Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Désalpe de St-Cergue 2009

On Saturday we took Uncle Patrick to St. Cergue to watch the cattle descend from the alps for the winter. The train up was extremely, claustrophobically so, crowded. Uncle Patrick and Pat had to stand the whole way. Someone was nice enough to offer Muriel and I an aisle seat right off, and then Rowan and Niamh were able to get seats sitting next to each other across the aisle from me. That wasn't too bad, but within the space of about three minutes the train suddenly became packed and Uncle Patrick and Pat got separated from us (along with the snacks in the backpack I had promised the kids). The aisle between the kids and I also filled up so that they could not see me and that I could not reach Muriel's duck which was in my camera bag in the storage compartment above the kids' seats. It was astounding to me that even after Rowan and Niamh started to get pretty upset (by the end Niamh was crying) nobody offered to move so that we could all sit together. As for Muriel--no crackers to munch on, no duck, being confined for thirty minutes in a tight space--it was not pretty. She was crying loudly and squirming inconsolably by the end of the train ride.

However, once we got off things got much better. The weather was fantastic, much warmer than the previous two years. There was naturally a lot of good food and cows, both of which lived up to expectations. Rowan did get lost in the crowd for about five minutes, but Pat was able to find him without too much trouble once we realized he was not with us. He was pretty shook up, and I felt terrible. It was a good reminder that I need to teach him phone numbers and addresses, just in case. The train ride back was a little less crowded and we were able to get seats all together, thank goodness!

Anyway, I was not feeling too inspired photographically, but here are a few shots from our morning.

that's not a tear running down Muriel's cheek, just that darn clogged tear duct that won't go away!

Uncle Patrick enjoys a cup of soup that was cooked in a cauldron over an open fire


  1. I'm often shocked by the behavior of adults on trains. Once (in Switzerland, actually) a man walked back and scolded Katherine for talking. She was drawing a picture in her notebook and chatting with me in a normal speaking voice, not being overly loud at all. Still, he was trying to sleep and she was apparently bugging him, so he corrected her without saying a word to my husband or me. He also didn't say anything to the adults (who were talking in similar tones) on the other side of the aisle. Sometimes people are just really obtuse when it comes to children. So, that's a long-winded way to say: sorry the train ride was so hard, but at least the festival was fun!

  2. And I'm sorry for your bad experiences too. So bizarre! People can be odd. We ride the train a lot since we don't have a car, and most of the time it is fine and people are nice and helpful, but once in a while, especially when it's crowded, people seem to forget themselves.