Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chatel, France

The last few days of my parents visit we headed over to Chatel, France. It is where the locals go for mountain biking and we were told that it is also the largest inter-connected skiing region in all of Europe.

Here are some pictures of the town:

Here is our hotel. We had an awesome view!
My mom and dad enjoying their first raclette dinner
Jack wanted me to take a picture of his dinner too
Later that night we enjoyed some good champagne (don't worry, Jack's glass is sparkling water)
Here we are at breakfast the next morning
Luke ready to ride!
My dad, Luke and my mom ready to go mountain biking
Here is the cool dude I spent the day hanging out with
They had the first alpine slide that Jack was allowed to go on. Instead of taking a ski lift to the top of the slide, you sit in the cart and are pulled up.
View from the top
Jack loved it! We rode the slide over and over for hours!
And we spent some time just hanging out as well
It was absolutely gorgeous!

Luke and Jack relaxing
After everyone returned from mountain biking, we left Jack with my mom and the rest of us headed back up the mountain:
Halfway up there was a huge festival going on
Apparently it had something to do with the "most beautiful cow" contest
We past right by it and kept heading higher up the mountain
Once we were at the top we were ready to try the "Fantasticable." It is basically a zip line that takes you from mountain top to mountain top.
Luke and my dad ready for the ride
My dad went first.
And he's off!
This was my view when I stepped up to the ledge
Here I am ready to go
And I'm off!
Here is a picture I took mid flight
Here is Luke coming in for his landing
We made it back in one piece!
A lonely hut in the mountains
Here are some pictures of the crazy mountain bike paths. This one is a jump over a stream
Not even sure what these are called:
And some jumps:
Once we were back at the bottom, Jack wanted to do the alpine slide again with Luke
So much fun!
Chatel was an amazing place and I can't wait to go back this winter!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Exploring nearby towns

The first few days my parents were in Switzerland were cloudy and rainy. We tried to find things to do where we could escape the rain. Our first stop was walking the walls at the nearby town of Murten.

Here is a view of the walled city:
Jack walking the walls
Poppie, Nana & Jack
A view of Lake Murten behind us
The city of Murten
Lunch in Murten
Dinner at our house. Notice our impromptu fondue warmer (a pot on top of a dish rack, on top of our candles)
Another day we headed out to Luzern but it was still cloudy and rainy so we didn't stay long. Here is a view of the city:
And of the church
When the weather cleared up we headed to Bern
And let Jack play in the fountain

One evening we drove over to some hidden ruins I have been anxious to explore. They are off the beaten path in farmland and I never got up the courage to drive through private land in search of ruins that I wasn't even sure existed.

But in the car with Luke and my parents, we drove over to Avenches and through the farms and found the ruins. They were amazing! Here is a picture of the Roman Theatre
One of the ancient entrances to the theatre
Best view in the house! My dad and Jack sitting on the top step of the theatre seats
Luke and Jack at the top
The whole countryside was littered with ruins
In the distance we saw what looked like an ancient wall. We drove through more private land and gravel roads that I'm not even sure we were allowed to be on and stumbled upon the ruins of the old Roman gate that was the entrance to Aventicum (what this area was called when it was the Roman capital)

Here is the entrance to the city. The arches have fallen, but this is what remains of the entrance to Aventicum
Luke and Jack climbed the nearby tower
Pieces of the remaining wall and another tower in the distance
Debating if I should go in?
I was the first to go into the old, dark tower. It was pretty creepy, but exciting at the same time. Halfway up there was a door that led out to the top of the walls
My dad was the next one to head up the stairs. I had to keep taking pictures just to see anything
Even Jack was brave enough to come in
Resting at the top of the tower
A view of Lake Murten from the top
Finally leaving the ruins