Day 16-2 – the view from the top

The Rhone Valley

The Rhone Valley

The weather here is positively mercurial. The clouds rolled on just about when we left Chillon Castle, although strands hung around. This afternoon promised a high for me. We were going to take a funicular railway train up the mountain behind the hotel to Rochers de Nayes, at an altitude of 1,968 metres. Pete and I killed some time in the local mall looking for lunch before the trip. We found a lunchbar that served sandwiches and coffee at a reasonable price (if you didn’t convert the Euros to AU$). Whatever. It was one of the cheaper meals we ate in Switzerland.

The railway itself is a triumph of engineering when you discover it was opened in 1892. Here’s a link telling you all about it. You might want to read it after you’ve looked at the photos, and thought about how all that was achieved in the 1890’s. Bear in mind this train runs from Montreux railway station. It’s just another commuter service that stops half a dozen times on the way up. People live up there, in little villages. There’s also a famous hospitality school halfway up the mountain. Imagine this as your commuter trip to and from the office every weekday.

The views were spectacular, looking over Lake Geneva as the train rose up the mountainside, crossing over people’s backyards. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Chillon from above

The castle of Chillon from above

The lake and the city far below

The lake and the city far below. We’re up to the snow line

A dusting of snow has settled on the pine trees

A dusting of snow has settled on the pine trees

The railway line

The railway line

One of the many tunnels

One of the many tunnels. The train doesn’t turn around – it has controls at both ends. I’m looking back at where we’ve been.

The train has its own snow-cutting apparatus. This one had evidently been up to the summit earlier - you can still see the snow.

They have snow-clearing engines to clear the tracks. This one had evidently been up to the summit earlier – you can still see the snow.

A hole in the clouds

A hole in the clouds

Snowfields

Snowfields

The view at the top

The view at the top