Peck's nostalgia gallery
Hôtel at the
Col du Marchairuz
du Marchairuz (1447m) lies at the high point on the road between Nyon and the
Lake Geneva area and the southwest end of the beautiful Vallée de Joux. Until 1992 this road was not kept open in the winter, but times have changed.
You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
Now the very old hotel (the present building dates from 1844) has been renovated
(with modest financial help from the Friends or Amis
du Marchairuz, amongst which number the narrator made one during the renovation years).
nasty 14 March 2004, Dr Pirri (yellow, right), having parked at the Hôtel
du Marchairuz, prepares to set off towards Germany on the Chemin des Crêtes
in a meter of new mushy snow.
main Jurassien walking path, the Chemin des Crêtes,
passes right along the col here -- some years ago (long before the renovation),
Mr Peck, pausing in a five-day running trip along the length of
the Transjurassien, passed a wonderful cozy evening in the old restaurant, reading
a Dorothy Sayers novel and drinking beer, before retiring upstairs to the dark,
pre-renovated, but thoroughly acceptable hotel room (one of only two, along with
the adjacent dormitory).
snowing again, 21 March 2004.
now, the newly renovated hotel -- which looks much the same but is presumably
more solid and upright -- has (as you can see from the Web site, http://www.hotel-marchairuz.ch/)
more spacious rooms, much expanded dining rooms and menus, and a lively programme
of activities, whereas back then, all it had was charm, lower prices, and much
much better beer.
from SwitzerlandMobility (http://map.schweizmobil.ch/?lang=en)
part of the new dispensation at Marchairuz, for the past several years the area
just to the north of the Col has had some large parking spaces gouged out along
the roadside (at 1339 and 1360m in the map) and some of the best cross-country
ski pistes in Switzerland laid on throughout all the nearby combes, forests, and
meadows and extending as far as Mollendruz 18km to the northeast and Givrine 18km
to the southwest. These are entirely free (for skiers with the annual all-Swiss
ski du fond pass), presumably benefiting the hotel management by more hot chocolates
and cheese fondues for the family crowd up from Geneva.
the site also includes, near Font. Froide, an excellent sledding hill for the
kids, with a sled run down from the hotel at the Col.
the trailhead at 1447m for the Chemin des Crêtes in both directions. Scrambling
about off-trail in the somewhat treacherous limestone forests begins here, but
following the well-trod trails needs about half an hour to get past the moonbooters
in furs and diplomatic personnel from Geneva. After that, you're on your own and
can get seriously down to having fun.
Hôtel du Marchairuz, arriving back to the car a bit late, December 2003.
door, 21 March 2004, with a woodcarved statue ("le Vieux skieur") by
the gentleman in St. George, Paul Monney, who's got a
lot more of them down there, all around the region in fact, including Charlie
Chaplin and St George slaying the dragon.
renovated Hotel, 29 February 2004, on a snowy day. (La Côte is the local
at Marchairuz, 29 February 2004.
lies at the convergence of a number of Swiss protected nature areas, and there
is a vigorous programme of instructive nature walks during the summer, featuring
local fauna and flora, geology, etc.
at dusk, 21 December 2003.
hotel seen from the forests to the south, 1 January 2006
hotel and the road on the Geneva side, 6 March 2006
snowy night in January 2008 (more here)
Old Skier joined by a friend
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 2002, revised 29 January 2014.