We had thoroughly enjoyed our ride on the little mountain railway up to Rochers de Naye (see here). The information sign at the platform helpfully directed us to the various mountain top activities.
It would be fair to say, though, it wasn’t the best day for sightseeing at the summit or for too many outdoor activities – gloomy skies and a rather chill wind greeted us and we thought the best place to admire the scenery was from the comfort of the “Restaurant Panoramique”. Here we tucked in to hearty Swiss style mountain fayre and enjoyed a half bottle of the local Oeil-de-Perdrix, a delicious rose wine made from the Pinot Noir grapes that grow in abundance in the Vaud canton.
Intrigued by the information sign promising a “Marmottes Paradis”, we headed off to investigate the museum. Ever since we went to the Alpenzoo in Innsbruck a few years back, I have wanted to see one of these cute little creatures in the wild. Unfortunately they were still hibernating that day at Innsbruck Zoo. Here they appeared to be stuffed! Please excuse the quality of photos in the museum – lighting was tricky.
We did, however, learn a lot of new information about their life cycle, mating season and even grooming habits. We also found out that the marmot is known as a groundhog in America (for some reason I’d never twigged they were one and the same). Fortunately later on in our holiday we were finally able to see some marmots in their native habitat – scampering about in the snow near the summit of the Gornergrat Bahn high up in the mountains near Zermatt.
Braving the chill wind outdoors we considered heading up to the flag pole that marks the Rochers de Naye summit a few hundred or so metres above us. Having seen a few walkers slithering around on the snowy, icy path we thought better of it and went to look at the collection of yurts instead.
The “Yurt Experience” is one of the attractions on offer at Rochers de Naye – an opportunity to spend a night in an authentic Mongolian style tent. It sounds a good idea in principle, billed as a romantic getaway or family bonding experience with heating and cosy decor. Just one note though, the amenities (including the toilets and dining room) are in the main building. Something to bear in mind especially in mid winter! In that case you might want to consider staying in the hotel instead. Either way you do get to stay up the mountain after all the day trippers have left and the sunsets and sunrises must be amazing.
Despite the grey day, the views were still spectacular in all directions. It was too early in the season for the Jardin Alpin to be open but in the warmer months there are many opportunities for hiking and walking. A warming cup of tea and a lengthy browse round the well-stocked gift shop later, we caught the train back down the mountain. More stunning views and displays of spring flowers on the descent – Rochers de Naye is definitely a place we’d love to come back to!
Copyright © 2017 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved