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Saturday, 16 August 2014

An Eternal Love (part 2)

Route Lac Leman-  Crans-Montana

It doesn't matter whether you travel by car or by train, a trip to Crans-Montana in Switzerland is always a wonderful adventure, and at an altitude of 1496 metres above sea-level the views are spectacular.
Travelling by train, you take the final stop Sierre/Siders, after that enjoy a ride with the funicular to the top of the snow-capped mountains and the extremely gusty heights. In order to find the fastest way to the 'fun', as the locals passionately refer to it as, you just follow the red line marked on the street as you exit directly from the steps of the train station.
In the funicular
This year a friend offered me a ride by car from Mont-sur-Rolle to Crans-Montana, which is a journey of around  one hour and 30 minutes. It is an impressive drive, once you have left Lac Leman behind you and turn into the Rhone valley which is surrounded by languishing mountains and sheer rock walls of up to 3000 metres high. On the left hand side the Bernese Alps, and to the right the Valais Alps. From Sion the mountain road pass rapidly over dizzy heights and tight turns at altitudes of up to 1500 metres. So in a relatively short distance of only 13 kilometres it's not surprising that you would have experienced an altitude difference of 1000 metres.
View from a frozen lake at snow-capped mountains
I remember my feelings exactly, I felt happiness and an inner peace when I came here the first time, breathing in the fresh air, probably the cleanest air in the whole country, overlooking the majestic mountains that seem to be so close within one's reach. On a clear day with good visibility, you can admire the 4000 metre mountain tops in the south, you can also see the ski lifts that tower above the village and disappear up the hill into a gigantic ski resort which extends up to a 3000 metre high plateau. The ski area has 140 kilometre slopes, 25 ski lifts and an absolutely fabulous view.
My friend's apartment is on the fourth floor and is perfectly equipped with balcony and has access to a private 25 metre long swimming pool and laundry room. The building is a former hotel from the early 1970's, and the interior design is elegant and nostalgic. The apartment is cosily furnished in a very luxurious and majestic alpine style and has amazing view of the mountains and the valley below. 
My day started very early with a swim in the cold, chlorinated pool, so I was mostly alone enjoying calmness and silence.
After that I had my first breakfast and then I prepared myself for the usual long walk to the village across the snowy golf course which is very well known in Europe, and attracts a vast international clientele. The golf club Crans-sur-Sierre has a long-standing history since 1906, and spans a length of more then nine kilometres.
Walking at the golf course, beautiful!
In the wintertime it's a paradise for children ski circuit, cross-country skiing and walking.
This year the climate was extremely warm, around 20 degree and very little snow. Just as in Paris, I am thinking about what to wear daily.
Comparing it to the last year when it was cold and there was lots of snow, I was surely decided on wearing my green polar parka with my sheepskin boots and a pair of jeans, but it was simply too hot for the parka and the boots. I was so glad that I remembered to take my elegant fur vet, a black long sleeve t-shirt, a white cardigan and brown leather boots with me. The small town, has a well-known climatic health resort and is characterized by charming country cottages with luxurious modernity.
Crans-Montana has two small separate city cores that are within walking distance, and about 40 minutes apart, as the bus service is not running all day. Crans is contorted, slow-paced and sophisticated, while Montana is spacious and modern.
In Crans you can find various high end fashion boutiques, galleries and luxury shops like Prada, Louis Vuitton, Ladurée and many others.
If you should ever visit Crans-Montana and love fashion, I suggest the boutiques Dune and Gusto. In the basement of Gusto, in early March, you will find many offers at a much reduced price.
For me, Crans-Montana is the perfect place for relaxing and doing various activities during the day. I am in eternal love with this location since the first time I came here three years ago. I've had a lot of luck with the weather too, and in the evening I enjoy watching the amazing sunset from my balcony, even if it's not so good, as the fog rises over the valley, it looks breath-taking.


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