Yes, the Autumn equinox came and went and in true Swiss style we celebrated through the medium of cheese. As we did last year. And the year before

It could be because the people of the Bagnes traditionally celebrate the return of the cows from the high pastures at this time of year. It could be because Raclette was invented here in this very valley (I firmly believe between 1972 and 1974, but the evidence on this theory is lacking). But we think it’s more likely that everyone will eat cheese and drink Fendant at the drop of  hat.

The pictures never do it justice – there’s a real buzz in the air. So we videoed it. Toby’s video I think captures it well. Mine makes it sound like the whole thing took place on a helicopter.





So, we’ve already firmly established that the Swiss – specifically in the people of the Valais – do a very good line in festivals and parties.

Which means that a festival that’s been established to simply celebrate all things Valaisanne was destined to be brilliant. Just imagine a street party, a beer festival, a farm show and the Ideal Home Exhibition all at once…

(Oh, and if you need to know what on earth you’re looking at just have a look at the picture names):


Yes, it’s that time of year again. The last weekend in September is when the cows come down off the high pastures for the winter and all over the Alps the locals celebrate with a massive party.

Now, how they celebrate differs, but here in the Vel de Bagnes the celbration is done through the medium of cheese. Raclette to be precise, as they inveneted it here.

And as adopted locals we try to help out by eating lots of cheese and making sure they run out of Fendant. So we had another sophisticated evening in Le Chable (very much like last year – see the pictures here)

And if you want to get more details have a look here.

Meanwhile, here’s the evidence…

And by the way, it snowed last night all the way down to resort.


OK, we’ve already blogged today but just two quick things:

First, I might never get used to hurling round corners up the mountain only to be met by a rather disgruntled bovine.

Secondly, did you know they’re building a new restaurant at La Chaux. Well, they are – and although it looks like a big concrete bunker right now but we think it’s a great idea…

And it was nice and sunny at times. Enjoy.


I might have mentioned before the Swiss propensity to celebrate things with cheese and alcohol, and on 26 September 1993 they voted to have another one. Swiss National Day. So every year on 1st August. That’s how it works here – you just ask everyone if they want another bank holiday and, amazingly, everyone said yes…

Now, despite the fact that the weather went from stunning blue skies to cloudy to rumbles of thunder to complete monsoon, the Swiss didn’t let that stop them from having a proper party. And a parade. And – as is the custom here – a full marching brass band.

So we went and helped them out – fortuitously taking cover underneath the canopy of The Pub Mont Fort’s bar. And despite the weather it all went rather well and looked a bit like this…

Kat and Don doing model poses:                   The rain arrives:                                             The band carries on regardless:

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They even seem to enjoy it:                            Finally a load of local kids with lanterns swim past:

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