The Wallis Adventure, part 1: My First Ever AirB&B Experience

Destination: Savièse, Wallis, Switzerland

Travel Diary: Since the times had not exactly been approving for traveling abroad lately, on our summer holidays we decided to try some home country tourism instead. We had been talking about exploring the Wallis area on many occasions. Now seemed like a perfect time to execute the plan. We figured renting a summer cottage should be safe enough, regardless of the nasty virus spreading around us. So off I went to my best travel planning buddy the Google and started searching. I tumbled to the AirB&B page, and after some long minutes, dull mind, and eyes getting tired of staring at the search results, I finally found what I was looking for: a summer cottage with a relatively big garden in Savièse, Wallis. Perfect! Only I couldn’t read any of the descriptions because all of it was in French, and I had to fetch my dear language-genius husband to the rescue. We ended up booking the cozy, archaic little house for about a week. At this point, I must say the AirB&B page was a pleasant experience as long as I searched with the desktop. Switching to iPad and cell-phone was a big mistake as the page just wouldn’t load, and making the reservation was impossible. I am not that big of a computer nerd that I could say what was the matter, but I do think tourism pages like that should work with other devices, not just with the desktop.


Anyway, the time to pack up and head our car towards the house in the mountains arrived rather soon. There we were, on the road again, this time towards Wallis! Driving to the destination was easy, at least 90% of it. Going 120 km/h on the freeway is a no-brainer. Once getting closer and getting off the freeway, we decided to trust our navigator since we didn’t know the area. Well, there it is, mistake number one. We should have known better by now! Have you ever been ending up in strange places because of following the navigator blindly? Or maybe you were the one person who ended up driving into a lake because the navigator said so? Laugh not, that is a real story. And no, the protagonist of this story was neither me nor my husband. Anyway, mistake number two was not to pay attention to the traffic signs. If there is a sign that says no winter maintenance, or not suitable for trucks, it should ring a bell… these signs almost always equal hard-driving-times-ahead. But there we were, following the navigator blindly, paying no attention to the obvious. And so it happened that the road soon became extremely narrow and steep and had all the abovementioned traffic signs scattered around the sides of it…

I have said before that The Alps are not that steep if you compare them to Jura (read the story here!). Much higher, yes, but not that steep. Well, let me take that back. It was before I visited Wallis. This road the all-knowing navigator guided us to, was steep, narrow, and curvy. Hideous! Coming originally from the flatlands of Finland I started feeling rather hysterical. After some kilometers of this horror, they call a road I could see that the stupid serpentine was making a 90-degree curve on top of a very steep ascent. The only problem was that I could not see whether this curve was to the right or to the left. Since I didn’t want to crash into the mountain wall, I slowed down and knew immediately that I had made my third and final mistake. (Rule number one: never slow down on a place like that, you need speed to get up, especially when driving a stickshift.) Of course the car didn’t have enough power to go up, and sadly, I wasn’t quick enough to switch to smaller gear. This, of course, resulted as an engine failure. To say it more folksy, the motor shut off. There we were, sitting on a mountainside our noses pointing towards heaven, unable to move. Not much to do there, huh? I was practically standing on the break pedal, my legs shaking like overcooked pasta. But changing the driver on a place like that was out of the question. No other solution than reverse the car to the next widener and turn around. No way in hell I was going to try going further with this road. Somehow, slowly, I managed. I drove down the mountainside with my shaky legs, and meanwhile, my husband was busy searching for the alternative route with his cell phone…


Luckily he found a road that was not as steep, narrow, and curvy as the first one. Up we went again, this time with better success, although I managed to run a red light on a construction site amongst other little incidents. Forgive me, but I was shattered by the previous experience. Once we reached our little corona-free oasis, the world suddenly seemed like a better place to live again. This little old house standing in the shadow of a mountain was adorable. It had everything we needed and more. We settled in, and I was slowly recovering from the shock only flatland people can truly understand. The mountain air felt good in my lungs, and the kids were busy discovering all the toys stored around the house. This house felt inhabited and kept with love. And I felt thankful that it was us who got to borrow the little paradise on earth. The owner was a sweetheart, even though I didn’t understand a word she said as she was speaking french. Luckily my multi-language-talented husband saved the day (again!), and soon she was on her way down the mountainside. And we were ready to start our vacation! My first ever AirB&B experience turned out to be the best one (!) so far. Stay tuned for the next parts of our Wallis adventure…

Traveler’s information:

Location: Savièse, Wallis, Switzerland

Things to see and do around the location:

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