Mid morning, took the Post Bus to Nyon to catch the train to Yverdon where Valdo met me with the car, all kitted up with skiing gear, ready for the trip to to the Balcon des Alpes, from 400m metres to 1200 metres, to Bullet, overlooking lac Neuchatel. This is a small agricultural village a few kilometres from the start of the ski de fond (and ski alpin) piste at Les Rasses, itself and outlying suburb of St Croix, a former watchmaking industrial town at the end of the railway line from Yverdon in the valley below. This is our third winter break together up here, but the first time for us to hire an apartment, so that Valdo can get a complete break from home just 12km and 700 metres below us at Baulmes.
Our accommodation is the spacious middle floor of a maison fermière in the village, with a small working dairy farm, just the opposite side of the steep street on which we're located. Our hosts are a retired cheminot and his wife, so kind and hospitable.
The place is immaculate and well appointed, and can sleep five. We booked it as a marvellous last minute bargain, due to an indifferent weather forecast cancellation. It's warm and we have all mod cons. One shopping trip to the Coop in Ste Croix, on the way in, has set us up for the next five days. I do the cooking on these trips, as a recreational pleasure, and Valdo doesn't complain!
Having unloaded, we went for a walk to inspect the pistes, and found that a) they could be easily accessed from a five minute uphill walk, and b) they were unbroken ad in good condition despite the amount of grass and rock visible here and there off-piste.
Inspection over, Valdo departed for home to deposit the car, leaving me to enjoy an night's solitude with clear starry skies overhead to gaze at and attempt to take atmospheric photos of with little success.