Gland – Geneva

Prangins Church © Ricky Yates

Prangins Church © Ricky Yates

 

 

My final two days of walking through Switzerland, accompanying Sybille on her pilgrimage from Prague to Santiago de Compostela, took us through a series of towns and villages that are predominantly home to people who commute to work in Geneva. Whilst the surroundings became increasingly urban, there were still some attractive stretches of countryside in-between settlements.

On the morning of Tuesday 19th August, we left the Pilger Herberge and walked through the town of Gland, passing under the main Lausanne-Geneva railway line by Gland station. Walking along a series of minor roads, we reached Prangins with this delightful Church at the centre of the village and a peaceful outdoor café where we enjoyed a mid-morning coffee.

Prangins then merges with the much larger town of Nyon which we traversed, parallel to the main railway line, before the chemin took us away to the more peaceful surroundings of the Bois Bougy where we found a bench to sit on whilst we ate our picnic lunch.

 

 

Coat of Arms of Céligny © Ricky Yates

Coat of Arms of Céligny © Ricky Yates

The next commune we walked through was Céligny, which is clearly aware that it lies on the Chemin de Saint-Jacques as it features five scallop shells on its coat of arms.

Château de Bossey © Ricky Yates

Château de Bossey © Ricky Yates

From Céligny, the chemin once more entered woods and fields before arriving at the impressive Château de Bossey, home of the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches.

Liturgical & Hymn book choice © Ricky Yates

Liturgical & Hymn book choice © Ricky Yates

Whilst we couldn’t see inside the main building, the chapel was open to visitors. We both smiled when we saw the bookshelves at the back of the chapel with an amazing variety of liturgical and hymn books in several different languages.

We had hoped to stay that evening in Commugny, about four-and-a-half kilometres on from the Château de Bossey, where there was another family who were listed as accueil jacquaire; people who offered overnight accommodation specifically for pilgrims. Sybille tried phoning their number two or three times during the day, but got no answer. We found the house as we entered Commugny, as it is situated right alongside the chemin. But ringing the door bell also received no reply.

Auberge Lion d’Or, Tannay © Ricky Yates

Auberge Lion d’Or, Tannay © Ricky Yates

So we walked on another couple of kilometres, into neighbouring Tannay where we stopped at a little shop and café and each had a small beer. Whilst we enjoyed our liquid refreshment, we agreed that we would stay in whatever accommodation we next reached when we walked on. Much to our amusement, immediately around the next corner was Auberge Lion d’Or. Our enquiry about the availability of a room received a positive response. It was expensive, but we both agreed that, as it was to be our last night together for three months, we might as well treat ourselves. So we did!

Sybille with her tablet & glass of red wine © Ricky Yates

Sybille with her tablet & glass of red wine © Ricky Yates

We also enjoyed a splendid evening meal together on the terrace of the Auberge, where I managed to take this photograph of Sybille, checking out something using her tablet, especially bought for her pilgrimage, to enable her to keep in contact with ‘her world’. It also has a Kindle app to which many books have been downloaded, without adding weight to her rucksack :-)

Route from Gland to Tannay 19km

Route from Gland to Tannay 19km

Although I did get a slightly askance look when I asked for a third cup of coffee :-) , breakfast at Auberge Lion d’Or was otherwise fine. Afterwards, we set out on our final day together, walking from Tannay, through Mies, Versoix, Bellevue and Chambésy, to the hillside village of Pregny where we enjoyed a lunchtime drink sitting on the garden terrace of a bar-restaurant.

Our first view of Geneva © Ricky Yates

Our first view of Geneva © Ricky Yates

We visited the village Church before the chemin then began to descend quite steeply and we had this first view across Lac Léman, of the city of Geneva with its famous fountain.

Yours truly has arrived in Geneva © Ricky Yates

Yours truly has arrived in Geneva © Ricky Yates

Our actual entry into Geneva was where we had to walk alongside the main Cantonal road for about a kilometre. Sybille suggested I should pose directly under the sign, just to prove I did get there :-)

Soon afterwards, the chemin took us from the busy road, through a park, to the side of Lac Léman where we ate a late picnic lunch. Then, after taking in my final view of both the lake and the fountain, we walked to the main railway station. There we said farewell to each other. I went to buy my ticket and catch the train to Bern and then on to Langenthal. Sybille walked on through Geneva to the Swiss – French border, some seven kilometres further away.

My parting view of Geneva © Ricky Yates

My parting view of Geneva © Ricky Yates

Route from Tannay to Geneva 16km

Route from Tannay to Geneva 16km

Ecublens – Gland

The tower of St-Sulpice Church with Lac Léman beyond © Ricky Yates

 

 

 

After a good night’s sleep and an excellent breakfast, we bid farewell to the Jordan family and walked the 1.5km back from Ecublens, to St-Sulpice Church, in order to rejoin the Chemin de Saint-Jacques. En-route, we were able buy bread for our picnic lunch. After the rain of the previous afternoon, the morning of Sunday 17th August was fine and sunny. Not that we knew it then, but the previous day’s rain was the last wet weather were to experience whilst walking together.

From St-Sulpice to the larger town of Morges, the Chemin is almost exclusively along the shore of Lac Léman. Just occasionally, the path goes slightly inland, where somebody long ago managed to claim ownership of the lake shore, or to avoid a lakeside yacht . . . → Read More: Ecublens – Gland

Curtilles – Lausanne – Ecublens

Moudon Church © Ricky Yates

 

 

 

 

After a splendid breakfast provided by Frau Luder at her home near Curtilles, we set out on a grey, but at that point dry, morning, to walk five kilometres along the La Broye valley, to the town of Moudon. As we reached the town centre, it started to rain, so we sought shelter in the Swiss Reformed Church.

As I remarked in reply to a comment on an earlier post, although pilgrimage is not really part of the Swiss Reformed Church tradition, I was many times impressed by the way their Churches which are located on the Jakobsweg/Chemin de Saint-Jacques, seek to make welcome pilgrims who visit them.

 

 

 

 

 

St. James Chapel, Moudon Church © Ricky Yates

The Church in Moudon illustrated this very well . . . → Read More: Curtilles – Lausanne – Ecublens

Froidville bei Posieux – Curtilles

The French is slightly longer than the German ‘Wanderweg’ © Ricky Yates

When we left the ‘House of Angels’ at Froidville bei Posieux on the morning of Wednesday 13th August, the sky was cloudy and grey. Within in a few minutes of setting out, light rain began to fall as we climbed the path through the woods, heading towards Posieux. After walking for about forty minutes, we reached the beginning of Posieux and shortly afterwards discovered a most pleasant surprise.

In the front yard of a house was a refreshment point for passing pilgrims. There was hot water in a flask, together with tea bags and a jar of instant coffee. In a sealed plastic container were various nibbles. All of this, together with . . . → Read More: Froidville bei Posieux – Curtilles

Schwarzenburg – Fribourg – Froidville bei Posieux

Signposting the Jakobsweg © Ricky Yates

Once more there was thunder, lightning and rain as we stayed overnight in Schwarzenburg. And unfortunately, unlike the two previous nights, it didn’t stop as daylight broke the next morning. We ate breakfast slowly, packed our rucksacks slowly, accepted the kind offer from our hosts of a further cup of coffee, all whilst we waited, hoping the rain would stop. Eventually the rain became very light so we finally decided to set out, but an hour and a half later than our usual start time.

After around three kilometres of walking, we crossed the River Sense, and so passed from the predominantly Protestant Bern Canton into the predominantly Roman Catholic . . . → Read More: Schwarzenburg – Fribourg – Froidville bei Posieux