Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vevey, Lausanne and Wengen, Switzerland

Voila! The last installment of pictures from our grand trip around the Alps and Piedmont this summer is now up for your viewing pleasure and it's time to recap. We did our best to be good eco-tourists:

We did take our car BUT we put it (and ourselves) on the Autozug train from Hamburg to Basel (and back again) with about a hundred other cars. They have several routes to choose from and if you must have a car at your destination then this is a brilliant way to reduce your impact while traveling around Europe.

We also followed the principles of Slow Travel which are to spend at least one week in one place on your trip, to stay in a house/cottage/apartment where you can do your own cooking rather than in a hotel, to buy local food and wine from the markets and local producers directly and make your own meals, to relax, immerse yourself into local life and see what is near your home base rather than rushing off on long day-trips to see the must-sees.

When we ate at restaurants we chose the places that honored their locally-sourced foods and wines, including the absolutely exquisite Le Torri in Castiglione Falleto (we had dinner there and loved it so much we just had to go back again for lunch the next day) and the traditional, vine-covered Osteria Murvecchia at Giacomo Ascheri's winery in the town where Slow Food was born, Bra, Italy.

We took the small roads, drove slowly and, once we were installed in our homes away from home, we used the car very little. We walked a lot, biked a little, rode a paddle-boat around Lake Annecy, took funiculars and cog-trains up the mountains and little ferries across the lakes, hopped on the free shuttle from Vevey to Montreaux for the Jazz Festival and rode the wine train through the Lavaux. And we have thus confirmed our suspicion that that traveling more ethically is more relaxing, more rewarding and just plain more fun. Bon voyage!

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