We were fortunate, recently, to be invited high into the Swiss mountains to a place called Bretaye. Bretaye is a quaint little mountain village about 1850 meters above sea level. It’s more of a skiing village. Before the snow comes, you can drive into your chalet but once the snow comes, the only way up is by train.
It is forbidden to do any additions to the chalets due to strict building regulations. It seems the Swiss like to keep their chalets and buildings as typical as can be. Additionally, they are also very strict on who can drive up to Bretaye with one very windy road that is only really fit for one car and you must register the cars that can have access to Bretaye.
The friends that invited us have a chalet up there so we headed up there Friday evening. During the drive, the wee babe didn’t really enjoy all the twists and turns and puked her guts out all over the car seat. I was a little nervous since I’ve never seen her puke so much all at once.
Once we arrived, it was dark and quiet. Just exactly how my hubby had described the area. You can see all the stars and not hear a single thing save for the wind whispering through the trees. The chalet was old and wonderful. Our friend’s grandfather bought it for $80 years ago.
Let me back up a bit. When we were organizing the trip up, my hubby told me that there is only one heater in the place and they turn if off at night. I asked what the temperature was in the chalet at night and he said 5 degrees. 5 degrees! He said, we travelled across Canada and now we can do anything. I begged to differ. Actually, I was really quite stressed about how the wee babe was going to do in that temperature and if I was going to have to sleep with her all night long. I hate sleeping with her. I chatted with our friend the next day and all was good, there was an electric heater in the room that stays on all night long so there was no need for me to worry. Thanks hubby.
When we arrived there were balloons for the hubby and the tweenager’s birthday, the fire was going in the kitchen, the gas furnace in the living room and the electric heater in the bedroom. It was cozy. We settled into crepes all around the table. It was delicious!! Shortly after that we ate birthday cake and after that the kids headed to bed.
The bedroom was small but we all fit so cozy. Bunk beds, single beds, and we brought the playpen/bed for the wee babe. The adults chatted for a little while and then we tucked ourselves in for the night.
The sleep that night was pretty good. A little early but all in all a good sleep. We had breakfast and got ready for the day. When I asked our friend before we left if we would be going for a walk, she said that her 4 year old wouldn’t last longer than about 20 mins so we could but it would be short. Well, let’s just say the plans changed significantly. I hadn’t brought appropriate footwear so I had to borrow some hiking shoes. We set out. It was supposedly a 2.5 hour hike up to the top of the mountain and then back down again. Eeep!
It was straight up. I don’t know if I’ve ever climbed anything that was ever so steep. It was almost impossible to climb it without falling backwards. The hubby was carrying the wee babe on his front thank goodness for me. It was like climbing Mt. Finlayson only harder I think. After getting to the first top, we negotiated along the top with drop offs on either side of us. It was a little nerve wracking. The tweenager said that she was shaking it was so scary. I was just trying not to think about it. Let’s not forget about the 4 year old that walked the whole thing by himself. I think if I was his mom I would have been freaking out. The Swiss start young here that’s for sure.
But the top was amazing. A beautiful view of the valley, lake, mountains… Simply stunning. Check out the photos and video to see what I’m talking about.
The walk down was through a cow field. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
We had lunch when we got back and then I took a snooze while the rest played Uno and frisbee.
Then it was dinner. My favourite – Raclette!! The only problem was our friends thought that there was a boneified raclette machine in the chalet but it wasn’t so. So they started calling around to the family and friends and as luck would have it, a light came on in the restaurant that was there and there just happened to be some people there fixing a computer and then just happened to have a raclette machine! Pure genious. It was by far the BEST raclette I’ve ever had.
After our bellies were full, the kids went to bed and the adults stayed up and played some Yahtzee. I lost horribly.
Another good night of sleeping and a low key breakfast. It was our last day in Bretaye so we went for a little hike around the lake and had some lunch. Then we were homeward bound.
Many thanks to our friends Alexandra, Mike, Adrien and Roxanne for inviting us to your little piece of heaven in Switzerland. We had an amazingly memorable time!!