Andrew’s Parent’s Visit

Andrew’s parents arrived last Tuesday and stayed in Lausanne until Sunday. They had a busy trip and I am pretty sure they saw everything there is to see in Lausanne and some of the best sites in the region while they were here!

From Tuesday through Thursday, Andrew had taken off work and spent the days with his parents and I met up with them in the evenings for dinner. We cooked at our apartment a few times, went out to two of our favorite restaurants (Brasserie Montbenon and Cafe de Grancy) and also had the chance to try a new spot, Restaurant Vieux-Lausanne. During the days they walked the city from top to bottom, took the ferry across the lake to Évian-les-bains (yep, where the water is from!) to watch the Evian Championship, walked through the Lavaux wine terraces, toured the Olympic Museum (the Olympic Committee is headquartered here in Lausanne!) and even rented a little motor boat to cruise around on the lake one afternoon. Let me tell you, all this sounded way better than going to work every day but I am so glad they had a good time and gorgeous weather!

Andrew and his parents on their little rental boat out of Ouchy on Lac Léman.

On Friday I managed to take the day off of work to join in the fun. First thing in the morning we boarded a train headed towards the mountains. We got on a cog wheel train in Aigle, with a destination of Champéry to ride the Champéry-Croix de Culet cable car up into Portes du Soleil for some hiking. The town of Champéry was such an adorable little mountainside ski town with the Alps rising up all around it. I want to go back there in the winter for sure!

At the top of the cable car we were treated to beautiful vistas and no one else sharing the trail with us except for the dairy cows (each with their own bell around their neck, so you can hear them clanging from across the valley!). We hiked through the ski area and up to the top of a ridge where we stopped to have some sandwiches we brought along. The views were absolutely incredible, and we were pleased to discover that we had unknowingly brought ourselves to one of the largest ski areas in the world. There were ski lifts everywhere the eye could see, and we were only in a teeny little portion of Portes du Soleil!

Portes du Soleil
Up on the ridge while hiking in Portes du Soleil
Magnificent views of the mountains from the trail in Portes du Soleil
Waiting for the cable car down the mountain at the top of the line. The Dents du Midi towering above us in the background.

On Saturday we rented a Mobility car and drove about 50 minutes to Gruyère – a quaint hilltop town only accessible on foot from a parking lot below. And, most importantly, it’s the home of Gruyère cheese 🙂 Being in the land of cheese, it was fitting to stop first at La Masion du Gruyère – a “demonstration fromagerie” which has a viewing area where you can watch them make cheese and tour through a little museum/informational series about the process of making Gruyère cheese and its history in the region. Afterwards, we walked up into the town of Gruyère, had lunch at La Fleur de Lys on their terrace with a view of the mountains and toured the Château de Gruyères.

In Gruyère
Top Left: The Château gardens; Top Right: Inside the Château; Bottom right: View from the Château of the valley below; Bottom left: Our first time having Raclette! For this Swiss cheese dish, you are served a block of cheese along with potatoes, bread, onions and cornichons. The cheese is placed below this contraption shown here, which heats the cheese from above (the heating mechanism is the top part with the handle on it, reminds me of an old fashioned iron). The top layer of the cheese slowly melts, and you scrape the top off with a long handled knife. Very simple – very good!

When the time came for us to say goodbye to Andrew’s parents, it felt like they had just gotten here. So much fun and it flew by so quickly. So good to see you both and can’t wait for your next visit for us to explore more together 🙂

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