Saturday, April 19, 2008

Day 70 – An impromptu visit with old friends

Gustav had to leave early in the morning to go back to Germany, so after l’petit dejuner we said good-bye at the train station in Montreaux. Since I was out and about, I figured this was a good day to pay a visit to my dear old friends Monique and Jacques Roland (Monique is the sister of Lucienne), who live in a small mountain village about 35 minutes north of Lausanne by train. The trip is absolutely gorgeous, with the train slowly climbing out of the valley of Lac Léman into the mid-range elevations of Switzerland.

As Monique met me in the small town of Moudon at about 9 am, and right away took me through a vigorous walk through the village. It is very charming, and like many Swiss towns it has a good 1,000 years of history. After that we went to the neighboring town of Lucens, to visit the castle and do a bit of shopping, and then headed for their home, in the even smaller hamlet of Brenles.

It was good to visit their home “La Chouette”, and to see Jacques. He is a retired protestant minister and a true scholar, so he enjoys passing the time with his books in their very sunny living room. Monique also enjoys her retirement, after many years of working side by side with Jacques in the parish, but remains very active with her choral group and other public activities.

After a delicious lunch I went for a walk, and discovered that, small as it may be, Brenles has lots of personality. For example, there is a local mechanic who enjoys making fabulous welded sculptures that he displays in the fields where he keeps his collection of exotic animals (the little animals around the giraffe are llamas!). I also had a delightful conversation with a farmer and his son, who were trimming the hoofs of their cows with the most modern equipment. I should add that throughout this visit I got to practice my French to my heart’s content.

Later in the day we went for a walk through the open fields (always with the background of fabulous snow-clad mountains), and through the medieval town of Romont. I am not sure what all this folks do for a living, but they sure live in one of the most beautiful spots in Europe.
We finally said good-bye at the Romont train station, but they both told me that I should come visit again for a couple of days next month.

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