Sunday, August 10, 2014

Village festivals or,

There’s always fun to be found

Finally, I was in the mountains for one of the events: a village neighbourhood festival.
Weather was supposed to be wet and drizzly, but some mountains sprite was watching out and it was wonderful, at least for the lunch and afternoon.

From a few tables in front of wooden chalets to tented allies and hundreds of participants, it has grown exponentially.

One could buy either grilled chicken with roasted potatoes and salad or portions of raclette (cheese melted under a special form then scraped into the plate, accompanied by potatoes, pickles and pickled onions), or for those willing to let out a button or two: both! Red and white wines along with beer, water and sodas were for sale as well.

Accompanied to the tune of alphorns and accordions, there was a photo game with prizes to be won (thanks to all my years here and the many paths that I have taken, I knew where one was and got lucky enough to collect that prize – a bottle of wine, so we have our evenings drink already!). A couple of young girls sold soaps, bracelets (made to order thank you very much), homemade cards and even a piece of artwork made from seashells. Very enterprising, I bought soap and a bracelet.  On a more adult level, there was a table of books about the local area in varying subjects, including in the local dialect along with CDs of the spoken legends and stories of this particular valley.  A hit-the-tin-can game was organized for the younger set and desserts along with coffee (a Nespresso machine, no less!) and tea completed the delicacies.

The evening offering was home made chalet soup: a mix of potatoes, noodles and a base that was more than delicious.

I attended with my landlord, the winter renters (who are staying with her for the weekend; I still have my flat – in the winter we reverse with me staying at the landlord’s and they in the flat) and another couple who rent on a more permanent basis.  Although this village is a small one, the participants came from many different regions and are of many different nationalities including some, who like myself, have discovered the delights of the smaller Swiss “stations” as opposed to the known ones of Gstaad, Zermatt, Verbier, St. Moritz and the like. Probably rather fitting as it was on the stage coach road, which ran in between the Valais and neighbouring Chamonix in France over the mountains.

Wouldn’t have missed it for the world.