Yesterday I decided to go back to Lavaux to enjoy the view from Grandvaux, a small village perched in the vineyards of this beautiful, Unesco-listed region, but by cycling through the countryside above Lausanne (as opposed to cycling down to the lakeside and then along it) because I wanted to avoid cycling in the traffic.
So I went to Croisettes/Epalinges, stopped a few minutes at the 350-year old church and then cycled downwards to get back on to route de Montblesson.
Although I did not have a map with me, except for a picture from Google Maps showing a rough outline of the route I would have to follow, I managed to find my way thanks to those directions (provided by Google Maps) which I had deemed would prove most useful (and which I had managed to get on the photo taken with my digital camera – had I been prepared to fiddle a little with my smartphone I guess I would have simply accessed Google Maps and retrieved the information I needed at the different stages of my route). I also benefited from the signposts showing ‘Cully Grandvaux’ I saw towards the end of the Bois de Jorat.
I had not bothered to take several shots of Google Maps, so that I only had the first nine directions (out of nineteen) on my camera. I had come out of the road near the farm on the far right of this picture. My initial impulse was to continue cycling on the road into the direction moving away from this farm (i.e. south). However, I had noticed a woman walking along this road (route de Lutry) who was carrying a map, but heading in the opposite direction (north). I felt that it would be more sensible to catch up with her and ask her to let me see her map. I did so at this very crossroads, but by then I knew that I was in the right direction. In fact, it was the lady who asked me how to get to a village called Savigny.
Ten minutes later and I had again to make use of my sense of direction. This time I was right and I quickly reached Crêt-Mouton, a small village with the particularity that it was the first with a view of the lake I had come across since Croisettes/Epalinges – this explains, I suppose, the numerous villas built on the slopes of the hill which can be seen in the far distance.
Then it was a matter of enjoying the descent. As the bicycle I was riding was given to me by a friend (who had received it from a friend who had suffered a stroke; this friend of mine had given it to me because the bicycle is too small for him), I felt that it would be wiser not to go racing down at full speed – especially as I still need to adjust one or two things on this bicycle. I almost missed the small lane (in the middle), which leads to route de Crétaz.
A few minutes later and I stood in front of the village’s old church, which was visited by their majesties the emperor and empress of Japan, on 10th October almost 43 years earlier.
I stopped a few minutes at Place Hugo Pratt, named after the Italian author of comics who spent the last 11 years of his life in the village and whose most famous character, the sailor Corto Maltese, is represented here in a statue almost greater than life, staring out over the lake and the hills of Lavaux, lost in contemplation.
I did not stay in the village very long because I wanted to savour the ride through the vineyards before the weather would change. I had been longing to cycle through this very stretch (in between the villages of Epesses and Villette) of route de la Petite Corniche for three years! Well, I was not disappointed and it was well worth it, despite the very long ride uphill back to Lausanne which started shortly after, at Lutry.