After Interlaken, I met up with my friend Cédric, whom I’d met in Wicklow, and his family. For two days, I stayed with them in a tiny town in the Canton du Valais in French Switzerland with a view of Mont Blanc. The region of the French and Swiss Alps is one of the prettiest in Europe, full of little towns of no more than half a thousand people running down sloping mountainsides or nestled in valleys. Trient, thankfully, is in a valley.
It’s a dream. Quiet, remote, bordered by unfettered mountains of pine forest and perfect blue skies and filled with fresh mountain air. You could walk it from end to end in ten minutes. There’s not much to it; a pink church on the hill, a rocky stream running through town, a few cows and horses grazing on the side, and little scattered houses, perfect in their loose and imperfect conformity to the Swiss ski lodge ideal implanted firmly in my mind. In the center is a hotel with one café, which I don’t think I ever saw anyone visit.