric have a surprise for us: they have organized a special friends dinner. We are guests at Benoît and Steffi, good friends of Marie and Cédric, together with two other couples. We’re going to have raclette: a Swiss cheese dish that reminds us of gourmet ( a Dutch dish). Everyone takes a few slices of cheese, vegetables and some boiled potatoes.

The cheese goes under a grill in a small pan and when it is completely melted, you pour it over the vegetables and the potatoes. It tastes very good! But it is even more fun to meet the best friends of Marie and Cédric this way. They are all very sweet and warm and we chat about their lives in Switzerland, ours in the Netherlands and the different travels that everyone makes. It is really special to get to know a country in this way: through the eyes of good friends!

Romandy day 3: Gruyères and Lausanne

Ooo … the alarm is really too early. Last night was a bit too cosy and now at 7 o’clock, we sit down for breakfast with tiny eyes. Today is our last day here in Switzerland, tonight we fly home. But first, we have some nice things that we will visit. The first stop: the village of Gruyères, in the district of Gruyère, where the famous Swiss Gruyère cheese comes from!

The village lies on top of a hill and is very cute, and therefore also very touristy. However, we arrive so early (10:00) that it is still very quiet. We wander around, walk to the castle on top of the hill and then settle down at a restaurant. Besides the cheese, Gruyères is known for something else: Merengues and cream! Something we should, of course, try out. And so we order Merengues with fresh cream and red fruit. Delicious! Exactly at the right time we leave Gruyères, the touring cars full of tourists are just driving up the hill.

Visiting Lausanne and the beautiful Lac Léman before we go back home

Our last destination is Lausanne. This large city is located on Lac Léman and is built on three hills. Marie shows us her old high school, we walk past the big Cathedral on the hill and walk through the trendy Quartier du Flon. We have lunch on the water at the best creperie in Lausanne: La Creperie D’ouchy.

I was under the impression that a crêpe is a sweet snack, but here we eat crêpes that are covered in goat’s cheese, grilled vegetables and lettuce. As a dessert, we of course order a sweet crepe with caramel. After lunch, we walk along the water and for the last time, we enjoy the view of the lake with the Alps behind it. Wow, I did not think that Switzerland could be so beautiful.

Unfortunately, it is time to say goodbye, we have to go to the airport. Marie and Cédric really gave us a great weekend! So special what they have organized for us. In these three days, they showed us the entire French part of Switzerland. We look forward to the moment they will visit Amsterdam so we can show them around the Netherlands!

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