Not so lazy in Leysin, Switzerland

     I am worried about a decline in my female readership. Lake Geneva is in the background.

     I am visiting the world’s laziest blogger, my friend Graydon, whom I met in Japan a million years ago. (The last four friends I’ve visited I first met in Japan, India, Chile and Malaysia.) He averages one post a month, but they are beefy: He has been on some real adventures. I have said it before and I will say it again: I am a fraud of a traveler compared to Graydon.

     Graydon bonding with some of the students

     It’s my first time here but I have been nearby in Les Diablerets. Can you imagine that in four months of Europe, the only new places I have been are just a few towns in Switzerland, a village in Hungary and Muenster, Germany? I am mainly here to visit friends, but you would think I could mix it up a little. It’s embarrassing.
     Leysin has always had some resonance for me because just before my first real trip ever to Europe with my best friend, a friend of his, a guy not prone to exaggeration, sat us down and told us about his time in Leysin at a sort of commune. We were in rapt attention as he described a place where people gathered every evening around the dinner table and had exalted conversations that didn’t exist in our worlds as suburban punks. This was our romanticized idea of Europe we had wanted to see, but we never made it and I have never met anyone who knows anything about it.
     Graydon is teaching at a boarding school here in Leysin. I get to eat with him in the school cafeteria, which is a paradise for a traveler, but maybe less so for those paying $60,000 a year for their kid to be here–which makes this school more expensive than Harvard.
     He lives and works in the former Leysin Grand Hotel where the likes of Gandhi, Nehru, Tsar Nicholas II and Josephine Baker stayed and where the piano upon which Stravinsky composed “The Rite of Spring” sits for anyone to play.
     Just down the road is the former Club Vagabond where Mick Jagger, Pierre Trudeau and David Niven once imbibed and which is now a center for Afghan refugees!
     We did a hike with all the students to the top of the mountain above Leysin. After so much sitting around in Hungary I’ve been a hiking madman the last few days. Hanging out with people like Graydon and Monika, it’s good for my physical and mental health. It just goes to show that no man is an island. I should patent that phrase.

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Not so lazy in Leysin, Switzerland — 4 Comments

  1. Looking good Kent! Thanks for the links to Graydon’s Travel as well. Always entertaining and inspiring to read others blogging/travel experience. Lovin’ the new website by the way!

  2. ummmm, excuse me, but you can’t have your photo taken in front of a cheesy mountain backdrop like that and then expect us to believe you’re really in Switzerland, Kent….put down the Cheeto’s and get off the couch already! ( Love ya Kent…but really? that scenery just can’t be real!!)

  3. One of my old friends from high school was a Navy pilot stationed innItaly, he and his buddies would go to Leydin, the Vag several times per winter, when he returned to Virginia, he asked if I would like to go skiing in Switzerland, that thought never crossed my mind before, but I agreed and in1969, we went , I had never seen anything like the Alps,Leysin or the Vagabond , that was the first of many visits, I I returned for the next five winters, that place opened my mind to travel, I loved it! Great people, stories and even some skiing, I sur wish that place was still around, I made friends from all over the globe, unfortunately, most of them have passed.I have nothing but fond memories of my time there. I remember one night , the gals in the kitchen had been invited out , but couldent go out because if work, I told them that I would take care of preparing the dinner and get it out and ?I did. , I loved it , very rewarding and it looked like everyone joyed their dinner.
    I had never seen a puzzle ring before going there, now I can still put them together, I recall meetin serpico ther, he was living somewhere in the village, sat next to Dugal at the bar a number of times , lalso recall someone lighting my Dram bout on fire and I drank it. There are millions of fabulous stories about the vagabond, I can’t think of a better way to have been introduced to travetravel, thanks to all who I met while there!
    Love and best if luck to all.
    Joe Hoggard,

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