Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy First Day of Summer

This morning I woke up suddenly as P gasped and thought he was already late for work. Of course he wasn't, it was just the first day of summer and the sunlight had already overwhelmed our dark room by 5am. I couldn't get back to sleep after that, but it's okay because my body loves the summer time.

As many of you enjoy the summer, hiking is definitely a big part of my agenda during these summer months.

Anywhere in the Montreux area, hiking is incredibly enjoyable. When DP asked me to help her out with a hike near Montreux, I thought I had better gather my photos up and make sure I know what I am talking about. I might as well share this great (not too often visited) find with all of you too.

Above Montreux are the villages of Glion and Caux. It is possible to take the smaller cog rail line which has creaking trains winding to northeast up to the giant Rochers-de-Naye summit. But beware the Eurail tickets are not valid, InterRail gets half-price, and the Swiss Pass is free to Caux, with a 25 percent discount from there to Rochers.

Follow the yellow signs at the beginning of your journey. You can easily start off at the Montreux train station. In the upper level underneath the rail lines, is the kiosk for the private MOB train line. You can buy your tickets or ask for useful information regarding the cog rail system here. Alternatively, SBB.CH also has the train schedule.

Local area map : Montreux Montreux 21.06.06 dep 15:46 8 R 3371
R 3371
Regio, 2nd class only
Local area map : Les Planches (Montreux) Les Planches (Montreux)
dep 15:48
Local area map : Toveyre Toveyre
dep 15:52
Local area map : Valmont Valmont
dep 15:55
Local area map : Glion Glion
dep 16:00
Local area map : Glion-Hôtel-des-Alpes Glion-Hôtel-des-Alpes
dep 16:01
Local area map : Glion-Collège Glion-Collège
dep 16:02
Local area map : Le Tremblex Le Tremblex
dep 16:05
Local area map : Caux Caux

For those of you who don't totally understand how to read a Swiss timetable. The blue 8 is the track (Voie en Francais). You would look for this track to know you are on the right train line. It's located in the far back and not in the normal location of the 4 or so normal tracks of Montreux. Easily just find the track numbers which say 7 to 10 I believe.

You will have a few stops at first and then go through a series of corkscrew tunnels you come to GLION, an eyrie of a village perched amidst fields of narcissi directly above Montreux, with jaw-dropping views over the lake and the Rhône. You can opt to get off here but I'd stay on and disimbark in Caux. A steep funicular also serves Glion from Territet on the lakeside below. I've personally taken both trains. The funicular is not manned so you must be on your honor to get a ticket. Be careful because there is a fine if they do a ticket check on your ride.

You will want to make your way on the road to Auberge de Sonchaux-Terravet. Look for the sign in the below photo. I assure you, you will know you are going the right way if you see it. As I remember you just keep walking and then will follow the signs to the right. I'm sure people up there can also help you at this point.

The hike is flat, incredibly shaded yet the end result is the all important view. As you can see from the photo, the hike is 4.2 km each way. You will know you are there once you reach the mountain restaurant which is situated 1,300 metres above sea level.

At this mountain restaurant you can enjoy typical dishes whilst admiring the spectacular views over Lake Geneva. I didn't bring my camera on this hike and I sure wish I had. You can also go up further in to the pasture above the restaurant. I think hangliders actually start their journey here. The Opening hours of the restaurant are July and August, every day. May, June and September, closed Tuesdays. Just make sure you bring water and a few things to eat. Picnics are ideal. You can also drive here, but why do that with such a great hike.

Here are another few useful details from Montreux to Sonchaux.

How to get there:
On foot: An hour and a half walk from Caux to Sonchaux via Liboson.
By car: take the motorway and exit at Montreux, then follow signs for Glion, Caux, Col de Jaman and Sonchaux.

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