After having seen the waterfall of ‘Dard’ near Romainmôtier … we decided to go and look for another watersource several days later. This time, our object of interest was a lake … to be found in the valley of Val d’Hérens and not far from the famous mountain resort of Arolla. The name of the lake is simply ‘Lac Bleu’ or blue lake.
I had always wondered what the lake looked like whenever we went to Arolla, as the bus passes by an area with a big sign so as to entice visitors to come and check out ‘Lac Bleu’. The lake was mentioned during one conversation during our hiking excursion at Arolla with hubby’s bestie and his father just two weeks earlier … and I believed that this must have helped to pique the hubby’s interest in wanting to see the lake. So taking advantage of the nice weather in early October, we decided to go back to the mountain area near Arolla to look for the blue lake.
Once we found the lake … we have to admit that hubby’s bestie was absolutely right when he told us how beautiful this lake was. We liked it so much that we spent quite some time just admiring and enjoying the cosy atmosphere and beautiful views at Lac Bleu.
Leaving behind La Gouille (left) … the start point of our hike … and up the mountain slope we went (right) in search of Lac Bleu.
With the sun shining brightly and the temperature not overly warm … it was an ideal day to go and look for a lake up on the mountain.
The yellowing and browning of the leaves on the trees due to the change in season made the whole area seem alive.
Along the way, we came across a herd of cows (a black species specific to this mountain valley) happily grazing on the mountain slope under the watchful eyes of their herder (far left of the picture).
Errr … okay, the herder (which the hubby was very sure must be Léon) was actually busy looking at a mirror as he was shaving himself. But … he certainly fixed his eyes on us when we decided to get closer to the cows so that we could snap some photos. I take it, it was out of concern for us rather than for the cows lah! :-) The animals were big and with their black hide and horns, they looked mighty fierce.
Although it was Friday, we came across several hikers who had decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather to do some hiking like us … and most likely check out Lac Bleu, too.
Hubby patiently waiting on a rock for me to catch up with him as I had stopped several times to take photos of some of the interesting flora and fauna that I saw along the way.
But with views like this … it was not a bad spot to do some waiting while taking in some sun lah!
So I decided that I would rest on the rock for a few minutes, too … so that I could have my fill of looking at the glacier of Arolla before us while I filled my empty stomach a little.
Once I had rested enough, we continued with our hike … and as we passed the rows of mountain chalets and huts further up the slope, we saw that one of them, named Chez Léon (Leon’s place), also served as a kind of mini café for visitors to the area. So although we had already had our rest stop only a few minutes earlier, we were keen to have another rest stop … so that we could give Monsieur Léon some business.
Unfortunately, despite the sign that stated that it was open, there was nobody at Chez Léon. (The hubby believed it was because Monsier Léon was busy looking after the cows since one of the huts was clearly a cow barn). What a disappointment … not only for the two of us … but also for another small group of French hikers who had come down the slope and were also hoping to have a drink at this rustic mountain café.
And really … with a view like this, I am sure you would like to rest for a while and have a drink at Chez Léon, too … do you not agree? (Click on the picture to enlarge).
So we continued with our hike … not realising that the blue lake was only a short hike up from the wooden huts. That wooden bridge in the picture is, in fact, the start of the lake … as I later found out.
My first view of Lac Bleu … situated at 2,090 metres. The first thing that I noticed once I got near the lake was how clear the water was.
The water was so crystal clear that one could see the contents of the lake very clearly, including the trunks of trees and branches that had fallen into the lake … so lovely. And it certainly made me feel like wanting to jump into the lake! :)
Given such a beautiful spot … naturally, I took lots and lots of photos! But here are just several selected shots of the lake area.
A wooden bridge meant for visitors to cross the lake has the unfortunate effect of separating the lake into two. This is the smaller and less popular part of the lake as most of the visitors (including us) tended to focus our attention more on the bigger part of Lac Bleu.
A shot from up the hill showing the lake being divided into two by the wooden bridge that connects one hill to the other. (Click on the picture to enlarge).
A shot taken from under a tree … with the wooden bridge which is the start point for those coming from La Gouille (seen on the other side of the lake).
A shot taken near the water’s edge .. showing the crystal clear water on the lake.
The glacier of Arolla could be seen quite clearly from Lac Bleu. I simply adored the juxtaposition of different colours on this sunny day in autumn. We were so fortunate to have seen the blue lake at this time of the year.
A small waterfall fed the lake. After checking out and snapping photos of the waterfall, the hubby then decided that he would read his book at the foot of the waterfall.
I, on the other hand, chose to sit under the shade of this tree … like a typical Southeast Asian lady who prefers to avoid being burnt by the sun! hehehe … :-D By this time, all the other hikers who were there when we had arrived had left, so that we had the whole lake to ourselves. It was sooo peaceful.
However, I soon got tired of playing with my handphone game (as unlike the hubby, I had not brought any book with me to read) … so I decided to go and do a little exploration of the waterfall myself.
I followed the narrow steep path at the side of the waterfall to go all the way to the top, only to realise that the fast flowing water falling down the rocky slope …
… actually came from underneath these huge rocks! I had assumed that it was from a glacier but I later learnt that it was, in fact, from a spring about 10 metres further up the hill.
The view of Lac Bleu from on top of the waterfall. From this vantage point, the name fits, does it not? The blue colour is the result of algae and glacial clays that inhabit the depth of the lake.
Some Dutch hikers making their way to the lake … as seen from my spot on top of the waterfall.
A shot taken from the foot of the waterfall.
And again another shot from under the tree where I had rested … with the glacier of Arolla rising above Lac Bleu.
We later made our way to the opposite hill to check out the view from there.
And this was the view of Lac Bleu from the opposite hill … the arrival point for those coming down the mountains, including from Arolla. (Click on the picture to enlarge).
I could actually see Chez Léon quite clearly from this spot. While I was busy snapping away, the hubby decided that he would do a spot of napping on the opposite hill (if you are able to spot him, that is! :) )
A lone lady hiker coming down the mountain slope to Lac Bleu. Whereas she and a few other hikers had just arrived in the area, for us it was time to leave the blue lake.
Making our way down the mountain in order to catch the last bus back to the railway station at Sion.
And along the way, we came across the herd of black cows yet again … and this time, they were right in the middle of our path! As there was a young cow amongst them, we were careful not to attract too much attention in case the protective mummy decided to charge at us thinking that we were a threat. We got some fixed stares … but none came charging, so that was fortunate.
Back at La Gouille to catch our bus. We were a little early and had to wait for quite some time in the chilly evening air … but better that than missing the last bus altogether! The small lake on the bottom picture is actually a private fishing pond.
So, after several visits to the valley over the course of a few years, … I finally got to see Lac Bleu. As my favourite adage goes … better late than never lah! :)
Other entries on Arolla and Val d’Hérens: