Celebrating 29. The more-than-perfect weekend in Leukerbad
October 1, 2015 § 4 Comments
I always seem to fall behind with travel recaps. We have have been away so much this year but there is no rendition of that on the blog.
So here’s what I can commit to:
- Recap of our get-away in Albinen
- Hike in Montriond
- Vacay in Corsica
- Holidays in Portugal
From now until the end of the year we have much more travel planned, so I’d better keep up to date with our whereabouts. 🙂
I owe the last weekend to Elvin. He booked the most gorgeous place ever to celebrate my birthday for what seemed like the most romantic and pampering get-away. To get to Albinen we took the highway that passes Lausanne and Montreux. I’m always so impressed with the views, they never get old!
Demeure des Elfes is perked up high in the mountains in a village called Albinen. The first time we went there was 3 years ago when I was still living in London. I adored the place and promised myself that one day I would come back. That day was my birthday this year. 🙂 Albinen is a 5 minutes drive from Leukerbad, which prides itself with the oldest spa in Switzerland. Between the gorgeous nature and the more than perfect weather, we knew we were in for an amazing weekend. 🙂
As soon as we arrived at the cottage, Thessalia, the daughter of the owner greeted us with a home-made aperitif.
We had booked the same room as the first time and… it was just as I remembered it… only better. The entire cottage has been refurbished and redecorated and it was simply perfect.
I squealed when I saw the view from the balcony – it was truly breathtaking. The skies were clear, the mountains were standing tall and it was so incredibly p e a c e f u l.
From the balcony we ran to the terrace, which had been completely re-done. The garden was in bloom and there were pumpkins hidden in the dense patches of grass. Also… a hammock!
We spent some time marveling at this incredible place but then it was time for dinner. We decided that a festive dinner was in order and chose La Croix Federale in Leukerbad. Upon getting there we realized we had been to the same place 3 years ago – quite the serendipity. The menu was full with delicious suggestions and we opted for an assortment of deer and game, plus local beer. We loved this place and would come back any time!
Driving back to Albinen we experienced the most serene, almost uncanny night. We stopped on the side of the road to look into the starry sky. The whole scenery resembled that of a movie… and yes, that is to be experienced and seen with your own eyes. No pictures here.
Back at the cottage we sipped on some of the 10 year old port which we had brought with us.
We slept like babies and woke up to this beautiful breakfast.
We had planned a most amazing hike (and long, and difficult) for today: the Gemi pass. Described as the classic among the classics, this hike did not fail to disappoint. We departed around 11am and came back at 19.15.
Some technicalities: the hike starts in Leukerbad and after ascending for seemed like forever 🙂 we reached Daubensee. This was the longest and most difficult stretch of the hike. It was probably what also killed my legs for days after the hike.
And perhaps here’s where we under-estimated the difficulty and length of this hike, as we decided to keep going to Berghotel Schwarenbach. The way there was mostly descending and we never regretted our decision for a second, especially given the amazing food we were served there:
The hotel looked really splendid and we agreed it would be amazing to spend New Year’s Eve there… one day. 🙂
By the time we set off again it was 16.15 and we knew the descent to Leukerbad was going to be technically difficult. Luckily I had my batons (best purchase ever) but to be fully honest, I was relieved when we set foot in Leukerbad again, as darkness was falling.
After a long, hot bath (ahh the bathroom at Le Demeure…) we slept soundly and woke up to a beautiful array of foods for breakfast the next day. I took a million pictures of the cottage, and what seems like 2 millions on the terrace where we sipped our coffee
We had a hard time saying goodbye to our dear hosts, who generously offered me a jar of home-made confiture as a birthday gift. Sooo lovely of them! I took one last picture and we were off…
… to the spa. We had debated whether to go straight home or make a detour. Our muscles definitely thanked us for the hours spent in the amazing water and lovely sunshine. It was simply out of this world and we agreed that Leukerbad is probably one of the best maintained spas we have experienced.
We agreed that this weekend has probably added years to our life. 🙂 I am very grateful to Elvin for making this possible and… can I just say that I would like to spend my 30th birthday exactly in the same place, and in the same company? 🙂