Along with the great outdoor activities we offer here at Chalet Martin in the Summer, we also have some great local events to get drunk at! Or if you prefer, a place to enjoy extraordinary musical talent – I am of course referring to the annual Montreux Jazz Festival!
This is an amazing 2 week event that is situated on the stunnning Lac Leman (Lake Geneva to you & I!), which holds everything from Jazz of course to dubstep. Why is this different to the average music festival? Well for a start so much of the festival is free, you only pay for individual acts you want to see, which makes it as cheap as you want it to be. Big names that played for free last year included Friendly Fires and this year Alex Clare. Another difference from your average festival is a refreshing dip in the lake which is on offer for free at any time during your Jazz trip (although not recommended if following a large comsumption of alcohol!). The most important difference I would have to say would be the fact that you can return to Chalet Martin for a shower and uninterrupted sleep to recharge – almost unheard of at any other festival!
So let’s recap on my (Bridget Jones) 2011 Montreux Jazz experience! I made it down there more times than my wallet really felt necessary!
I managed to lose flip flop x 1 (yes, yes just the one, not all sandals float!), 1x phone battery, 1x wallet(!), 1x 200 CHF (this is why my wallet was so hurt!), 1x driving license, 1x return tram ticket to Gryon, and 1x orange lighter!
But what I did gain far outweighed the losses – great times, great music, great memories!
There’s still another week of the festival left this year so get yourself over here! I’m heading there on Tuesday and will be reporting on this year’s experience (this time I’ll wear trainers and will hopefully be returning with BOTH of them!!)!
It’s been a while since the last Blog, ‘Snow’ but even though we are now way into the Summer, there are still snow patches on the top of the hills – just goes to show how GREAT the Winter season was!
This Summer so far has been pretty fabulous – 30 degree days are not unusual and a great for an excuse to head to the lakes for swimming and cooling off. The average mid 20s have been perfect for hiking, climbing and mountain biking and we’ve had lots of guests coming through that have been keen to do all of the above. There are so many easily accessible walking trails in this area with stunning scenery and views of the mountains that surround us. The valley of Solalex is a popular destination with the impressive Mira de l’Argentine overlooking the restaurants, which are a welcome stop to refresh or for a typically Suiss summer evening of fondue!! For the more hardcore, overnight stops in mountain refuges means a rewarding sunrise at the top of the world!
There are loads of climbing and bouldering sites (as well as our new bouldering room in the Chalet to practice your moves!) and we’ve had some really great days ‘sending’ routes on some really interesting cliff faces. The evening bbqs have been fun, making the most of the gorgeous summer sunsets and great friendships have been forged around the chalet pitfire.
So to the Jumping! We’ve had some very beautiful equine visitors recently in Villar sur Ollon. From the 5-15th July there are National and Regional show jumping competitions as well as demonstrations in equestrian sports such as dressage, and displays of “Hungarian Post” (a discipline in which a rider stands with one foot on each of two horses) and Quadrille des Milices Vaudoises (Vaud Militia Horsemen). This is a free event and has returned this year after its very succesful premiere in 2011. Villars has a very festive feel at the moment and with the build up to the Olympics the Jumping is a good accompaniment to the Summer of sport!
So After a long summer of getting up at a reasonable hour a guy called Allen arrived and announced that he would like to hike up to Alp de Chaux to watch the sunrise… After the first few minutes of agreement and thinking of how lovely that would be,it set it that we were actually getting up very early to hike the very steep (for the time of day) slope up to Alp de Chaux the next day.
Bleary eyed and half frozen we arrived at the gusty summit.It was a lovely start to the day coupled with heading straight back to my still warm bed at Chalet Martin.
Across the Valley in Leysin where there is an amazing via ferratta which we like to drag people up from time to time. last month i took my Dad and brother up there, my dad coming from suffolk one o the flattest parts of the Uk and my brother living in Berlin certainly enjoyed the higher perspective we achieved from the summit.
We had a great day out.. Chuffs circled and ate from our handsI took a couple of pictures from the ”Animated” decent path where in places you are as exposed as on the climb up but with no protection.. its pretty airy but very cool.
My brother and i decided to surprise my dad by sending him Paraglyding with local expert Christophe Smith. He has never done anything like this and is not very good at hieghts but he took to it very quickly and had a great time i was very proud of him.Later on in the summer we took a trip down towards Lutry by lake Geneva and enjoyed a walk through the vineyards it was a lovely autumnal day and we found a very nice wine tasting place called Vinorama.Nice wine from the area starting from Lausanne all the to Villeneuve in order from west to east,very organised !
But then it cleared up a little and we thought it would be a great time to hike out to Pont de Nant and climb through the scetchy hills about to the Petit Dent..Gem on the Ridge walking up to the Petit Dent.One of the slightly dodgy snow fields leading up to the summit with big cracks in between rocks covered by snow the others thought is safer to carry on by scrambling along the gullies edge..View just below the summit as path up was covered in snow and best left alone unless we wanted an express sledge down.
Anyways that just about wraps it up for a few weeks.. winter is on the way and we are very much looking forward to alot skiing and snowboarding.. will be my first year of ice climbing aswell so will be keeping you posted on that see how we go!