It was one of the excursions that we were looking forward to do this spring … to see the narcissi (or narcissuses) blooming on the mountain slopes above Montreux.
The last time that the hubby saw this beautiful event was many, many years ago, he was still a little boy. So he was eager to see it again this year and was quite excited at the thought of bringing me to see the blooms … just as I was very eager to go and excited to see it for myself.
Unfortunately for us, the hubby had mistakenly assumed that the best time to go and visit the narcissus in full bloom is in the month of June. A check on the official website over the weekend seemed to suggest that we might have left it a little too late. But deciding to try our luck, the hubby took leave on Monday from work … and off we went to the slopes above Montreux (near the village of Les Avants) so that we could go and see the narcissi blooming on the mountain slopes.
However, much to my disappointment … there were hardly any narcissus left to be seen blooming on the mountain slopes except for a clump or two here and there. So it seems that we should have gone there in May … and not waited until the middle of June to go and see them! Pffff …
However, the weather had been unpredictable, with lots of rain in May and even some snowfalls towards the end of that month and in all fairness this was one of the reasons why the excursion was delayed, the hubby is keen to point out.
Luckily for the hubby … there were plenty of wildflowers along the way to get me excited … so that the excursion did not become a total waste. Especially when it was such a sunny and warm afternoon on Monday… to be trekking up and down the mountain! The temperature was 31° Celcius when we reached Lausanne train station at about 9.00pm. What a crazy weather we have been having this year. It was cold and even snowed in May as if we were still in winter … and now it is so warm that it feels as if we are already in the middle of summer!
Anyway … here are some photos of our excursion that day.
After changing trains at Montreux, we arrived at the village of Les Avants … where we would start our walk looking for fields filled with blooming narcissi … at least that was what we had hoped to see lah!
It was not too difficult to find le chemin des Narcissus (Narcissus Path) … a dedicated path to areas where narcissi are known to bloom … as there were signs to indicate the path to take as well as information boards.
I must say that the area is very beautiful and the sunny day made it even so.
Walking along the path heading towards … what we had hoped would be … fields full of blooming narcissi.
View of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) to one side of the little path.
From open path with beautiful lake view … we then had to walk through some stretches of extremely muddy path inside a little forest. Not my kind of walk … not at all. But for the narcissi, I did it.
And then back out in the open … with the lake in view once again, on the left.
It was as we were passing by this stretch of field that I spotted a few narcissi. The hubby who was walking far ahead of me had totally overlooked this field … which is understandable … because unless one was looking very closely, it was easy to miss the narcissus because …
… since we had come too late in the season … most of the narcissi on this field were already looking like this!
And, really, there were lots of them … but most of them were already spent. Imagine coming to see this …
… when this was what I was hoping to see! What a let down it was! But of course, there were still some healthy looking blooms … just not enough to enable me to have my photo like the picture above [source] lah!
If the field had been full of them, I would have picked some to bring home … as they were such pretty flowers.
According to the visitors’ guideline to this area, one is allowed to pick not more than a handful from a public field … so I would not have been breaking the rule by picking some lah!
But since there were not that many of them left … I did not pick even one. Maybe next year, if we manage to come here again in the correct month … I will get to have my pick of narcissi!
And maybe even get to have my picture taken like in the old picture (further above) … or with this lovely background of Lac Léman and the valley of Rhone! Now … that will be a nice souvenir of our visit to the area!
We then continued our way along the narcissus path passing some fields and farmhouses … hoping to find another field with more blooming narcissi.
It was fortunate that the drizzle that started when we were in the field of narcissi did not progress into rain … so that we were able to continue our walk without any worry of getting drenched as we did when we went to the garden centre in Assens a little more than a week ago.
After walking for sometime and passing through more stretches of muddy path, we were quite excited when we saw the sign again … which indicated that we might be able to see some narcissi again.
But apart from seeing some cows eyeing me as I was walking along the path, we did not see a single narcissus! Haizzz … really no luck lah!
And then at a crossroad, the hubby suggested going up to the belvedere at Le Cubly so as to have a quick look at the view from there. I agreed, even though I was starting to feel very tired and warm from the hot weather. However, it took me ages to reach the belvedere … as I stopped often to rest.
It had been a while since we did a walking excursion … so I was really out of shape lah!
Unfortunately, the strong glare from the sun made it difficult to have a good look at the vista … and even harder to take any nice shot of an otherwise very picturesque view!
But I tried.
We rested for a while after taking a few shots of the panoramic view … before making our way down the slope to head towards the railway station at Chamby. Actually, the hubby was keen to explore a little more to look for the elusive narcissus … but by then, I was ready to go home.
The walk down the mountain slope to the railway station took longer than I had anticipated. And I was very glad when we finally saw the Chamby railway station further ahead … as I was starting to feel really tired with the long walk in the heat.
But our day was not over … as, after learning up in the mountain that there was a mineral water source in Montreux, the hubby was keen to look for it.
So instead of going straight home, we did a little détour in Montreux to look for the water source in the nearby old town. Thankfully, the hubby managed to find it without too much difficulty … and without me having to walk too far!
After drinking our fill … the hubby even brought a big bottle home as souvenir. So the next time we want some free mineral water, we now know where to get our supply … apart from taking the boat across to Evian!
Despite the fatigue, I was quite happy to be able to do our mountain walks once again. Not being able to see any field full of blooming narcissi was certainly a huge disappointment … but … I was happy to be able to capture many shots of the wildflowers that grew in the area during our walk.
And because I took many shots … I will, therefore, share photos of those wildflowers in a separate entry!