Day 52 – Walking the Via Francigena – Lausanne To Vevey, Switzerland, A Beautiful Lakeside Walk, The Amazing Vineyard Terraces Of Lavaux And A Poem By Charlie Chaplain

Day 52 – Walking the Via Francigena – Lausanne To Vevey, Switzerland, A Beautiful Lakeside Walk, The Amazing Vineyard Terraces Of Lavaux And A Poem By Charlie Chaplain

Last night, both Jules and I got sick.
We are not sure exactly how it happened, but both of us experienced the same symptoms.
Congestion, sore throats, coughing mucus and weakness.
The only reason we could come up with, is that we breathed in the secondhand smoke of vaping, which goes on all around the city.

We ate breakfast, packed our backpacks, thanked the lovely hotel and started walking.
It was a beautiful sunny day as we walked to Ouchy, located on the shores of lake Geneva.

From there, we followed the lake going east.
Many people were enjoying the lake.
Some were swimming, others were waterskiing or SUP boarding.
Some were running, cycling or walking to enjoy the beauty of the lake.
Still others were simply sitting on the park benches and chatting.
There are lovely multimillion dollar homes all along the shore.
Some have magnificent gardens with old growth trees and private boat docks.

I saw a homeless man, who had come to bathe in the clean water.
After drying his hair with his shirt, he drooled over a very fit young woman who was running in her sports bra, as if she would have given him the time of day.

The sky was so blue and everywhere we could see the tall Alps, stretching high into the sky.
The light radiating from the sky blended with the colors of the Alps and the lake.
The sun’s rays shed bright light on this magnificent landscape.

There were plenty of benches to sit on, rest and take in the beauty.
There were also many places to dine or drink something along the water, and there were public toilets at every public access to the beach.

We chose to have lunch in a small village called Cully.
The very busy restaurant was spread across the street into a garden, and it specialized in Fondue.
We ordered the fondue and some hot green teas.
It would have made sense to try the local wine, since this area is full of vineyards, but we were too sick to even think of wine.

We needed the rest anyway, and the cheese fondue was delicious, as was the apple and rhubarb crumble we had for dessert.
The relaxed lunch took almost an hour and a half, and we still had time to walk over ten kilometers to Vevey.

From there, we entered another stunning region.
The terraced vineyards of Lavaux, are a UNESCO listed world heritage site.
These stone terraces date back to Roman times, and they look amazing against the background of majestic Lake Geneva and the tall Alps.

The golden yellow hues of the vineyards form a lovely contrast to the blue of the sky and the water that is as smooth as a mirror.

The grape harvest was in full swing, and men with plastic trays walked along the steep terraces, collecting the beautiful ripe grapes.

Some say that this is one of the most beautiful and scenic areas in Switzerland.
Locals and many tourists came by car or train to walk among the terraces, which criss-cross the hills with marked trails and stunning views.

The area is also dotted with restaurants and vineyards that open their doors to the public for wine tasting.
They have been carefully cultivating their vines for generation upon generation.
Whole families of vine-growers have shaped these beautiful vineyard terraces.

The unique beauty of this landscape and the picturesque villages, have fascinated many artists who have lived in the little picturesque villages.

By the end of the day, we were very tired.
Not because the walk was too long nor too demanding, but mostly because we were both feeling sick and we really needed to get off our feet.

We arrived in Vevey by six o’clock at night.
Our hotel for the night is a simple guesthouse with shared toilets and communal showers, a big contrast to our suite in the Lausanne Palace….

We showered together in the communal showers and slept for an hour.
Then we went downstairs and had a very good white pizza at the hotel’s restaurant.

Perhaps the most famous person to have lived in Vevey was Charlie Chaplin.

During his promotional tour in Europe, Charlie Chaplin (London 1889 – Vevey 1977) learnt that he would be refused re-entry to the United States because of the McCarthy era, which shamefully branded artists and actors as communists, and a danger to the country.

Chaplin decided to settle in Vevey with his wife and children, four of whom were to be born in Switzerland.
The family lived in a neoclassical mansion built in 1840 and surrounded by a vast 14 hectare park with centuries-old trees.
His children went to a Swiss local school and Chaplin passed away in Vevey.

It’s believed that he wrote the poem below at age 70.

“As I began to love myself, 
I found that anguish and emotional suffering 
are only warning signs that I was living 
against my own truth. 
Today, I know, this is Authenticity.

As I began to love myself,
I understood how much it can offend somebody 
if I try to force my desires on this person, 
even though I knew the time was not right 
and the person was not ready for it, 
and even though this person was me. 
Today I call this Respect.

As I began to love myself 
I stopped craving for a different life, 
and I could see that everything 
that surrounded me 
was inviting me to grow. 
Today I call this Maturity.

As I began to love myself 
I understood that at any circumstance, 
I am in the right place at the right time, 
and everything happens at the exactly right moment. 
So I could be calm. 
Today I call this Self-Confidence.

As I began to love myself 
I quit stealing my own time, 
and I stopped designing huge projects 
for the future. 
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, 
things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, 
and I do them in my own way 
and in my own rhythm. 
Today I call this Simplicity.

As I began to love myself 
I freed myself of anything 
that is no good for my health – 
food, people, things, situations, 
and everything that drew me down 
and away from myself. 
At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. 
Today I know it is Love of Oneself.

As I began to love myself 
I quit trying to always be right, 
and ever since, 
I was wrong less of the time. 
Today I discovered that is Modesty.

As I began to love myself 
I refused to go on living in the past 
and worrying about the future. 
Now, I only live for the moment, 
where everything is happening. 
Today I live each day, 
day by day, 
and I call it Fulfillment.

As I began to love myself 
I recognized 
that my mind can disturb me 
and it can make me sick. 
But as I connected it to my heart, 
my mind became a valuable ally. 
Today I call this connection Wisdom of the Heart.

We no longer need to fear arguments, 
confrontations or any kind of problems 
with ourselves or others. 
Even stars collide, 
and out of their crashing, new worlds are born. 
Today I know: This is Life! “

With blessings and light,

Today’s Stats:
Daily Steps – 33,938 Steps
8 hours of walking
Active walking time – 6 hours
Daily Kilometers – 25 Km
Total Kilometers walked from Canterbury UK – 1111 km

Vevey House, Vevey, Switzerland
A simple guesthouse with shared toilets and showers, located at the center of town. Has a good restaurant that makes excellent pizzas.

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