Journey to Les Diablerets, Switzerland

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An early start had me in a cab heading to Heathrow Terminal 5 yesterday morning for a flight to Geneva. The terminal was remarkably quiet when I arrived so I whizzed through security and was soon sitting in Wagamama. A seemingly unlikely venue for this coffee-loving Single Gourmet Traveller, but I’ve decided it’s the best place there for a good coffee and OK croissant.

I was heading to Les Diablerets to join friends Annie and Jerry at their apartment in Switzerland. Les Diablerets lies between Lake Geneva and Gstaad at an altitude of 1200m. It’s a major sporting area in the heart of the Vaud Alps and the scenery is stunning. However, I have to confess I don’t ski and am here mainly for the après ski and time with my friends!

The trip from Geneva airport required two train journeys. The first, an hour and a half long, took me on a pretty route along the edge of Lake Geneva to Aigle, that lies at the foot of the mountain I had to climb by another ‘petit train’ – a small one- or two-carriage train that’s a cross between a train, bus and tram. I had a half hour wait so headed into Les Petit Train cafe to find lunch.

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The sandwich choice was either ham or cheese. I chose cheese and Madame disappeared into the back and came back with great hunks of bread filled with cheese. It didn’t look exciting but it was delicious. Wonderfully fresh bread and gorgeous Swiss cheese.

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Then it was time to board the train.

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There was no snow in Aigle but as the train started to climb the views were magnificent.

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Then the snow came. The further we climbed, the more snow there was.

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When I arrived at Les Diablerets, Annie and Jerry were there to meet me with my snow boots, which they’d brought in their car as I had to walk through snow and along slippery paths to their apartment. It was lovely to see them and be back here, having first visited three years ago.

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After a bit of time to settle in and have some tea, we went for a walk before the sun set. The sun was still visible and shining with beautiful light on the mountainside.

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Back at the apartment, it was getting dark. Romilly and Eli arrived back from their day’s skiing and it was time for aperitifs. Jerry suggested I try the local Les Diablerets bitters, a bit like a bitter vermouth, which I had with some tonic water. I liked it a lot and will buy some to take home.

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Eli made us a delicious warming curry for supper and then we watched an Inspector Montalbano DVD that they’d asked me to bring, before bed. I went to bed tired but happy after a long but enjoyable day and feeling well settled into my ‘home’ for five days.

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A lifelong lover of good food and travel; writer and book editor

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