March 2013: Walking on Water

One of our favorite not-too-far-away weekend spots is about a 35 minute drive from Lausanne in the Vallée de Joux. The lake is the largest in Switzerland above 1,000 meters which means that if it gets cold enough during the winter months, the entire surface freezes, creating a surreal, walkable landscape.

Last year the lake took awhile to freeze but one Friday in March, near the end of winter, we got an excited text from a friend: check the website! The lake is frozen!

The town bordering the side of the lake we usually spend time in is quite small so with the news spreading and a spring thaw already happening in other parts of the country, the crowds were large and the parking situation chaotic.

But when you spread thousands of people over an enormous lake, the noise dissipates and everything becomes quite serene.

These brilliant people had the foresight to plan a fondue party. I stared, jealous, for an inappropriate amount of time.

There were kites flying.

And how about an incredibly weather-specific sailing sport? That involves very high-tech looking boats (are they boats?) and a LOT of prepping and waiting for just the right wind to come your way. I think this pastime is several income brackets away from me.

Looks like fun.

Our curiosity peaked over some mysterious numbers painted on a rock wall bordering one side of the lake– so much so that we crossed suspiciously mushy ice to try and decipher them.

Then we got yelled at and had to wander back to safer terrain.

As it is now again winter, we are anxiously awaiting the next freeze. I hope it comes soon! If not, the consolation is that we will still get to enjoy summertime picnics and gelato by the lake as we escape the summer heat of Lausanne.