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Old 23.07.2010, 20:57
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A visit to Martigny

Judy and I had planned, given the forecast, to hike Sunday to Tuesday, then take Wednesday off to recover. The forecast for late in the week was not good, so when we woke up on Wednesday to excellent weather we deided to do a fourth hike in a row. On Thursday we obviously were too tired to hike; I went to Sion for business while Judy spent hours dealing with the S L O W laundry system.

On Friday the weather was not good; total cloud cover, rain and rather cool. Since we had an unlimited pass (3 days out of seven) for the central Valais we decided to go to Martigny to the Fondation Giannada. I had somehow never visited it during my many trips to the Valais, but had obviously heard about it.

We left by the 8 AM Postbus from St-Luc. The visibility was a very few feet, but the driver obviously knew the road perfectly and had no problems getting us to Vissoie. From there the visibility improved; the road was clear though
there were no views into the valley. We changed to the train in Sierre, and got to Martigny a bit after 9 AM. A local bus got us to within a few hundred feet of the Fondation. We both bought senior tickets (60+) and got a CHF 2.00 discount for our Central Valais Pass, CHF 16.00 per person.

First we went round the Greco-Roman section, labels on the exhibits were only in French and German so I had to translate; quite a challenge. The challenge, interestingly enough, was with both languages; I know what a massue that a warrior statuette was carrying is, but completely forgot at the time the English word "club" .

We then went to the famous sculpture garden. The total experience of the garden (wonderful botanical collection) plus the sculptures was immensely satisfying. In the garden we found the Leonardo da Vinci Inventor exhibition; fascinating. To my amazement I got out of the gift shop with no more damage than a CHF 20 collection of postcards; somehow I resisted buying any of the wonderful CHF 99 scarves .

Back in the garden at around lunchtime. We were opposite the buvette and lines were beginning to form. We took an assiete valaisanne and a toamto and mozarella plate, plus a few more decis of Fendant than we should have.

Back in the main building we parted. Judy visited the Nicolas de Staël exhibition, while I visited the car museum. Each of us enjoyed what we saw.

We then walked to the Roman amphitheater, and then meandered slowly to the station.

The bus ride back to Vissoie was interesting for two reasons. First off, shortly after we started climbing, the bus pulled over to let a car pass us. The car's driver informed our bus driver that one of the bicycles had fallen off the bus some distance below. The guilty owner was identified, and walked back, found the bicycle, and slowly pedaled it back to the bus. I suspect that never again in his life will he fasten a bicycle to a bus loosely .

We also had reasonably good views of the steep valley and even more visibly steep lateral valleys, and of the vertical cliffs that seemed to be everywhere. Lots of devices to catch falling rocks, though one fell on our bus. We also saw the bridge near Niouc from which bungy jumpers jump.

Tomorrow we both go to Evolène; I by bus, Judy by bus to the Barrage de Moiry then over the Col de Torrent to Evolène, maybe attempting to summit Sassenaire along the way.

Lots of photos that need to be organized, uploaded, and incorporated into my blog. Stay tuned.





We
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Old 28.07.2010, 09:07
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Re: A visit to Martigny

I have uploaded the photos from Martigny, mainly from the delightful Sculpture Park.

Entering the garden we were met by this most welcoming (and unexpected!!) sign:


Translation: You are allowed to walk on the lawns. Allowed, not encouraged, but really not complaining

Why I never visited the Foundation in previous years is a mystery ... I suspect that the free travel (Central Valais pass) helped make the decision this year!

Last edited by RetiredInNH; 28.07.2010 at 11:52.
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Old 18.07.2011, 19:03
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Re: A visit to Martigny

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Why I never visited the Foundation in previous years is a mystery ... I suspect that the free travel (Central Valais pass) helped make the decision this year!
Enjoyed last year's visit to the Gianadda Foundation so much that as soon as I saw the ads for the Monet exhibit I decided that I would visit it during my stay in Sion. Did so today, the exhibition is well worth seeing if you care for that sort of thing
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Old 18.07.2011, 19:18
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Re: A visit to Martigny

Hope the weather improves for you. Where are you off next?
Nice and sunny this evening in the Jura, but much colder than normal for this time of year(:
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Old 18.07.2011, 20:17
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Re: A visit to Martigny

I am not complaining about the weather ... I have had several years of exceptionally good weather, time for a change

Staying in Sion until Saturday, then one week each in Mürren (du mauvais côté du Röstigraben ), Evolène, Arolla and Bienne (right on the Röstigraben), then a few days wandering around.
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Old 18.07.2011, 21:02
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Re: A visit to Martigny

Have a great time - as you know Evolène/Arolla.Ferpècle is one of my favourite area. Say hello to the marmots and wave to the wonderful B&B on the right between Evolène and les Haudères, at the hamlet of La Tour- owned by good friends Madeleine and Patrick. Maybe see you in Bienne or Neuch, Le Creux-du Van or les Gorges de l'Areuse.
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Old 18.07.2011, 21:57
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Re: A visit to Martigny

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Enjoyed last year's visit to the Gianadda Foundation so much that as soon as I saw the ads for the Monet exhibit I decided that I would visit it during my stay in Sion. Did so today, the exhibition is well worth seeing if you care for that sort of thing
Tnx! I'm seeing ads for this exhibition everywhere and I'm tempted to go. Good to hear that it's worth it.
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Old 18.07.2011, 22:14
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Re: A visit to Martigny

There is a lot more to the Fondation Gianadda than the Monet exhibit. Museum visits tend to be scheduled on days with less than ideal weather, but this museum has a wonderful sculpture garden that deserves a nice day. The garden also has a buvette where you can enjoy an assiette valaisanne with a few decis of fendant

And if you go by train make a point of visiting the underground passage that connects the platforms; the foundation has embellished it: L'histoire de Martigny s'offre les plus belles des vitrines.

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Old 19.07.2011, 01:01
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Re: A visit to Martigny

What about the St Bernard museum? Have you or anyone been to any of that? I was thinking of a day trip to Martigny & surroundings but I was getting a bit confused with the trains that go from there to the rest of the area...
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Old 19.07.2011, 09:30
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Re: A visit to Martigny

On my two trips to Martigny so far I have not visited the St. Bernards ... right now there is an exhibit that looks quite interesting: Discovering the Far North.

As far as trains are concerned, both the Gianadda Foundation and the St. Bernards Museum are in town, very close to one another and to the other Roman antiquities. I went to the exhibition on foot, about 20 minutes walking at a slow pace from the station. There is a bus that will drop you off very close to all the museums etc.

Last edited by RetiredInNH; 29.07.2011 at 15:34. Reason: Fixed typo
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Old 20.07.2011, 00:10
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Re: A visit to Martigny

I think what was confusing me was the train "St Bernard Express" leaving from Martigny which I think takes you to another place called "St Bernard". But I guess from what you're saying that the Museum is in Martigny itself... I'll try to see if I can make some time to visit, that exhibit sounds cool, but alas, I'm quite busy this summer... If I do go, I'll post back in the thread.
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Old 08.11.2011, 23:36
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Re: A visit to Martigny

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There is a lot more to the Fondation Gianadda than the Monet exhibit. Museum visits tend to be scheduled on days with less than ideal weather, but this museum has a wonderful sculpture garden that deserves a nice day. The garden also has a buvette where you can enjoy an assiette valaisanne with a few decis of fendant

And if you go by train make a point of visiting the underground passage that connects the platforms; the foundation has embellished it: L'histoire de Martigny s'offre les plus belles des vitrines.
Rather than start a new thread, will just note that the Fondation has welcomed its 8,500,000th visitor: Fondation Gianadda: 8,5 millions de visiteurs en 33 ans.
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Old 09.11.2011, 00:00
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Re: A visit to Martigny

I went to Martigny for the first time a few weeks ago and enjoyed the town very much. The highlight, as mentioned in this thread, is definitely the Fondation Gianadda. I caught the Monet exhibition which was beautiful. Only a few more days before it is finished.

The sculpture garden, as noted, is a gorgeous space.

From Lausanne it is only about an hour's drive. Well worth it.
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Old 09.11.2011, 16:24
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Re: A visit to Martigny

We were fortunate enough on 1 September this year to attend a "vernissage" of Farrol Kahn's new Guide to Valais [in English] at the Giannada complex. In fact, Leonard Giannada was in attendance and the afternoon passed off fantastically well - huge success in a truly wonderful setting. Many ladies who were invited came in their national costumes which was lovely to see.
If anyone is interested on where and how to obtain a copy, please PM me.
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Old 18.07.2012, 15:40
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Re: A visit to Martigny

The Fondation Gianadda has what seems to be a fascinating exhibition this year: VAN GOGH, PICASSO, KANDINSKY… Collection Merzbacher. Le mythe de la couleur. Has anyone visited it?

Just a reminder ... one usually schedules museum visits on days with poor weather, but the sculpture garden of the Fondation Gianadda is not to be missed, so do not schedule this visit on a rainy day.
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Old 18.07.2012, 15:47
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Re: A visit to Martigny

Yes, it's simply marvellous - but then we live fairly close by and are semi-regular visitors to the Gianadda Foundation. We helped with a book launch last year - a Guide to the Valais in English by Farrol Kahn, if we are permitted to publicise it.
Lots of people in Martigny, and high a entrance price [for those of us who live in Euroland anyway] but what price culture and good health?
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