On a bright summer morning, I ambitiously set out to hike Rochers-de-Naye, a part of the Swiss Alps, which overlooks Montreux and Lake Geneva. There are plenty of scenic hiking trails here and my plan was to walk from Jaman to summit.
Once I alighted from my cogwheel ride at Jaman, I stopped to ask people if they could point me towards a practical hiking trail. Even though numerous routes were marked, they all seemed to confuse me. Upon further enquiry, I was told by the sole English-speaking visitor at Buvette de Jaman (or Jaman Cafe) that trail was not advisable.
Firstly, some rocks had collapsed en route and the only way to get through was with climbing equipment (and clearly I had none). And secondly, since I was by myself and unfamiliar with the terrain, it was not wise for me to take a chance with an alternate, lesser known trail. Both sounded reasonably good advice to me.
And so I waited for the next hourly GoldenPass Line to arrive at Jaman station. I boarded it and in a short 10-minute ride, I had arrived at Rochers-de-Naye.
On a clear day, the French Alps and Eiger are possibly visible from this 2042-metre mountaintop. However, I got a temperamental day with bursts of white clouds and warm yellow sunshine. As I walked from the station to the alpine garden of La Rambertia, I saw Lake Geneva fleetingly glisten.
I wandered around, sat in silence, ate an ice-cream, tried to aimlessly spot mountain ranges through interruptive landscape and allowed the beauty of Switzerland to fill me with awe. Soon my return train arrived and I made my way back to the busy town of Montreux.
Good to know
-There are scheduled, hourly rides from Montreux to Rochers-de-Naye. You can check them here.
-Swiss Travel Pass covers this route until Haut-de-Caux. Beyond this station, tickets can be bought, at a discounted price with the Pass.
-There are a number of leisure activities at summit including visiting alpine garden La Rambertia, marmot colonies and viewpoints to Montreux and Lake Geneva. There is also a well-stocked cafe and a small souvenir shop.
-Adventure planning like rock climbing or trekking needs prior planning.
-On moonlit nights, visitors are allowed to stay overnight in the Mongolian yurts, on prior booking.
-Rochers-de-Naye is very popular during the winters for skiing.
-The weather at summit can be unpredictable and erratic.
Which part of Switzerland do you ardently admire?