Last weekend was the désalpe festival at the small village of Romainmôtier. It is a fest to celebrate the cows coming down from their mountain pastures to take cover from the onslaught of snow and cold weather in winter. Last year, we had missed seeing the cows parade at the village of l’Etivaz, arriving there only after the cows had already reached their respective farmhouses.
So this year, we considered going to the one at Romainmôtier … a lovely small village located near the foot of the Jura mountain range and which is only about an hour away by train from Lausanne. However, as the weather forecast for the weekend was expected to be a wet one … we ended up doing an altogether different activity instead.
Nonetheless … even though I have no photos of the désalpe festival at Romainmôtier that I could share … I can still show a selection of the photos that I took of the village when we went there two weeks ago. It is a lovely village … and the many fruit trees that I saw there added to the appeal of the village (at least for me!) 🙂
Making our way through the village of Croy after leaving the railway station. Although the railway station is called Romainmôtier, the actual village itself is located further up the hill. In order to get to it, we had to pass through the village of Croy first.
… open pastures with horses as well as walnut and apple groves greeted us. We later saw a group of people busy picking apples from one of the apple trees as we were making our way back from the village of Romainmôtier.
The first thing that we noticed as we reached the village is the spire of the famous medieval abbey church of Romainmôtier.
This abbey church is one of the main reasons why people come to visit this small village. It is more than a thousand years old and it was built in the style of a famous abbey in France, at Cluny — as the hubby was keen to explain to me.
And opposite the church are the impressive towers that were part of the remparts.
The tiny village centre … which includes a small library which opens twice a week for just half a day, housed in the Maison de Commune or the administrative hall (bottom picture on the left).
Having a little tea-break from all that walking at a cosy open-air tea-room. I adored the set-up … and their pear tart with almonds was unbelievably delicious! 🙂
After that, it was time to look for the waterfall that the hubby had wanted to see on his visit to the village a week earlier by bicycle but which he did not manage to see.
Instead of taking the route which we had taken earlier to go to the village of Romainmôtier.… this time, the hubby suggested that we walk along a narrow path, called ‘sentier du patrimoine’, by a small stream.
This proved to be one of the highlights of our little visit to this old village. The area was so peaceful and lovely and the sound of running water from the little stream (La Nozon) as we walked was so soothing. In addition, there were many fruit trees growing along the stretch … apples, pears, plums, quinces, hazelnuts, etc.
Along ‘sentier du patrimoine’ in an area called Sainte-Anne.
The path comprises two stretches and, at the end of each, we saw ‘lavoirs’ (laundry areas) which the villagers had built in the old days to make use of the stream for the purpose of washing their linen. From the notice on the wall of the lavoirs’, it was a lengthy and tiring process, apparently.
We then made our way through an area called ‘La Foule’ (the ‘crowd’, probably ironically, at least originally, because there were very few houses) to the waterfall of ‘Dard’ (which the hubby says means ‘sting’).
We were not the only ones who had the same idea of visiting the waterfall … as there were already several groups of people enjoying the view of the waterfall when we made our way down the slope to get near the waterfall.
The twelve-metre high waterfall of ‘Dard’ at the ‘gorge’ of the small river ‘Nozon’. Even if not as high as some of the world’s most famous waterfalls, it was sufficiently impressive to me. A highly refreshing environment for what was a beautiful first weekend of autumn.
- Longing for the next weekend excursion … (hubby’s own account of our excursion to Romainmôtier and Cascade du Dard)
- ‘De Lausanne à Romainmôtier à bicyclette pour célébrer l’arrivée de l’automne’ (hubby’s account of his cycling trip to Romainmôtier, in French)