Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday 21 September - Yverdon les Bains, Ste- Croix

Change of plan today.  A visit to Appenzel would take up too much time so we decided to go around Lake Neuchatel instead.

We were early enough to catch the daily Paris TGV to Neuchatel then a tilting train to Yverdon les Bains. Much farming with vineyards on the south facing slopes overlooking the lake.  There was also some forestry.
This narrow gauge crocodile seems to haul the freight.
There was an easy transfer to the small train to Ste Croix. This is through farming country then forests. There is one village, Baulmes, on the way, all other stations are now request stops. After this there is a steep climb out of the valley with good views over Lake Neuchatel, past a deep canyon with steep sides and on to a high plateau with Ste Croix. This is spread out and has no real centre.  We walked around and went into the Buffet de la Gare for cafe au lait and cognac. There were a few locals in for a morning drink and the black buffet cat sat under the chairs trying to ignore everyone.
Rail-road integration at Ste-Croix

Standard gauge flatcar with containers of garbage on narrow gauge wheels.
 Unimpressed with Ste-Croix, we took the train back to Baulmes at the bottom of the escarpment. This is a pleasant village. We walked around to admire the Town Hall with its spire. Parents were waiting to take the children home for lunch and there were several school buses in evidence.  There was some activity outside the butcher whose van advertised their horse meat. A cat was hunting in a field, one of many we have seen in the last few days.
Baulmes Hotel de Ville
There were a large number of decorative horse troughs in the village.
The butcher also had a large selection of cow bells
There is a train every hour in each direction and they cross at Baulmes.  We returned to Yverdon and on to Fribourg for lunch.  A slow waitress and misleading menu saw us leave. She was astonished, "Mais, vous partez?"  We finally had a good Chinese meal.

Once you get away from the disgusting giant concrete buildings of the core, Fribourg is an interesting place. A disappointment was that the funicular was not running. We walked into the Basse Ville which has interesting buildings, Hotel de Ville, cathedral.  Our return to the station was along a pleasant pedestrian street.
Fribourg Basse Ville
A very ornate street light
 In Bern we had some final rides on the trams.  we took the 3 route to the end of the line at the tram museum (closed) and back to the centre of town.  We transferred to a 6 tram and went out a little way along the line towards Worb Dorf.  We then had a snack on the platform and then back to the hotel to get ready for the ride to Paris tomorrow.

Click here to see all pictures taken at Fribourg 
Click here to see all pictures taken at Ste-Croix and Baulmes
Click here to see all pictures of the Yverdon to Ste-Croix Railway
Click here to see pictures of Bern trams

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