Cows during the désalpe

We experienced a truly Swiss experience this weekend!

Thanks to the International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI) we visited the villages of Les Charbonnières and Romainmôtier, in the neighboring canton of Vaud.

In Les Charbonnières, the Fête du Vacherin Mont-d’Or celebrates the region’s most famous local product, its Vacherin cheese. Every September, people come to the festival to watch the cows coming down from the Alps (désalpe), savour the first cheese of the season and enjoy typical Swiss entertainment. The cows and other animals such as dogs are dressed for the occasion.

After having lunch and enjoying the désalpe parade in Les Charbonnières, we headed to the nearby village of Romainmôtier-Envy. It houses a famous Romanesque abbey built between 990 and 1030, according to the plans of the church of Cluny, and on the ruins of a monastery dating back to the 5th and 7th century.  Do not miss the restored wall paintings!

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