Fields of Narcissus at Les Pléiades

I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Wordsworth’s immortal words ring in my ear as I enjoy my walk today. He talks of yellow Daffodils and these are white, but its the same feeling. In May every year the flowers bloom in the slopes above Montreux & Vevey, not far from where I live. I always enjoy a walk to admire these beautiful flowers. I encourage those of you in the Lake Léman area this month to do the same. Here are the details of the walk I did today with my daughter.

Place: Les Pléiades
Altitude: 1348m
Walk Time : About 2 hrs
Ascent/Descent: About 200m
Signs : Well signed path with Tourism Pedestre signs and wooden boards with Narcissus signs.
Website (In French) : http://www.narcisses.ch/
You can find details of this walk and of others, including guided walks, in the site above. This walk is very easy to do without a guide, you can’t get lost!

If you are driving : Drive towards Lally and park the car in Les Tennasses parking before you come to Lally. Walk on towards Lally (10-15 mins) until you come to the train line. Take the uphill path along the train line and walk to the Les Pléiades station.  Its a steep uphill walk but not long (15 mins).

By Public Transport: Come to Vevey by train and then take the special cog train ‘Train des Etoiles’ to Les Pléiades . The train runs every hour.

Take the signed path in front of the station and then climb up the path labelled Restaurant de la Châ. You can see the people descending this path.

Its an uphill walk but the slope is gentle and the views gorgeous. The flowers look like a sprinkle of early snow!

When you see the ski-lift station at the top of the hill, you’ve come to the end of the climb. Its all downhill from now.

Once you reach the top of the hill, you can see the restaurant Châ just below. Stop here for a meal or a drink and enjoy the scenery.

Continue walking downhill where you are greeted with field after field of daffodils.

Continue until you come to a t-junction with two chalets (you can see one above). There is a sign-post here. Take the path turning right.

Within 500m you’ll see the Tourisme Pedestre signs pointing at a path to the right. The crest of the hill is now to your right.

Continue along the path following the signs marked Lally. Soon you’ll come to a boardwalk. Follow again the sign saying Lally and you’ll come to the car park. If you came back public transport, follow the signs to Lally, which is about 15 mins from here. From Lally you can take a train back to Vevey.

Daffodils (1804)

I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch’d in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
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