Day48 Montreux to St Maurice – faux Alps

5:30am alarm….you know the drill by now. But all that ends today (for awhile anyway). Ok, brain is moving too fast…let me back up.

Morning Update Day 48

We had a great nights sleep at the hotel. Did I mention it had one of those articulating beds where you can prop up your head, or more importantly raise your legs? That felt so good on tired legs, let me tell ya. Allison said…”I NEED one of these.” And she said this with a face that indicated there was no more discussion to be had. Gents….you know that face, right. Moving on….

We left the hotel in the morning coolness, knowing that the day would be long. We had the last, and I mean absolutely last optionally long day in our itinerary. With this, we’ve advanced yet another day ahead of our plans and have three rest days in Italy and a buffer day to boot. There is no more rationale to speed along…we can slow down.

Wrapping up the lake walking was pleasant. After leaving Montreaux with its funky art along the lake (including the tribute to Queen’s Freddy Mercury). The sun slowly crept down from the highest peaks and lit them up magically. We actually saw a castle early this morning. It sits on a little island right in Lake Léman. It was rather like a storybook.

The Chillon Clastle (Chateau de Chillon) was the last to be conquered in the Bernese assault on the Savoy. See more here:

The castle held its place in history due to its beauty. Painter Gustav Courbet used it as his subject frequently during his exile from France.

Chillion Castle

We bid the lake a farewell at the town of Villeneuve and headed into the gorge that would be our home for the next few days. We visited another Decathlon store (to replace a broken plastic spork), passed the Nestle headquarters and a Grey Pupon plant. Otherwise the walk into the gorge was uneventful. The scenery however became ever more dramatic.

Quirky art along the Lake

The gorge is the result of a glacier that has retreated over the centuries. The bordering mountains begin far apart and slowly mover closer. The range know as the Dents de Midi (teeth of the south) are snow capped year round.

Cool peak

Then came a momentous decision. We’d toyed with the idea of various stopping places for the day. We didn’t want a repeat of yesterday. We had to decide between a long day or two short days. If we chose the long day we then had to snooze the long or short way to get there.

Dents de Midi

So we stopped for a 30 minute break at 10 am and made some decisions about our stopping point and called ahead for a spot. I am thankful for small blessings as the Abbaye of St Maurice had room for us. And the Abbaye has quite the history too. It was built into the side of a rock cliff.


Alps, or this to stare at during a break and call with Rodney

The long day would take us through charming towns and some elevation with many kilometers or the shorter way which would shave off kilometers but be boring and flat along a train track. So we chose flat and boring since this after yesterday we need a break in km’s.

Model of Abbaye of St Maurice

Legend of Theban legion.

Abbaye doors

We made it to our destination of St Maurice and found the church (Abbaye) fairly easily. We walked into the reception area to find a fellow American needing a little assistance. We struck up a conversation and voila, we are now friends. And her little problem was solved. We exchanged phone numbers and Mona later met us for a glass of wine. Tomorrow morning we will meet to begin walking for the day. I love how friendships are made on these walks.

Night viewing the Abbaye

The village of St Maurice is famous for the legend of the Thebian Legion. This town used to hold a temple to the Roman God Mercury. At the decree of the Emperor all legionaries had to offer a sacrifice here en route to Gaul. Maurice, a commander of the Thebian legion was a Christian and refused to worship the Roman gods and was martyred. A chapel was built here on the sight of his martyrdom.

The strategic location controlled the entry into Italy and was the sight of numerous military conquests over the years.

Tomorrow will be a short day in km’s but will contain our first major elevation. We will sleep in (wake up at 6 vs 5:30). Woohoo! So why is today’s subtitle “Faux Alps”. Because we saw many but climbed few. This all changes tomorrow.

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Mark Dowty

"An Intentional Life"

4 thoughts on “Day48 Montreux to St Maurice – faux Alps”

  1. Hi Mark Am following now as plan to do Lausanne to Rome from July 2022 altho on hold from NZ due to COVID

    I have Sandy Browns guide and looks like you did his Stage 2 and 3 in one step How many kms

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you are speaking of the walk to St Maurice it was 30km. We intentionally avoided two of the climbs and a trip around another vineyard to shorten it. It was the last day we had to push to get our days in. The 90 day VISA limit is a real constraint if you’re starting in Calais. If not I’d take Sandy’s route. We’ve had to compress a bit in France but we’re all done now. We can scale back and have a few rest days to burn in Italy.


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