Lausanne & Gryon

Lausanne

On Friday after work we went to an apéro de départ (going away happy hour) for a co-worker leaving for a two year rotation in the U.S.. It was fun to get to talk to her about what she’s about to do and provide some encouragement for what it’s like to get your life started in a new country. On Saturday Andrew went around town to practice his photography skills. Here are some photos of our Swiss home town : )

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Down on the lake front in Ouchy
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The old town of Lausanne with St. François Church in the middle
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Looking down on the colorful buildings of old town Lausanne from Pont Bessiére
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Our office. We get a view of the Alps from the windows!
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My new skis! It’s the bi-annual sales period in Switzerland and I got these babies for 50% off (with bindings) on Saturday morning!

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A favorite meal of ours from the local restaurants in Lausanne is souris d’agneau. This name translates directly to lamb mice in French and refers to the cut of meat we know of in English as the lamb shank. The dish comes in this heavenly, syrupy honey sauce. It was time for me to try to recreate the dish at home. I found a few recipes online, watched some YouTube videos on braising lamb shanks and got sage guidance from my sister’s boyfriend (thanks Dave!). Equipped with all this and two souris d’agneau from our local butcher up the street, I got to work. The finished product was SO GOOD and I have never been so proud. Definitely something to repeat in the future and add to my cookbook!

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The finished product served with rosti (Swiss style to serve potatoes). I ran out of patience to reduce the sauce to the syrupy consistency that I wanted, but the flavor was still incredible.

Gryon

Sunday we went for a 7 mile hike from the village of Gryon to the Refuge de Solalex for lunch. Upon arrival in Gryon we stopped at the local tourism office. For all the lack of operational hours in this country, one thing Switzerland does well is having a tourism office open in all the tiny villages we visit, every day, with tons of brochures, maps and super helpful staff. We rarely don’t visit them and rarely leave unhappy with the information we obtained.

The hike was fairly easy, taking us through the forest with many beautiful views. The restaurant had an outdoor terrace in the sun surrounded by towering mountain peaks. In normal circumstances with more snow you’d easily snowshoe or cross country ski to the refuge. Unfortunately, we have not had much snow recently and it’s been unseasonably warm. Still good for a winter hike!

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View along the hike. The big peak is the Dents du Midi, but from a north-west angle that we normally don’t see.

 

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Our destination for lunch!

We’ve really come to appreciate these remote restaurants like the refuge and the other cabanes, gîtes, buvettes, auberges, etc. that give us a meal up on the mountains. Each one offers a different level of amenities and can be more crowded depending on it’s accessibility. While I appreciate eating a home made lunch in the back country, away from it all, it can really take it up a notch when you’re able to get a cold beer and a freshly prepared meal on the side of a mountain at one of these restaurants as well!

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A typical Assiette Valaisanne
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The refuge had tables outdoors, which on this warm day was perfect. Alternatively, they have a cosy dining room inside with a roaring fire!

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