California visitors

This past weekend we were lucky to have our friends Cody and Kim in town from California.

They arrived Friday evening after we got home from work, so we stayed in the apartment to catch up over drinks. Saturday we started with a walk around Lausanne to show them the city and to stop for lunch at Manor. I don’t know if I mentioned before, but Manor is a department store in Switzerland and they have an awesome prepared foods cafe on their top level. It’s quick, affordable, and has an option everyone will love.

We then hopped on the train headed towards Montreux to tour Château de Chillon, an island castle located on Lac Lèman with original construction dating back almost a thousand years! The castle provided some interesting local history regarding the rulers over the years, which included the Savoys, Bernese and Vaudois. The castle Foundation has acquired an impressive collection of furniture and decorations dating back to each of the periods which are held throughout the rooms of the castle. I think the most impressive thing I learned to appreciate was that the rulers back in the day would travel throughout the region to exert their power and spend a certain time period in each location. This led to them traveling for months at a time over several hundred miles with their entire entourage of support staff, horses and chests and chests of belongings (to demonstrate power and wealth). Over the Alps nonetheless! I would love to know what it was like for them to travel with horse and carriage over the Alps, considering how tough I find it to hike them with a 10 lb pack!

Cody, Kim, Andrew and I outside of castle on Saturday

Saturday night we came back to Lausanne and had dinner together at one of Andrew and my favorites, Café de Grancy. It’s a great spot to get a taste for Swiss French cuisine such as tartare de beouf or foie gras.

Late Sunday morning we drove to Villars-sur-Ollon, where we parked the car then boarded a cogwheel train to go up into the Villars ski area for a snow shoeing expedition. Expedition meaning … walk in the woods 🙂 We did a bit of snow shoeing down to Lac des Chavonnes, a lake located off piste in the woods and only accessible on foot or ski. We had a late fondue lunch at the Restaurant du Lac des Chavonnes. This place was cozy and adorable, all tucked away in the mountains beside an alpine lake.

Cody, Andrew and Kim snow shoeing in Villars. A grey day but visibility was still good!


All four of us while snow shoeing in Villars


On the cogwheel train going up to snowshoe in Villars

 The above photo is taken from our hike in Villars. Off in the distance you can see the ski area of Leysin, which Andrew and I visited in February and I wrote about in this blog post. Cool to see it from the other side of the valley!

Top left: Lac Chavonnes. You can see the little restaurant on the far shore if you look close enough; Middle Left: The restaurant; Bottom Left: Kim & I; Bottom Center: Kim & Cody on the cogwheel train; Bottom Right: Restaurant menu; Right Center: Andrew and I; Top right: Andrew & Cody

Cody and Kim stayed with us until Tuesday. Andrew and I had to work Monday, so they went off to tour Geneva then we all met up Monday night for a last dinner together. We tried a new burger place, Zooburger, which was perfect with local beers on tap and various types of burgers. A great end to an awesome visit from our good friends. We’ll miss you guys, come back again soon!!!!!!!!!

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