Dwight Peck's nostalgia gallery

Leysin, Switzerland, in the semi-old days


Here are some fondly remembered pix of Leysin, Switzerland, and nearby sights, circa the late 1970s, and a few more from 2005.

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The village gare, the "lower gare" -- if you got off the train here under the mistaken impression that this was actually Leysin, you had a 2-kilometre walk with all your luggage to any other sign of life.  But Mr Peck lived here for three years, and this picture was shot from his front door. 

There goes the cograil train (left) up the snowy trestle to the Vers-Mont station.

The train on a brighter day, 1977-78.

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Leysin village, circa 1979, looking (left) up to the Belgian hotel near Prafandaz over the cograil trestle, and (right) straight up the middle, with the old American College dead center. La Riondaz looms on the skyline.

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And the old center of town, the Café de Leysin, also circa 1979, and the original Coop.

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And the cograil line going up (or down?) the trestle between the village gare and the station at Vers-Mont.

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And the village church, where religious people hung out at prefixed days and times.

L'eglise, 1978.

The lower street, near the village school, winter 1980.

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And the mini-village of Veyges, a satellite village of Leysin, whence the kids had to walk to the village school in Leysin even in the depths of winter.


Leysin shots, January 2005

The old main street, with lots of changes, including the excellent Fromagerie restaurant

The village church, still standing after all these years

The church with Les Dents du Midi behind

Les Dents du Midi from the village street

These were taken during a nostalgic visit for a few days in January 2005.

The Wayback Machine

Leysin in about 1946, from a postcard sent to his family by J. René Jaspers (1926-1992), a Belgian prisoner of war in several German concentration camps, who came to Leysin after the war for five years of the "heliotherapy" sun cure for tuberculosis, learnt the skill of watch repair, and eventually returned to Belgium. (Photo courtesy of Guy Jaspers).

Leysin with no skilifts. No restaurant on Berneuse. No sports centre. No Queen Fabiola hotel. It must have been lovely, except for the tuberculosis.

Another souvenir of the semi-early days, sent by Guy Jaspers, 2006.

Leysin ski gondola number 9.

Old Leysin ski gondolas, now in Middlesex, England. As Alistair McBeath tells it, "How did I come by the gondola? I saw an advert on the Ski Club of Great Britian web-site. Some guy wanted to buy just one of the old Leysin gondolas and ended up buying them all! He had them brought back to the UK and then tried to sell them. I think a few ended up in French ski resort nightclubs. One fine day I went to view them all - lying in a field - paid my money and bought one. I'll attach a pic of the scene."

Some more fondly remembered pix of Leysin's nearby sights, roundabout the late 1970s.

Starting with Aigle.  You simply can't get to Leysin without going through Aigle.

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Here's the entry point for everyone, the gare -- not much changed since 1979, except for a renovated news agent at the far left and a new floral shop circa 1985.

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The newly-built buffet de la gare, "newly" in 1979, preserving on top the ancient horse described lovingly by Ernest Hemingway in about 1923 (he was on a skiing holiday in Comballaz, described in Moveable Feast, I think).

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The main street of Aigle, with the cograil lines down the middle.

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The Château d'Aigle, from the cograil to Leysin

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And finally, the Château de Chillon, possibly the best castle in Switzerland.

Index of Leysin local mountain photos


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 10 February 2000, revised 8 January 2008, 11 March 2014.


American College of Switzerland

Leysin village

Leysin scenery