Dwight Peck's personal website
Some views of Aigle's outskirts
Springtime walks in the neighborhood
Since earliest times, Aigle, about 10km south of Lake Geneva, has been a carrefour for traffic to and from France, the north from the Pays d'Enhaut, and Italy over the Grand St Bernard Pass. Once the home of the bailiff of the government in Berne, the Château d'Aigle passed to the city government in 1804 and, until 1976 (like many surviving Swiss castles) served as the local jail.
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.
First (recent) glimpses of the Château d'Aigle
We're off to photograph the Castle of Aigle, 7 April 2014, walking over the hill from Ollon. This is the Ollon hamlet of Verschiez.
A little parting of the ways around the headland of La Plantour
Out of the forest to the Ormont valley, extending from the Rhône valley at Aigle up rightwards towards Château-d'Oex, Les Diablerets, Gstaad, the region called the Pays-d'Enhaut, or 'Highlands'. The resort of Leysin is up behind that big lump in the centre.
"Dig we must". It looks like a water-works project.
The Château d'Aigle amongst the vineyards of the ancient part of Aigle called Le Cloître, or The Cloister, . . .
. . . zoomed. Downtown Aigle is behind the castle.
The local baron had a small fortification here by 1179, to cover the Ormont passes over the Cols des Mosse and du Pillon, but it was in the late 1200s that the feudal overlords of Savoie permitted the baronial Saillon family to construct the basis of the present castle. The donjon or keep was added in the French style in the late 15th century.
No more today -- we're turning up the hill to walk back to Ollon. This path looked pretty good on the topographical map.
Still quite nice
A little cliffier around here, but a very nice path. Fingers crossed.
Down a little now . . .
. . . and then up again.
Is that a path or a pile of dead leaves?
Onward and upward
Topping out soon
Now they tell us. 'Beware of the Vipers!'
It was all a big mistake. We've got to go back down again.
Vineyards below Verschiez
Lost in the vineyards
Home again in Ollon
A subsequent closer look
A few days later, Kristin's back from the USA, and we've got to show her the Château d'Aigle as well. 10 April 2014.
Back down through the forest
My version of the photo that appears on about a quarter of all landscape jigsaw puzzles sold in Europe.
The courtyard outside the castle, and the Maison de la Dîme, with its museum of wine labels.
The castle gate
The courtyard within, and its Musée de la Vigne et du Vin, or wine museum
Walking out through the Le Cloître district of the Prieuré, or priory
This didn't work out as well as hoped. There are no ground level walking paths between Aigle and Ollon.
We're preceded by a herd of cows blocking up the road.
Another walk in the outskirts of Aigle
The Château d'Aigle and medieval church, 3 May 2014
Today's flirtation with Aigle involves a walk out the Grande Eau, the mini-river that tumbles down the gorge from the Pays-d'Enhaut, passes in its rigorous channel around the north of downtown Aigle, and joins the Rhône river just to the west. We're starting from the upper town, not far from the castle and old church.
Now we're walking along the Grande Eau ('Big Water') through an old part of town, La Fontaine, looking up the hill in the direction of Leysin.
Some views of the La Fontaine neighborhood
The Grande Eau convincingly routed around the north side of the downtown. The bridge is dated 1723.
Looking northward towards Lake Geneva and, up to the right, the village of Yvorne, where the best white wine in the world is made, lovingly.
The northern edge of downtown Aigle -- we need to pause here so that Kristin can memorize the menu at the restaurant Croix Blanche.
We continue along the Grande Eau
Kristin and the highway overpass
The Grande Eau joins the Mighty River Rhône
The Rhône. We're starting back now.
A farm complex called Socrète, just outside of town
The bridge ornament: see? 1723.
La Fontaine neighborhood
The castle, and back to the car. We'll take some proper downtown photos soon.
More views of Aigle and the château, October 2015
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 14 June 2014.