Peck's nostalgia gallery
Switzerland, in the semi-old days
are some fondly remembered pix of Leysin, Switzerland, and nearby sights, circa
the late 1970s, and a few more from 2005.
The village gare, the
"lower gare" -- if you got off the train here under the mistaken impression
that this was actually Leysin, you had a 2-kilometre walk with all your luggage
to any other sign of life. But Mr Peck lived here for three years, and this
picture was shot from his front door.
goes the cograil train (left) up the snowy trestle to the Vers-Mont station.
train on a brighter day, 1977-78.
village, circa 1979, looking (left) up to the Belgian hotel near Prafandaz over
the cograil trestle, and (right) straight up the middle, with the old American
College dead center. La Riondaz looms on the skyline.
the old center of town, the Café de Leysin, also circa 1979, and the original
the cograil line going up (or down?) the trestle between the village gare and
the station at Vers-Mont.
the village church, where religious people hung out at prefixed days and times.
lower street, near the village school, winter 1980.
And the mini-village
of Veyges, a satellite village of Leysin, whence the kids had to walk to the village
school in Leysin even in the depths of winter.
shots, January 2005
old main street, with lots of changes, including the excellent Fromagerie restaurant
village church, still standing after all these years
church with Les Dents du Midi behind
Dents du Midi from the village street
were taken during a nostalgic visit for a few days in January 2005.
in about 1946, from a postcard sent to his family by J. René Jaspers (1926-1992),
a Belgian prisoner of war in several German concentration camps, who came to Leysin
after the war for five years of the "heliotherapy" sun cure for tuberculosis,
learnt the skill of watch repair, and eventually returned to Belgium. (Photo courtesy
of Guy Jaspers).
with no skilifts. No restaurant on Berneuse. No sports centre. No Queen Fabiola
hotel. It must have been lovely, except for the tuberculosis, of course.
souvenir of the semi-early days, sent by Guy Jaspers, 2006.
ski gondola number 9.
Leysin ski gondolas, now in Middlesex, England. As Alistair McBeath tells it,
"How did I come by the gondola? I saw an advert on the Ski Club of Great
Britian web-site. Some guy wanted to buy just one of the old Leysin gondolas and
ended up buying them all! He had them brought back to the UK and then tried to
sell them. I think a few ended up in French ski resort nightclubs. One fine day
I went to view them all - lying in a field - paid my money and bought one. I'll
attach a pic of the scene."
more fondly remembered pix of Leysin's nearby sights, roundabout the late 1970s.
with Aigle. You simply can't get to Leysin without going through Aigle.
Here's the entry point
for everyone, the gare -- not much changed since 1979, except for a renovated
news agent at the far left and a new floral shop circa 1985.
The newly-built buffet
de la gare, "newly" in 1979, preserving on top the ancient horse described
lovingly by Ernest Hemingway in about 1923 (he was on a skiing holiday in Comballaz,
described in Moveable Feast, I think).
main street of Aigle, with the cograil lines down the middle.
Château d'Aigle, from the cograil to Leysin
And finally, the Château
de Chillon, arguably the best castle in Switzerland.
of Leysin local mountain photos
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 10 February 2000, revised 8 January