The main street of Morges becomes a small market on Saturday mornings. We eyed off the fresh berries, figs and still-warm breads feeling faintly regretful that we'd all eaten a pretty hearty breakfast a short while earlier.
Sapphire wasn't impressed with the signage. "Why would anyone want to eat there," she wondered. "Aren't they being racist?" Racist towards themselves, the locals who couldn't read English or Morges residents who only saw Asian-style lettering? We weren't sure, but seeing as the front of shop was only selling Swiss-made Movenpick ice-creams until 5pm, we didn't inquire any further. Nor could we afford said ice-cream. For a country that prides itself on its dairy products, ice-cream is on par with saffron for price.
The clanking, almost bell-like ringing of wires and ropes against the masts of many boats moored along Lac Leman lured us away from the stalls. Breezy weather made it perfect for sailing, but apart from one wizened old guy scraping down his even-older boat, we didn't see anyone out on the water.
Perhaps they were all here, inside the Morges casino, or the larger one further along in Montreux?
A close up of the slightly sneering man atop of the Casino entrance. He was wearing some subtlely-draped netting and head spikes to avoid any potential pigeon poop facials.
It wouldn't be Lac Leman without a nude or two.
A small distance away in Vallorbe, a gorgeous drive through forests got us to Fort de Giraud; a farmhouse built by the Swiss army in 1936 to keep the pesky Germans from invading.
Photographs of the interior were strictly Interdit and Verboten, and we climbed many metres down into the hillside and rock through drilled tunnels and chambers, assailed by the musty damp odours. A complex arrangement of underground tunnels and bunkers housed 130 soldiers, weapons and surveillance equipment with rather beautiful views over to France.
The guide spoke French and German only, but we got the gist. The Swiss weren't worried about the French; they just assumed that France would be invaded by Germany and that the Germans would soon be at their border. They were, of course, utterly correct. Still, the Swiss remain proudly Swiss as evidenced by the dozens of fondue saucepans stacked in the compact kitchen.
I wasn't quick enough to take a photo of the farmhouse from the freeway but it showed just how innocuous and authentic it would have appeared on top of the hill. Obviously the enormous painted Swiss cross, outdoor picnic area and international flagpoles weren't in existence during WW2!
A late lunch was enjoyed in Vallorbe (Valley and River Orbe) where it seemed like everyone knew everyone else. Our waiter, in particular, was very popular, greeting everyone who passed by name and stopped for a brief conversation. Service was, therefore, slightly on the relaxed side.
Sapphire was intrigued by the young guy wearing a white leather jacket with 'Angel' in pink sequins on the back and 'sweet honey' embroidered along one arm. With his slicked back pony tail and propensity to keep cycling past us several times on a fold up push bike, was he the only gay in the village?
We were never to find out as I wasn't brave enough to ask our waiter. He told us that he'd spent two decades in Noo Yawk and did a fairly decent impression of De Niro in Taxi Driver. For all we knew, 'Angel' was his brother and their surname was 'Bickle.'