The Jura region is one of the most exceptional landscapes I've seen in Switzerland; it is also one of the most under-promoted, internationally speaking. If you want to step into a Currier & Ives Christmas card, this is the place to come.
It occurred to me on Saturday morning that we might actually be able to do a real sleigh ride in this area after my daughter asked if we could take her friends horseback riding for a birthday party. Not sure I wanted to take the risk of having inexperienced eleven year olds fall off some of the strongest animals in the world, I googled sleigh rides in the Franches Montagnes, and came up with this:
I called. Can you do it? For 180 CHF, Mr Boichat will give you an hour ride through the most natural of landscapes. The expert horse breeder actually takes his tractor out to pack down the path before you arrive, only this time too much snow made it impossible to level. The brave beasts had to jump and heave on the harness to get us down the "Champs Elysées", as he so proudly calls it.
"I've been to Paris," confides Boichat, "Nothing there but a bunch of people piled together. I'm happy out here, on my land. Couldn't live anywhere else." Adding with the first smile I'd seen since I met him: "I'll sleep well tonight!".
He took us out for 90 minutes in all, me and five little girls having the time of their lives. Who says young people are all about technology?
Across the way is the Peu-Péquignot Inn, where I'm told you can eat the best rösti in these parts. And they're open for Valentine's Day... I checked.
Maybe my Russian is reading this and taking the hint?