I haven’t hiked since last summer. During my Welsh residency, I bought a couple of hiking books, tried to follow them, and still got lost more often than not. Since I feared I wasn’t strong enough for a long hike, I decided to hike part of Switzerland’s Toblerone Trail.

Toblerone trail

No, it isn’t a trail constructed from chocolate bars. In fact, the chocolate got its name from the trail. The Swiss built a series of tank-repelling fortifications during World War II. These concrete dragons teeth weigh 9 tons each (source: Wikipedia) and were designed to thwart a German tank invasion. At roughly five feet tall, no tanks could power over them.

Toblerone trail

The start of the Toblerone Line.

Today, the line starts near Lake Geneva in Gland and goes up to Bassins in the Swiss Jura, almost 14 kilometers one way. I didn’t hike the whole thing, because by the time I found the first set of teeth, I was about to collapse. My map claimed the line started at the train station in Nyon, 5 kilometers away from Gland. I wandered along the rail line, through apartment blocks, across a soccer field, past a castle and public swimming hole, through a golf course, and FINALLY found the dang toblerones.

Enjoy the photos of the Toblerone Trail. I almost fainted to get them!!

Toblerone trail

The Swiss allowed the Toblerone Line to return to nature after the war. Spur trails lead from the main path for those who want to get up close.

Toblerone trail

World War II bunkers also stand sentinel near the Toblerone Line. Most are abandoned, like this one.

toblerone trail

Signs like this are abundant along the Toblerone route. Still, I almost went the wrong way here.

Have you been to see the Toblerone Trail? What’s a hard trail that you have hiked?

P.S. Wondering what I’m doing in Switzerland? I’m at a The Trelex Residency in Maison Binet!

Trelex is located on the edge of Jura Mountain Park, between St Cergue and Nyon. I spent about 15 minutes to tour Trelex on foot, and I saw it all!

I spent much of my first Switzerland residency day getting acquainted. With my accommodations. With the other residents. With the village of Trelex. Trelex is located on the edge of Jura Mountain Park, between St Cergue and Nyon. I spent about 15 minutes to tour Trelex on foot, and I saw it all!

hay field Trelex Switzerland

Turns out, I’ve been pronouncing Trelex wrong. It’s Tre-lay. The x is silent. So I’ve been telling everyone the wrong place!

Church in Trelex Switzerland

A small church commands a view of Lake Geneva. A school borders the roadway up the mountain to St Cergue. The train station has no building, only a sidewalk to hop on and off.

Tour Trelex Switzerland

The town has a boulangerie (Lord help me), a tiny market with eclectic opening hours, and one shop, ironically called Decoration Florence. Appropriate, yes? Since I grew up in a town called Florence.

boulangerie Decoration Florence in Trelex Switzerland

Trelex, Switzerland is part of Jura Vaudois Nature Park, a mountainous area north of Lake Geneva. Over 523km of hiking trails thread through the park. On some, one can find Alpine Gruyere cheese produced in tiny huts. Wednesday morning, I walked toward the neighboring village and found this field. Vistas like this one abound in the area.

landscape around trelex switzerland

To get to the supermarket, I can take the train into Nyon a fast four stops away. I can practice yoga in the village on Monday evenings and Thursday mornings. And of course, I can hike.

Thanks for taking the time to tour Trelex with me. Connect with me on social media through the icons at the top right of my website to see even more pictures from Trelex!

—————–

To learn more about the Trelex Residency visit their website.

The book I’m working on now is a sequel to the others in the Nowhere Series so if you haven’t read the first two – go get them now!

It’s one thing to inspire a friend that you’ve known for a long time and know their likes/dislikes. It’s another thing to be inspiring to total strangers!

Inspiring Walkers

Last year I was tagged on instagram by this lovely young lady.

inspiring others to walk

#timetowalk#elcaminodesantiago#pilgrim#500miles#soblessed#inspiredby @andrawatkins and @cherylstrayed

4 weeks later she posted this picture:

she walked the whole way. inspiring

800km#camino#wedidit#catherdral#nowletswalktotheocean#finisterre

According to the the pictures she posted in between things were not always easy, but she finished her 800 km walk. Her journey – that I helped inspire –  inspires me.

Inspiring Bikers

biked the Natchez Trace. inspiring others

Reader Highlight: Ben Rivers biked past me on the Natchez Trace in 2014 then came to meet me at this event.

In February I received this message:

We are a group of 10 cyclists who are planning to travel the Natchez trace from Natchez Mississippi to Nashville Tennessee. I have loved your book. It is insightful, humorous to the point of hilarity, and yet very down to earth.
Thank you for the inspiration.
Paul Detrisac

And then in April:

What a hidden Gem the Natchez Trace is. We completed our bike ride without a flat among `10 bikers, quite a testament to the quality of pavement. I thought of your journey frequently during our trek and was inspired to move on. Before I left I read your book about Merry and Emmaline ” To live forever” What a masterpiece of weaving, past, present and future, into an exciting novel. I would like to complement you on your writing. Have a great year.
Paul Detrisac

Inspiration is around every corner. So go for a walk!

Who inspires you? Or who have you inspired? I’d love to hear from you in the comments here or we can connect on social media. The links to my accounts are at the top right of this page.