After having enjoyed the chestnut festival in Fully, we made our way to Bouveret …. for our yearly jaunt of chestnut foraging. At least, I hope that it will be a yearly jaunt … as this was only our second year doing so! 🙂
We found this place (where we could forage for chestnuts) by chance two years ago … when the hubby and I attempted to hike to Mount Grammont to see a lake. We did not quite make it to Mount Grammont … but on our way back down the mountain (and even during our way up) … we found that there were plenty of chestnut as well as hazelnut trees in the area!
So we brought home some chestnuts (as well as hazelnuts) that day, three years ago … and we went back to the same place to forage for chestnuts last year … and again this year. Unfortunately, unlike last year when it was nice and sunny … it rained when we reached Bouveret on Sunday. But at least, there was no thunderstorm or lightning … so we were fine doing our foraging in the rain! At least, we got our chestnuts! hehehe … 😀
After having changed from a postbus to a train in Martigny … we soon arrived at the beautiful lake town of Montreux. There are three ways of getting to Bouveret from Fully (or even from Lausanne) : by a regional train from St Maurice, by bus from Aigle or by boat from Montreux.
On that day … the timing that we had (by leaving at a certain time from Fully) … enabled us to go to Bouveret by boat from Montreux.
There was our boat … making its way towards the pier at Montreux just as we reached the lakeshore from the railway station. Nice timing! 🙂
The view from the boat as it made its way leisurely across Lake Geneva was really beautiful.
Since the boat cruised quite close to the lakeshore, we could, therefore, see the various small towns and villages located along the lakeshore between Montreux and Bouveret .
And soon after it had left the pier at Territet, the boat cruised past this famous castle by the lake — Château de Chillon. Usually, whenever we take the train heading towards Aigle and the rest of the towns on that stretch of the railway line, we see the Chillon castle from the other side.
But by taking a boat, we got to see Chillon castle from the opposite side. The wooden balconies and windows that jut out above the lake looked really adorable.
And the castle … as seen when the boat was approaching the pier that is situated next to it. I had walked past this castle more than once and had even posed for the camera in front of the castle … but I have never been inside the castle itself. At least … not yet! One day … 🙂
After it had stopped for several minutes at the pier at Château de Chillon … the boat continued its way towards the pier at Villeneuve … before finally cruising across the lake to head towards Bouveret.
Unfortunately, although it was very pleasurable taking a boat to go Bouveret … in comparison with taking a train and a bus … it also took much longer because of its leisurely speed!
So since we had the luxury of time … I used it to snap quite a number of shots of the lake scenes lah!
An hour after leaving Montreux, we arrived at the pier in Bouveret. Unfortunately, our arrival was greeted by the rain! Oh dear …
However, since the rain was not very strong … and as we had already reached our destination … we, therefore, decided to go ahead with our plan to forage for chestnuts.
Well … I was pretty determined to get my chestnuts, so the hubby had to agree to go ahead lah! hehehe … 😀
And despite the rain … I still wanted to have my snapshots of the area, too!
With the mountain tops covered with snow in the background, it was hard not to want to take any photos lah! 🙂 But I tried not to dally as we had chestnuts waiting for us in the forest … and I wanted to make sure that we had enough time to gather some before the rain would make it too difficult for us to do so.
After more than an hour of walking … with brief stops along the way to pick some of those that we found along the way … we reached an area where we found quite a number of chestnuts that had fallen to the ground.
Because of the rain, which fortunately stopped when we reached this area … the ground was very wet and a little muddy … but … not wet or muddy enough to deter us! hehehe …
This time round, being our second time at foraging for chestnuts … we made sure that we were more selective and avoided picking chestnuts that have tiny holes on them.
As usual, whereas I used my feet to pry open the chestnuts, the hubby preferred to use his knife and hands. Luckily for him, after learning from last year’s forage experience, I brought gloves on this foraging trip.
It was a lucky thing that we had earlier picked quite a number of chestnuts at the spot where these pictures were taken and at another spot … because … when we arrived at our favourite spot, there was hardly any chestnuts to be gathered! Argghh …
We knew that we might be missing out on the chestnuts … when we saw a couple making their way back from the forest with a plastic bag of chestnuts. And we were right. Obviously, our favourite spot is also a favourite spot of others … because two teenagers later came to look for chestnuts not long after we had arrived.
As the saying goes, ‘the early bird catches the worm’ … and having arrived in the forest at close to 5.00pm … we were definitely not early but were very, very late!! We decided not to waste too much time there … and soon made our way back, especially as it was beginning to get dark.
Although we did not stay very long in the forest … we did manage to bring home with us two plastic bags of chestnuts. Not too bad for an hour of foraging. And of course, just like last year … I was the better gatherer and collected more chestnuts than the hubby! 😀
In total … we managed to gather 2.74kg of fresh wild chestnuts. Not as much as last year’s, but more than enough to fill one big colander! 🙂
We had had roasted chestnuts in the morning and also in the evening. They were delicious and both the hubby and I enjoyed our roasted chestnuts very much. However, there is only so much roasted chestnuts that one can eat … so I am now looking at other uses for these chestnuts that we have gathered. Thankfully, there are plenty of chestnut recipes on the internet … but first, I need to find the determination to try out those recipes! 😀
Entries related to chestnut foraging and festivals:
- 19th edition of Fête de la Châtaigne at Fully …
- Festa delle Castagne – Chestnut Festival 2011… at Ascona…
- Looking for chestnuts at Bouveret …
- From Territet to Saint-Gingolph and then Bouveret to Lausanne… by boat…