The weather today was so beautiful, we decided to take a drive over to the nearby village of Payerne to scope out the final day of their giant airshow.  With local maps from Simone (our new neighbor) in hand, we also made note of several of her recommendations for where we could possibly view the airshow for free from viewpoints overlooking the airfield.  Perhaps next year we’ll attend, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to spend 33 chf /$35 apiece on tickets when we’re still trying to adjust our budget for living in Switzerland.

After a leisurely drive through vibrant green fields and pockets of forests near Payerne, we topped a rise and saw a small plane banking over the distant airfield.  It was a great vantage point, and a handful of locals were gathered under a few trees to snack, socialize, and watch the show from afar.  We clearly weren’t the only ones hoping to save a few bucks.

Since the weather was so perfect, we decided we’d rather go hiking instead.  We continued on, weaving down through the village, circling back through the village of Romont, and finally reaching l’Abbaye d’Hauterive (Hauterive Abbey), our hiking destination for the day.


L’Abbaye d’Hauterive is a Cistercian monastery founded in 1137 and has been continuously inhabited.

Just past the abbey, we scored a free parking spot and set off along the Sarine River.  The leaves glowed with golden light from the sun, and I basked in the warmth and peace of the afternoon with only the rippling of the river and the passage of an occasional hiker filtering through the silence.


Travis enoys a moment of solitude alone a bend in the Sarine River near the abbey.

With Touille happily snuffling here and there, we meandered past the abbey and its outbuildings, across the river, and circled back to climb the adjacent ridge overlooking the ancient monastery.  Along the lower part of the trail, a row of comically wooden fence posts gave us pause.


It’s George Dubya!


We couldn’t quite pin this guy down, but he looks like a famous comic book character, no?


Dubya again?

After some very slimy “cow kisses,” Trav was glad we were near the river where he could rinse off his hand.


He makes friends wherever he goes.

We joked as we passed that the incessant clanging of their bells is probably the real cause of mad cow disease. How could that not drive them mad?


Cows graze contentedly near l’Abbaye d’Hauterive.

To cap off our hike, we cut off the main trail and instead followed a narrow and steep horse path straight down the ridge, crisscrossing back and forth across the road several times before finally popping out within sight of our parking area.

We will definitely have to go back for a day to investigate the abbey itself, but the trail is one we would definitely recommend.  It offers a pleasant walk along the river with lovely views of the monastery.

Know Before You Go:

  • Visiting the interior of the monastery grounds is only possible by appointment.  Contact the abbey to schedule a tour.
  • A shop on site sells bread made at the abbey, as well as jewelry, soap, and gift items. The shop is generally open Tuesday – Saturday, 1400-1700 and Sunday, 1100-1140 and 1445-1500.
  • Official website for the Abbaye d’Hauterive (EN, FR, DE, IT)

What’s up next on our agenda?

Finding a Swiss veterinarian for annual exams for our two cats and one dog…

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