Le Lac de Montsalvens, Switzerland

2nd November 2017. Switzerland.

I took the Tour du Lac, around the Lac de Montsalvens, near Charmey in Switzerland on the advice of Justine who grew up close by and used to walk her dog there.

Switzerland, near Crésuz
The centre of Crésuz

I walked on the path down the mountain from Crésuz and passed through beech woods, ankle deep in bronze and copper leaves.

Lac de Montsalvens, Switzerland

I glimpsed the lake through the trees.

Lac de Montsalvens, Switzerland
A place for meditation

Around the bend was the Barage de Montsalvens offering glorious views.

Lac de Montsalvens, Switzerland
Lac de Montsalvens, Switzerland

The lake is at a different level to the incoming river Jogne.

Lac de Montsalvens, Switzerland

There are picnic places at this end and the choice to go to the nearby town of Broc, though the tour carries on around the lake.

Lac de Montsalvens, Switzerland

Here in this place of such natural beauty, I echo Karine Polwart’s feelings when she wrote about Scotland

‘I get filled up with space when I come here’.

from ‘Wind Resistance’
Lac de Montsalvens, Switzerland

I think it is one of the most beautiful places I have visited.

Lac de Montsalvens, Switzerland
Here is my lunch spot. I saw a huge brown fish sailing under the surface of the dark green water

It disappeared into the depths and when I later saw a fisherman searching in the clear pools I sincerely hoped it would stay well hidden.

There was movement on the facing bank: when my eyes became accustomed I saw tiny birds scuttling along branches and flitting into gaps in the rocks.

The only sound was the cascades

On the opposite side is the Ruisseau de Montélon river.

The Ruisseau de Montélon river

From here the way climbs up.

Lac de Montsalvens, Switzerland

I missed the leafy sentier off to the right, and clambered instead up the grassy slopes where men were building a house loudly. But there too were a pair of red kites which glided so close I could see every detail of their orange bodys, striped wings and split tails. Magnificent.

I eventually identified my whereabouts (this time I had a map), rolled under a barbed wire fence (I find myself doing this a lot!), edged with my boots along the steep fields to avoid tumbling, and found first a traditional wooden house with pointed woodpile like a haystack, and afterwards a wee chapel.

Lac de Montsalvens, Switzerland
Wild flowers and grasses.

Then down towards Charmey, sticky brown clay underfoot, cowbells tinkling, traffic sounds ever stronger, and I had the familiar feeling of wanting to go back up and stay out for always.

Lac de Montsalvens, Switzerland

With thanks to Justine.

Tourist info page