Froidville bei Posieux – Curtilles

 

The French is slightly longer than the German 'Wanderweg' :-) © Ricky Yates

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 a picnic table and chairs, was set up under the wide eaves of the roof of the house meaning we could shelter from the rain whilst enjoying all that had been provided.

Refreshment point for passing pilgrims © Ricky Yates

Refreshment point for passing pilgrims © Ricky Yates

We realised whilst sitting there, that this was also a place on Sybille’s printed list that offered B and B accommodation for pilgrims. Sybille had actually phoned the previous day to see if we could stay there. But the hosts only had two beds and one was already booked, hence we stayed in the ‘House of Angels’ at Froidville bei Posieux instead. No doubt there was a lucky pilgrim, walking about three kilometres in front of us 🙂  

 

Walking through Autigny © Ricky Yates

Walking through Autigny © Ricky Yates

We walked on through Posieux and neighbouring Ecuvillens, around an aerodrome and into a forest. As we were about to enter the forest, the light rain became heavy rain. Fortunately, in the middle of the forest was a walkers hut – Cabane Cornard. Whilst the hut was locked, it had a large covered porch where we were able to sit in the dry and eat our lunch whilst the worst of the rain was falling.

By the time we had finished eating, the rain had all but stopped, so we made our way on to the village of Posat, then dropped down to once more cross the River Glâne. A climb up the other side of the valley eventually brought us to the larger village of Autigny. As you can see in the photograph, Sybille didn’t trust the weather and still had her poncho over her rucksack, ready in case the heavens opened again.

The last part of our walk that day was along a minor tarmac road from Autigny to the next village of Chavannes-sur-Orsonnens. We then diverted away from the Chemin de Saint-Jacques for over a kilometre, along a somewhat busier road, to the neighbouring village of Orsonnens. This was to reach the Monastère Notre-Dame de Fatima, the home of a group of a Vietnamese Cistercian monks who gave us excellent hospitality overnight.

 

 

 

Route from Froidville bei Posieux to Orsonnens 17km

Route from Froidville bei Posieux to Orsonnens 17km

The next morning dawned fine and sunny and remained so for the whole of the day. We made our way back onto the Chemin de Saint-Jacques, a kilometre or so on from where had left it the previous evening, and headed towards the historic hilltop town of Romont.

Historic hilltop town of Romont with modern development below © Ricky Yates

Historic hilltop town of Romont with modern development below © Ricky Yates

Being a hilltop town, it did involve quite a steep climb, zigzagging up to the historic town centre. Having made it to the top and visited the main Church, we rewarded ourselves with a small beer, sitting at an outside table of a bar-restaurant, enjoying the bright sunshine.

Descending from the town centre and passing through part of the modern town suburbs, we found a shady spot near the village of Billens, to sit and eat our picnic lunch. Then there was a little more climbing to do to reach the highest point on our walk that day at around 800 metres above sea level, where we crossed the boundary from the predominantly Roman Catholic Fribourg Canton, into the predominantly Protestant Vaad Canton.

The La Broye valley © Ricky Yates

The La Broye valley © Ricky Yates

There then followed a quite steep decent of nearly 300 metres down into the La Broye valley to the village of Curtilles, part of which you can just see through the trees in this photograph. The much larger town of Lucens with its prominent castle, can be seen on the other side of the valley, across the river.

In Curtilles, there was a horse-riding school which according to Sybille’s accommodation list, offered the possibility to again schlaf im Stroh/sleep on straw. A lady who we spoke to at the riding school, said she would send a text message to the proprietor who was out with some of his horses. Ten minutes later she came back to us saying that we should walk on for about a further kilometre to where there was a roadside water fountain and some people harvesting potatoes in the field opposite and they would be able to help us.

Lucens castle acroos a field of sunflowers © Ricky Yates

The castle in Lucens seen from across a field of sunflowers © Ricky Yates

It was here that we met Frau Marianne Luder, a sixty-nine year old farmer’s widow who was busy helping her son with the potato harvest. She offered us overnight B and B accommodation and later explained that the riding school could not help us because it was still school holidays and they were therefore fully occupied with children staying for a week, learning to ride.

Although we were in Francophone Switzerland, Frau Luder explained that she was originally from Bern. Therefore, although she spoke fluent French, she preferred to speak in German. Her price for B and B was CHF 30 per person, very reasonable by Swiss standards. But she also offered to provide ein kleines Abendessen for a further CHF 5 each, an offer that we happily accepted. What followed was a wonderful three course meal, the largest kleines Abendessen that either of us had ever experienced 🙂

Just as we were eating our dessert, the phone rang for Frau Luder. It was the riding school, asking if she could take four German cycling pilgrims who had just arrived, also hoping to schlaf im Stroh/sleep on straw and had found there was no room. “Yes she could”, was her answer, “as long as one of them didn’t mind a mattress on the floor”. In due course, the amazing lady produced a second kleines Abendessen, to also feed these new arrivals! 

Sybille with her friend Ali © Ricky Yates

Sybille with her friend Ali © Ricky Yates

Not only was our host extremely hospitable, much to Sybille’s delight, she had a large, elderly dog called Ali. Sybille is normally rather reluctant to have her photograph taken – she much prefers to be behind the camera, rather than in front of it. But this a photograph she actually asked me to take – with her doggy friend 🙂

Route from Orsonnens to Curtilles 19km

Route from Orsonnens to Curtilles 19km

7 comments to Froidville bei Posieux – Curtilles

  • Em

    Such a beautiful journey; that view with the castle and sunflowers is outstanding. In awe of the distances covered, too. So admirable!

    • Ricky

      Thank you, Em! I hope you enjoyed the previous posts too. When the weather was good, the scenery was stunning.

      With regard to distances covered, we aimed to walk between 20-25km a day but, as I’ve posted, it was often a few km less. This was a combination of wet weather, stopping to take photographs, visiting Churches en-route, and Yours Truly not being as fit as my wife who had already been walking for two months.

  • This is such an enjoyable series of posts with great photos, Ricky. Sybille is looking wonderfully well after her two months of walking. 🙂 I love the genuine hospitality you found along the pilgrim route.

    • Ricky

      So glad you’re enjoying these posts, Perpetua. They do take some compiling with one difficulty being deciding which photos to leave out 🙁

      Sybille is looking very well & was having trouble keeping her walking trousers up, despite having a new belt! I have to say that some of the hospitality that we received was one of the real highlights of the trip.

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,

    Thank you for another wonderful post. As an Irishman old enough to remember the horrors of Northern Ireland’s recent past I have to admire the wisdom and human decency of the Swiss who realised they had to coexist peacefully alongside each other or perish as a state and so found a way to do so in the system of cantons. Some would argue this wasn’t really co-existence but rather more and more division and sub-division but it has given them peace for centuries and has produced one of the strongest democracies in Europe.

    It is also wonderful to read in your posts of the welcome afforded to all pilgrims by people of all faiths as you and Sybille travel the Pilgrim Path, again from my own experience in Ireland there can still, sadly, be a slight trace of the old mistrust and even stronger sentiments sometimes between the ordinary people of the various Christian Churches even in the Irish Republic. We have some way to go and some lessons to learn still on the point of our shared humanity. Hopefully we shall learn them quickly and painlessly. God bless, Sean.

    • Ricky

      Thank you Sean – you make an interesting & very valid point in your first paragraph.

      The welcome we received all along the Jakobsweg/Chemin de Saint-Jacques was most encouraging and enjoyable. In particular, although pilgrimage is usually seen as an Anglo Catholic/Roman Catholic thing to do, virtually all the Swiss Reformed Churches along the way were very geared up for visiting pilgrims, a point I was going to make in my next post.

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