Back to bends, the Grand St Bernard Pass

After the straight motorways of yesterday we were back to hairpin bends and sheer drops in avoiding the St Bernard Tunnel under the alps (we did that 35 years ago on our return road trip back to Egypt), and taking the St Bernard’s Pass over the alps instead.

We set off early and the crisp autumn air made the clouds even bolder as we headed up into the pass.

The views stunning,

the bends sharp and narrow,

how on earth the passengers on the tour bus we passed were feeling on those bends I hate to think!

We reached the peak of the pass at the point where we pass the border from Italy into Switzerland, unmanned today.

A huge statue of St Bernard stands high on the rocks,

overlooking the lake from the Italian side.

Just over the border at the head of the small lake is the Hospice of St Bernard,

with a beautiful small church which is open for viewing.

Time for a break we stopped for a coffee and a quick visit to the hospice,

after paying the inflated price for the coffee we decided to skip the museum!

Descending down the mountain the landscape and houses changed to typical Swiss, yes you can imagination me Heidi here. As we waited for a traffic light we could see a herd of cows being brought down from the mountain for the winter, to far distant unfortunately to hear the cow bells ringing.

Stopping in Montreux,

we strolled along the lakeside, the haze over the mountains formed a sharp contrast to the sunshine on the bright colourful flowers around the lake.

A couple of young swans were preening their now brown feathers by the waters edge, soon to become the beautiful white of their parents.

Our plan to stop in Lausanne centre before heading to our hotel went slightly array as the roadworks confused us and we missed the turnoff. So we headed to the hotel first. Asking about the best way to get into the town the receptionist told us that as part of the obligatory city tax we get free public transportation, so he suggested catching the bus which was easier than driving.

So that’s just what we did. Being in Switzerland the transport is not only regular but also frequent and bang on time so we were in the town centre in no time.

A stroll around revealed the very strange almost two level town,

long bridges connect the upper segments and then the streets head downwards. After having a bite to eat it was time to head back and find the bus stop, which was unsurprisingly easy.

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