250km by road and 4 hours later we arrive in Leukerbad. We have left the windy and fresh Jura for the warmer valleys of the Valais in Switzerland. What a contrast! Apple, pear and late apricot harvest. Dry forest, dry air, blue sky all over.
It is difficult to describe Leukerbad (or Loèche-Les-Bains) to the ones that have never been here before. It is a large bilingual (French-Swiss-German) village on the top end of the valley. It is surrounded in the North by steep mountains and is blessed by uncountable warm water springs, which the authority used to build the largest European Alpine Thermal Resort. The infrastructure of the village is excellent and very family friendly. In the winter, it is a very good ski resort. In my view this place has it all . The centre is officially car-free, but obviously half of the population has got special passes to drive through.
Our flat is a real jewel. We enjoy an incredible panorama from the large balcony. The interior is very well furbished in an Asian-European fusion style. We all feel immediately at home. A few minutes after taking possession of the flat, we receive our first guest on our world tour.
Hildi, Isa’s sister, comes arms loaded with a delicious cheese fondue preparation from Fribourg. My favorite dish! I can’t wait to melt the 840gr of cheese in the caquelon tonight.
We will now spend 1 month in Leukerbad, primarily for rehabilitation purposes. We also take the opportunity to train our little daughters to swim without arm floats or buoys. It is a priority for us as most of our destinations around the world are by the sea. To our surprise, Manon takes out her arm float during the FIRST day and shows us how she can swim above and under water. Simply like that! August 30th, 2009 is clearly a day to remember. The capabilities of kids to learn is really freaking amazing sometimes.