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walk Sunday14th September
12 of us walked along the famous Toblerones from Bassins to the Villa Rose. Our walk took us some 3 hours punctuated with plenty of interesting military history. I wonder how many of you notice when walking down the river all the defences scattered along the way? And I do not mean the Toblerones themselves!
* Every bridge crossing the river, whether rail or road, was packed with explosives ready to be blown up at a moment’s notice. Apparently, one of the bridges only had its dynamite removed within the last few years!
*If you look closely, there are holes in the roads, (not just on this walk, all over the place!) ready for great big metal spikes to slot in, another barrier to keep out any invaders. Anna-Lise, who lead our walk, had a real passion for sharing all the history and stories associated with the Toblerones. She showed us all the shelters and bunkers hidden along the route. I wonder how many of you have seen the biggest one hiding right beside Aldi in Gland? We passed the Villa Verte, sister bunker to the Villa Rose and just like the Villa Rose disguised to look like a lovely little Swiss house. Both with false windows and gun emplacements pointing towards Geneva or now the local golf course in the case of the Villa Rose!
Our walk ended at the Villa Rose, where we had our lunch in the garden followed by a fascinating tour of the bunker. Unlike the Tardis, it is much smaller on the inside, but was still home to 20 soldiers! The bunker still houses machine guns (decommissioned!) and we were able to have fun homing in on the golfers on the 15th hole! We saw the RED handle (not red button) that would have been used to set off all the explosives and blow up the bridges all the way along the river! Anna-Lise tells us everything is in working order!