"OMG there's a stork in the tree!" Actually, it was a heron but it was still a surprise to see one perched in a tree surveying the field below, rather than in their usual habitat in a field or next to a stream.
Seeing the heron was just one of the wildlife highlights of the weekend. We also saw a fox dashing across the road, loads of cats (well-fed strays perhaps?), quite a few birds of prey and one house in the village with 17 swallows' nests under the eaves.
The main highlight though were the hills and the gorges. Based just above Moutier, we cycled around the region on both the Saturday and the Sunday.
The bike ride on day 1 took us from our hotel in Perrefitte to Souboz, down the amazing Gorges du Pichoux, onwards to the surprising Delémont and back to the starting point via another gorge, this time cycling fairly gently uphill. Almost 50km in total and 600m climbing. I was very relieved to get back to our hotel in the afternoon for a quick rest before our fabulous evening dinner, in the restaurant de l'étoile.
Day 2 we decided to cycle up some more hills, this time doing 'Le Tour du Raimeux'. It was a shorter ride but still with 600m height difference. The Saturday bike ride was good, but the Sunday one was even better, probably because there were no boring flat bits! We started by re-tracing our steps back through the gorge between Moutier and Roches, this time cycling in the opposite direction, still astounded by the Jurassic rock formations. It was at this part that I saw the heron. Next we had a steep climb to Rebeuvelier, cycling next to a small stream, followed by a crazy descent. Then another climb on a quiet road with very few cars, through forests, criss-crossing the small river and eventually emerging at the top of one of the smaller hills. It was all downhill from there, at least until we got to Moutier, where we had the small climb back to the hotel.
Graubünden is still probably my favourite part of Switzerland to visit but the Jura region is also very special. I like hearing French, even if I can't speak it very well yet and I certainly enjoy the French food. On top of that, the scenery is really breathtaking. I'm looking forward to heading back to the region again soon.
Language tip 1
Did you notice that I said I was looking forward to heading back to the region soon?
Usually when to is followed by a verb, the verb takes the infinitive form. For example.
It was a surprise to see one.
We decided to cycle up some more hills.
Occasionally, to can be followed by a verb +'ing.
Because it's an unusual pattern, it can be tricky to get this right. However, now that you are aware of it, you might start to notice it more often. If you want to practice this or any other aspect of English, come for a lesson with us.
Language tip 2
Learn some French if you go to this region!