So Swiss: Crossing Creux du Van

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The Creux du Van is a natural rocky cirque of approximately 1,400 metres of width and 150 metres of depth on the north side of Le Soliat. It is located in the Val de Travers district, in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. A very well known, amphitheatre-shaped natural attraction of the area, it is located at the heart of a nature reservation area of 15.5 km².

It’s over a year ago when I started to join in group camping and hiking hence enjoying the natural beauties of Switzerland. One of my earliest stints would be the visit to Creux du Van in Neuchâtel. We liked the excursion so much that a few weeks after our first we went up again, taking a different route nonetheless. In our second trip, I tagged a few more friends with me.

We stopped by this auberge to prepare ourselves for the hike; a visit to the toilet and chugging extra liquid to keep us up.

If I remember it right, at our first trip, the hiking started at the les petites Fauconnières side.

Before we started, we wanted to make sure we’re heading to the right direction, wishing also we can take this map with us eh?
Off we went then.

You can find lots of posts like this in Switzerland. Hiking is the most encouraged outdoor activity in this country, and who can say no? Here you enjoy the nature at its finest.

Here’s the pretty, Le Creux du Van.

This must be Le sentier du Single that leads to the summit directly from the area called La ferme Robert.
This Jura mountain overlooking Neuchatel where Creux du Van is situated is called Le Soliat.

Ibex were introduced in the area in 1965. As of 2009, there are 17 and they can easily be watched.

The Alpine ibex (Capra ibex), also known as the steinbock, is a species of wild goat that lives in the mountains of the European Alps. It is a sexuality dimorphic species with larger males who carry larger, curved horns. The coat colour is typically brownish grey. Ibex tend to live in steep, rough terrain above the snow line. They are also social, although adult males and females segregate for most of the year, coming together only to mate.

Passing along the side we came across this epitaph post that tells about a man who fell off at this side of the cliff. The man is Jean Pilloud and he is a sapper soldier. Another summit with a cross planted on the ground provides the well-earned views of Berner Oberland.

At the end of the trail, which I presume part of the itinerary (le sentier des quatorze contours) that starts in Noiraigue, we came across a traditional Swiss restaurant and it is also called, Le Soliat.

At La ferme Robert you’ll find herds of cows during summer.  Also, the Val de Travers is in fact the birthplace of absinthe.

We didn’t eat at Le Soliat when we were there the first time, so at our second trip, we decided to have our lunch in this restaurant and taste their cheese fondue.  I quickly featured Le Soliat at my post about cheese fondue and raclette, you can read it here.

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