Tag Archives: Montreux

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

 

Day 15 – Montreux, playground of the rich and famous

Sunlight on the poppies with the mountains in the background

Sunlight on the poppies with the mountains in the background

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

We were scheduled to spend two days at Montreux on the banks of Lake Geneva, staying in the Montreux Palace, now a five star hotel. We arrived at the lakeside at the town of Vevey, where Charlie Chaplin spent his last years. There’s a statue of him here and several people took photos.

The promenade at Vevey

The promenade at Vevey – picture by PT

Then back on the coach for the short trip to our hotel.

The views over the lake are breathtaking. The mountains rear above the lake, sketching a line between France and Switzerland. The lake shore is a long promenade, encouraging visitors to walk along and admire the view. It seems quite a few artistic types were drawn to this place, like Freddie Mercury. In fact Montreux hosts a music festival. Statues of a number of top performers can be seen in a garden near the lake – Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, B.B. King, Ray Charles. And for some reason known only to the Swiss, Vladimir Nabokov. He did live here, and died in Montreux. But I don’t think he was noted for his music.

Needless to say the local shops boast all the top brands – Armani, Rolex, Givenchy etc etc. We didn’t go shopping. After a quick look around the local restaurants we decided to eat at one of the hotel restaurants, since it wasn’t much more expensive than everywhere else. We would have liked to have pork knuckle with sauerkraut, but the server returned to the table to tell us it wasn’t available, so we had chicken. Beautifully cooked, far too much (but we should have realised) and served with nothing. If you wanted vegetables, that was extra. We had a main course with one ‘extra’ each, Pete had 2 beers and I had 2 glasses of local wine. That turned out to be something like AU$170. But hey -we’re on holiday. The following day we ate at an Italian restaurant – lasagne for me, pretty ordinary spaghetti marinara for him, a glass of wine, a beer. AU$120. Switzerland is a very expensive place.

Anyway, let’s get on with the photos.

Lake Geneva with swan

Lake Geneva with swan

Swan

Swan

They provided chairs set into the rocks so you can enjoy the view in comfort

They provided chairs set into the rocks so you can enjoy the view in comfort

Montreux Palace with statue of Nabokov in the foreground

Montreux Palace with statue of Nabokov in the foreground

IMG_3856

Lounge

IMG_3899

Dining room

Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald

Freddie Mercury - his statue isn't with the jazz singers, it's down on the water's edge

Freddie Mercury – his statue isn’t with the jazz singers, it’s down on the water’s edge.

Tomorrow we’re going on two fabulous visits. Come and join us. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as we did.