Friends + Fondue in a Swiss Chalet

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

When you visit friends in Switzerland, and their family has a chalet in the mountains, you definitely fit it into your schedule. From afar, I've seen Zhanna and Gary post photos from this special place during all seasons, and we were so excited to experience it ourselves. The chalet is in a small village with a handful of other homes, a church, and a couple restaurants, tucked away in a high mountain valley next to a beautiful lake, Lac de Taney. In the summer we could have driven up to the town, but in the winter (well... April), we had to park at the bottom, and hike/snowshoe up a steep snowy trail. After reaching the chalet and dropping off our bags, we explored around the area. Gary ventured out onto the frozen but melting lake while we anxiously took photos. What's a popular destination to hike to in the summertime was mostly deserted and the restaurants closed.

Our amazing hosts hiked up with a bag full of cheese, wine, garlic, and bread. The scent of homemade fondue on the stove is almost as good as the meal itself. We learned that fondue (basically melted cheese and bread) is somewhat of a special occasion meal—about once a month.  Hanging out with a Swiss, Gary, and an American who now lives in Switzerland, Zhanna, was the best way to learn about the local culture and food from a familiar perspective. We kept a wood fire going and shared stories and played boardgames until our eyes were heavy and our tummies and hearts full. We need more special occasion meals in our lives. 

- Julia + Yuriy


  1. What an amazing experience. How far was the hike in? I love visiting places in the off season when you can have it all to yourselves.

    1. Yes, we love traveling in the off season as well! The hike was about 2km and 1200ft elevation. Probably took us about 45 minutes.

    2. That is some SERIOUS elevation gain in a very short distance. Wow.

  2. Wow, what a beautiful adventure. How lucky you are to now have friends who can take you to such a quite and simple part of the world. Switzerland is one of my favorite places, so I am just in awe with all all of your Swiss adventures thus far. Can't wait to read more! :)

  3. The pictures are awesome. I can't wait for that now.