Winter Weg: Visiting Freddy

Week 3: Day 15 – Day 21

27nd December, 2016 – 2nd January, 2017

Chalet Shenanigans

It was lovely to wake up to a crisp sunny morning in the Alps of Switzerland. We felt lucky to have this opportunity to enjoy yet another stunning part of Switzerland with our friends. We first met couchsurfers Susanna, Tobias and their fine sons Keaghan and Killian; in June 2014 whilst on our family gap year. Then in March 2015 we had the pleasure of hosting them in Australia. Now here we were, together again…

It was lovely to be like one big happy family. The boys shared a passion for reading, board games, papercraft monsters, science experiments, laser tag and being boys. We parents shared a passion for; deep conversations, good food, couchsurfing adventures, blogging, travel, David Attenborough documentaries and raising our boys.

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Today we explored the local area around La Tzoumaz with access to a free snow bus to the cable car station and our first taste of the snow fields above the resort. Our three were thrilled to play in the snow!

Day 16 – Chateau Chillon

It was romantic for Graham and Prunella to revisit this beautiful Chateau, grandly ensconced on a rock that juts into the broad eastern bay of Lake Geneva. We had last been here on our first wedding anniversary and caught the boat across the lake. Now, almost 17 years later we were here with our family, Keaghan (read his account here) and thrilled to be meeting our dear friend Regula – another reciprocal couchsurfer.

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No visit to the area would be would be complete without walking along the glistening Montreaux foreshore and visiting the memorial statue of Queen’s singer Freddy Mercury. Prunella is a fan.

Day 17 was spent chilling out except for a small walk to the village. Yet another day of endless blue sky high above the world.

Day 18 – Glacier Gazing

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Today we took the unexpected opportunity to visit Aletsch Glacier. This time Killi came along for the fun. We enjoyed the walk through the village, riding the cable car through the ski fields, playing in the snow, a picnic on the side of Bettermeralp, the small museum,Tobogganing and hot chocolate. A wonderful day out.

This meant another thrilling drive in the Tesla for Graham. Lovin’ it!

Day 19 – New Year’s Eve!

The last day of 2106 was a welcomed lazy day. Graham and Reuben went for a walk in the forest and discovered a frozen pond for sliding stones across. Pamela cooked a lovely pork belly and of course we couldn’t resist buying fireworks and setting them off.

week3f-1The next day we packed bags, went for a last a walk in the forest and said our sad good byes to Susanna and the boys. Tobias drove us all back to Aarau, through the frosty valleys for a welcomed dinner of fondue.

On day 21, we catch the train to Mulhouse and here take the chance to buy all our French rail tickets at once with the help of the Carte Enfant discount available to families.

It wasn’t long before we exited the train at Troyes to our first falling snow before being whisked home by our friendly couch surfing host Thibaud. After meeting his lovely partner Anne, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner followed by a French tradition normally practiced on January 6th to celebrate the Epiphany. In the “galette des rois,” or “cake of kings”,  the youngest child (Felix) goes under the table and selects the order the cake is served. Then Reuben was lucky enough to find the token inside his slice and be crowned King.

Lastly, after the boys are in bed, we enjoy a thrilling game of Ticket to Ride Africa with a swig of rum personally selected by connoisseur Thibaud from his large collection, before contented slumber …

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