As usual, my main concern was to find authentic places and people, interesting places to visit and a fun ambiance for our future groups.
Moreover, one of the goals of French Escapade is to introduce our guests to the culture of the visited country, and mostly to meet locals. So I visited farms and was glad to meet wonderful hospitable people we will be able to meet.
It didn’t take too long to decide that the Gruyere area was still a beautiful preserved countryside, with stupendous chalets, peaceful herds of cows enchanting our ears with the music from their bells, cheese and chocolate makers all around, and friendly people.
So here is a special preview of the possible visits for this new tour for you (work still in progress!):
- Gruyere cheese fabric
- walk to mountain chalet (when season permits) for artisan cheese making
- medieval village
- pastry workshop
- lunch in a private home to discover Swiss specialty food and drinks
- paper-cutting artwork demonstration
- 18th / 19th chalet villages
- Balthus chalet
- Swiss Riviera and Geneva Lake
- Montreux market
- salt mine
- terraced vineyards
- Medieval castle
- Scenic train ride
- cable car ride to peaks
- Nestle chocolate factory
In 2010, we will probably start with a painting tour in this area (just a few cultural visits and great painting opportunities) with teacher Sonja Hamilton.
If you are interested or want to check all our 2010 destinations, visit us at www.frenchescapade.com
Jackie Grandchamps obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in Belgium, and then moved to the U.S. in 1995 to conduct cancer research at Stanford University in California. Her heart has always been in travel however, and she turned her passion into a full time job in 2003 when she launched her travel business, French Escapade offering an authentic travel experience to women.
She says, “I wanted to make my dream come true: sharing my love of traveling and giving people the opportunity to really experience a different culture. Instead of the traditional ‘tourist’ sightseeing trip to France, I wanted to immerse very small groups of women in the culture, let them meet locals, eat authentic cuisine and ‘live’ an authentic experience. That’s how French Escapade was born.”