After another good night’s sleep, I joined Jean-Pierre for breakfast where our host and his wife were waiting to serve us a very good breakfast. Our host spoke very good English and talked to us about a painting hanging from the wall of the breakfast room. It depicted the Fête des Vignerons, a winegrowers festival, which only takes place on five occasions in each century. He explained that the last fete to take place was in 1999 and the next will be next year in 2019. It is recognized by UNESCO on its list of intangible cultural heritage, and brings in visitors from the surrounding villages and towns and also from all over the world.
It was a beautiful clear morning again as we left the guest house around 7.30 am for our day’s walk to Aigle. Following the lakeshore, we passed a statue of Charlie Chaplin in memory of his time spent in his last home, the 37-acre estate, Manoir de Ban, in the small Swiss Riviera town of Corsier-sur-Vevey. Later we passed “The Fork” a renowned Lake Geneva landmark created by Jean-Pierre Zaug in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the Alimentarium Food Museum – it is an extraordinary site with its eight metres of shining stainless steel protruding from the water of the lake.
The views across the lake of the snow-capped Alps of France and Switzerland rose up beyond the far shore and continued to provide a magnificent mountainous backdrop. We passed through Montreaux and the site of the Jazz Festival being prepared ready for the day’s visitors. I stopped for a photoshoot alongside the statue of Freddie Mercury. After we came to the Château de Chillon a medieval fortress celebrated for its beauty and considered to be one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Europe. It is a tourist attraction and was surrounded by people taking photographs and waiting to enter so we just admired its beauty from the outside before continuing on our way.
We arrived in Villeneuve just before 11.00 am and this was the point where we left the magnificence of the lake wh had enjoyed these past three days. We stopped here for coffee and lunch and took the opportunity to visit the town church – Eglise Saint Paul.
From Villeneuve, we walked to Yvonne where the path gained a little elevation before descending into Aigle. Jean-Pierre had again arranged accommodation, this time for a bed and breakfast in a private home – BnB Clos Marjolin. When we arrived we were expecting a double room with twin beds but found the only room used for guests had a double bed! not ideal for two heterosexual men. However, when needs must, we devised a separated sleeping arrangement. A washing machine was also available so we were able to catch up with much-needed washing. Knowing that we were just a few days away from commencing the climb across the Alps I also took the opportunity to rid my pack of now unnecessary items to lighten its load.