A winter walk in Vaud delights, heals and inspires

AT THIS chilly time of year it’s easy to hunker down at home and not cross the threshold except when I have to, especially on a Sunday afternoon free of the usual obligations of a weekday or shopping Saturday.

Yet I’ve developed the habit of putting on my no-frills clothes and good walking shoes, free of makeup and sometimes hair askew (or hidden under a sensible woollen hat) and getting myself out into the beautiful countryside near my home in Vaud canton, just outside Geneva.

It’s sometimes hard to believe that I’m only a ten-minute train ride from a busy city, yet that’s one of Switzerland’s many charms and particularly of this area…you’re never too far away from open spaces.

The views are reassuringly familiar, yet endlessly reinterpreted depending on the season, the weather and the time of day. They are consistently captivating and endlessly inspiring.

I often return home less burdened by worries and negativity, and often with a new perspective on how to overcome any challenges that might have been blocking my progress.

Usually, though, just clearing my mind and achieving a sense of peace and wellbeing is the ultimate reward and I’m more than satisfied with that.

Along my walks through suburban streets, across vineyards and crisscrossing pastureland I often encounter people alone, in pairs or groups, and often with dogs, as well as horse trainers and owners exercising their stunning mounts. Usually smiles and simple greetings are exchanged and from that alone, I feel a sense of community and connectedness. On days like that, I feel how blessed I am to live here.

Below are a few snapshots from my walk last Sunday above Commugny, Founex, Coppet, Tannay and Mies in Vaud canton (and before a snowfall hit the following day). The photos were taken between 3 and 4pm when the sun starts to set and casts dramatic bursts of light and shadow across the landscape, putting every detail into sharp relief.

To view the images in large format, please click on one of the photos to start the slideshow.

Do you have a favorite walk, and if so, where do you like to meander, when and why? Please let me know.

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