Here is a collection of the time-lapse videos taken whilst in the Swiss Alps. Enjoy.
Here is a collection of the time-lapse videos taken whilst in the Swiss Alps. Enjoy.
Winter this year has and still is, a white wonderland. There have been many opportunities for everyone staying at the Chalet to Ski, Snowboard and carry out many other activities. From neighbouring village Barboleuse, and local town Villars there are tele-cabins taking you up to a variety of pistes.
The Christmas of 2013 was celebrated by decking the chalet with greenery and baubles throughout, and spending time with loved ones. It was a busy environment yet still cosy. The many stories from 35 people, both french and english, made their way around the dinner table as our three course dinner was in progress. The christmas tree this year has seen many guests in and out of the chalet, both long stays and the short. All taking away brand new stories to tell at their next dinner table.
The traditional Boxing day walk was replaced with an afternoon snowshoeing. Many others went Cross Country Skiing or sledging. We all made it back to the chalet where there was a thick hot chocolate waiting. The evening was spent all together playing a variety of games the chalet has in the living room in front of the fire.
For New Year Eve, some dressed up as field mice and some as polar bears and they gathered together and explored the lit up, musical town of Villars. Back at base camp, New Years was seen in singing old lang syne surrounding a glowing amber bonfire, watching the clear, starry sky being lit up with explosions of bright light. With our glasses full of local bubbly we were surely set for the New Year. 2014.
However, the first day of 2014 was spent up a local mountain piste, Roc d’Orsay (2000m). The cold air filled our mind as we took off paragliding. Slowing gliding over the surrounding mountains inhabited by mountain goats and skiers you sure do get a beautiful view. Bring on 2014… .holly.
I lazily walked down into the kitchen today to make a cup of lovely English tea, not only to find out that I have ran out of tea bags (big dilemma!), but I did find Andy working away with his scales and nuts creating a variety of concoctions for his new company, Nuts about Mylk. He has engaged Gemma into the process too as she was busily working away creating a logo.
I have never tried pure nut milk before and actually I didn’t know what to expect. I watched how it was prepared, I have never seen so much precision in a kitchen, then again my cooking doesn’t involve scales and measurements..
The final bottled products were made from a selection of almonds and cashew nuts with cinnamon and vanilla added to the mix.
We were then all due to test it, there were a variety of words that floated about and they were along the lines of full, flavoursome, light, organic, and once tried the cinnamon one warm the best quote was “ohhh yeaaaa, that’s christmas in a glass.”
They are all so light you could drink the whole bottle! I think my favourite was the chocolate one, it was the sweeter of the three. However, I am waiting for the Hazelnut and Vanilla Mylk to be created as I feel that will be my favourite.
Well Halloween has been and gone.
The pumpkins were sacrificed and gave their lives to Emma and Libby who thoroughly enjoyed carving faces whilst looking over the snow capped mountains at 2,000 meters. The whole day was Halloween themed from the music to the cookies. Later, once the fire was lit there was fancy dress, followed by apple bobbing and Harry Potter made an appearance.
That night, the guests arrived and were greeted in an unusual fashion at reception with worm and frog sweets arranged on the counter and were shown to their room for a good nights sleep by a glow in the dark skeleton. Even with a deathly theme, Chalet Martin still had a warm and inviting atmosphere and the hustle and bustle of people reaching for their pumpkin soup and socialising as much as you can with limited understanding, due to different languages.
The night was finished around the fire pit outdoors chatting about where we come from, where we’re going. Hours passed and the fairy lights turned off, as this happened it lit up our beautiful, clear sky. We starred in amazement as to how we hadn’t noticed it before. Many wishes were made upon the shooting stars and as the fire went down, we retired for the night with a rewarding cup of tea.
Travelling back to Chalet Martin in the winter is well worth it, as it is beautiful in the summer but the winter holds a different sort of beauty. My arrival was welcomed with a variety of colours in the trees that cover the mountain sides and also the Chalet is now home to little, baby Willow.
After the journey up the hill the tram enters the old wooden station, where the Restaurant du Gare provides a warm refreshment on this occasion, but does a decent cold one too. At the end of October the temperature was around 16 degrees Celsius with the odd very hot, summers day. It provided great motivation to get some gardening done around the Chalet. The leaves had covered the pathways and the flowers were starting to die so a little spruce up was in order. After a full day out door the garden looked healthy and was waiting for the guests to enjoy it.
Tonight’s dinner will of course be a cheese fondue. The set can be hired from the Chalet and all you have to do is collect the cheese and variety of meat, bread and veg, as well as anything else you can think of.
There are a variety of dorm rooms provided at Chalet Martin, they can hold from 5 to 10 backpackers and in the attic there are lots of coves that provide a little more privacy. There are of course the private double rooms but tonight I will find myself alone in a 10 bed dorm.
Around Chalet Martin, there are many walks that the surrounding area offers. The Swiss transport system is very efficient and will take you to the start of your hike or pick you up at the very end of the valley.
The half hour drive brings us to the beginning of our walk at the neighbouring valley. Here we start our ascent up the zigzagging path, over the fallen rocks and up to the peak where we ate our curried chicken sandwich and sugared treats.
Via Ferrata’s are popular all around the Swiss Alps. Graded differently throughout the world, this route was my first and it was pretty hard work, at an Exposure grade of 2, out of 5 and Strength graded at 4, also out of 5.
The route included wooden planks and bridges, metal bars and ladders, as well as rock face to traverse your way along.
The hostel offers many choices of biking routes, be it road or trail. If exhaustion takes it’s toll then the trams operate from all main villages and are perfectly on time to get you home to the hostel for refreshments.
When it comes to climbing, the Sport climbs around the Bex/ Gryon area and numerous with a variety of grades available from 4c to 7a and more..
There are many opportunities for photographs to be taken to record your journey around the alps, from low ranging valleys to the very top of mountains..
Overall, the Swiss Alps have lots to offer, whatever your expedition entails. The end of an awesome climbing day found us walking along the wooded path back to our homely retreat, Chalet Martin.
I’ve taken myself and my camera out to the Swiss Alps this summer and have caught a variety of shots which tell the story quite well of my trip. On your way to Chalet Martin, this sign will greet you at the bottom of the hill, once at your future home you will be happy you took the effort to get the Train, then Cog-grail then the short walk up the steep hill. Promise.
The view from the attic bedrooms is spectacular as you get numerous skylight windows to peep through and being so high in the clouds, when it thunders, you most definitely will hear it loud and clear!
There is a variety of wildlife out in the Swiss Alps, from Bees to Wolves that have been re-released. Marmots and Mountain Goats join the list too. Every time you take a trip out, even if it’s to the BBQ you will always be greeted with something different, mainly the Lizards who love to bask in the sun.
The walks around the area can take you pretty much where ever you need to go, you can walk for a few hours to full on hikes in the mountains for days. Popular places to walk to from Gryon are to Solalex, down the far end of the Valley or up to Le Croix which requires you to walk past the bakery and grab a corn bread sandwich. That is a must!
The traditional Swiss food is a Fondue, be it chocolate or cheese. We had many fondue dinners where Raclette and Greyere were melted for our consumption. Mixed with a local white wine and freshly baked bread that day, accompanied with a salad picked from the garden and a homemade dressing.
The summer’s sun has helped the garden flourish, the flowers are picked as decor all around the hostel. The bright colour compliments the different shaded wood in the Chalet. The ummer spent here I feel will be different compared to the Winter, atmosphere and aesthetically, let’s hope I get the chance to photograph it then too.