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(Non) electrifying Taveyanne: far from the madding crowd

The picturesque hamlet of Taveyanne in the Vaudoise Alps is a place frozen in time. (RTS/

Above the clouds at 1,649 metres (5,400 feet), it’s a listed historical monument, with its timber chalets and wooden shingle roofs. Its residents have to manage without mains electricity. 

To guarantee the long-term future of the hamlet and its environment, the locals teamed up with the Vaudoise League for Nature Protection in 1970 to create a nature reserve here. Most of the chalets belong to people living in the neighbouring village of Gryon and were converted from animal shelters to homes in the early 1900s.

The only business in town is the Refuge de Taveyanne, where the Siebenthal family serves hearty meals like fondue in a rustic setting. There's a huge charred fireplace with a large cauldron, an ancient cash register and low-beamed ceilings. Ornamental cowbells grace the walls. The only rentable accommodation is a couple of mattresses in the refuge’s loft.

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