19
Sep
14

friendly fendant in magical crans

I’ve been back from Switzerland for nearly two weeks now – shoddy effort in updating the blog so apologies to anyone who has put their life on hold whilst they wait to hear my thoughts on the quaint Swiss town of Crans-Montana……!

First shout out before I go any further goes out to the Swiss people I met in my four days in their spectacularly beautiful, clean and frankly marvellous country. I’m not sure I’ve been anywhere else in Europe where the general public are so friendly, courteous and welcoming. From the lovely elderly woman called Beatrice on the train from Geneva who I chatted to marvelling at the beauty of Lake Geneva, through to the waiter in a Crans restaurant that greeted me so warmly when I turned up for a second night running – the Swiss people left a great impression on me.

Anyway, after handing out such praise to the folk of Switzerland, it’s time to give some thoughts on a brilliant long weekender watching some top class golf.

As I briefly just mentioned above the train from Geneva airport through to Sierre was as spectacular a journey as you could imagine. I chose the right side of the train to sit on (in both senses of the word) as I soon left Geneva to be welcomed by sweeping views of the world famous Lake that stretches on and on through middle Switzerland. Being late summer, the lake was wonderfully clear and reflected a magical blue in the sun filled sky. The journey flew by – taking me through a city called Lausanne that I nearly visited back in February to watch Beady Eye (I chose Luxembourg instead!) It looked a decent spot mind, along with several other cities and towns on the way that were all dotted along Lake Geneva.

Crans was reached with ease thanks to the Funicular railway that climbed steeply up from Sierre to Montana Gare. The views got more and more spectacular as you climbed higher, the snow peaked mountains in particular were a highlight that never got tiresome to gaze at.

It didn’t take me long to sniff out a cheap bar. A well known champagne brand had set up a temporary bar on the street just by the golf course. I couldn’t believe it when I saw a local white wine called Fendant being sold for just 3.50CHF, about £2.30! Switzerland and Crans in particular was supposed to be expensive, right?! As I supped up a few glasses of the cold stuff, I noticed I was in the company of former Open Champion Darren Clarke and the evergreen Miguel Angel Jimenez – both stars of the European Tour for the past twenty years. Being surrounded by Rolex shops, Prada shops and plenty of people in posh suits and dresses – not to mention modern day golfing heroes, I could have easily felt slightly out of place in my adidas rain jacket, jeans and England cricket baseball cap. But the funny thing about travelling alone as much as I have, you almost grow some sort of thick skin where you’re not bothered about being judged by strangers! After a few more bargain Fendant’s I retired home for an early night, via a lovely little Italian restaurant.

As for the golf – I won’t bore you with the details other than saying it was every bit as fantastic as the views below. The standout hole was the 7th – you walked through a side road from the 6th green and out of nowhere this incredible panoramic view hit you. We were literally up in the clouds – a better sporting backdrop I am struggling to think of than this simply brilliant half mile stretch of land.

It was a hard walk – I reckon the first day I must have walked fifteen to twenty miles, around the course twice with two different groups of players plus the mile or so walk to and from my apartment.

So would I recommend Crans as a holiday destination? For a few days – definitely a big yes. Would I recommend it to any golf fan as a short break next year? I think you can guess my answer!

A simply brilliant few days away…..however I’m not sure that cheap street bar will be there when Darren and Miguel are not in town for those other 51 weeks of the year. Maybe I’m not the man after all to give advice on cheap bars in Crans Montana after all?

Ah well, I’ll have to go back next year and look harder………

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2 Responses to “friendly fendant in magical crans”


  1. 2 Martin
    September 20, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Great review of what is clearly a spectacular venue for golf as well as a special place itself. How many countries left on your “50 before 30 ” target?


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