Monday, July 27, 2015

Lake Geneva - only not

So the final day and it was time to leave Lake Geneva behind. Even though I'd visited Chillon before, I'd never explored the region. I loved it and would love to come back one day. Maybe I'll take some French lessons before I come back though. I was so intimidated by the French even though I'm not that bad and I understood almost everything that was said in front of me.

We took the train to Vevey and then switched to Montreux, Montbovon and then eventually headed towards Gruyere.

Dad had insisted that if we liked Chillon, we needed to see Gruyere. Since that's where my favorite cheese is from, I happily obliged. Just up the hill from the station, there is a medieval village. We headed there.

Swiss farm animals are the best. And farm smells are so different here. Much cleaner and less sick smelling.

I finally said goodbye to the animals and we headed up into the village.

Which I NEED to come back to, one day when it's less crowded and I can just take pictures.

All the little buildings had been turned into shops. It was so quaint and attractive and I didn't look in a single one. So tragic. But good for my wallet.

I can't remember what David was laughing at here. I love his impish laugh though. He has a very similar sense of humour to me. It's awesome.

The only downside to this village is it is very steep. Poor Andrew. And the cobblestones - don't wear heels when you come here! It smelled amazing. There were so many bakeries and coffee shops and restaurants and of course all serving gruyere or fondue. The smell was incredible.

And then you walked through that little archway and into the entrance for the Giger Museum. The dude who did the art for Alien. It was CREEPY. We didn't go in.

But instead walked up to the castle. This is the church below. Which unfortunately we didn't visit. We ran out of time.

We did go into the castle. Again...castles are museums and thus are free with our Swiss Pass. It's the way to go!

The castle was full of incredible artwork. Sculptures, paintings, wall decor.
Even snails (which speaks to my obsession with Swiss snails I think!)

Once we'd "bought" our tickets, we immediately went upstairs and watched a 20 minute video about the history of the castle. I highly recommend that, it added so much to our experience here. Especially as much of the artwork now made so much sense.

Once again, there were many windows. This time the window seats were much larger.

The weird thing though was the modern art. I believe a modern artist bought the castle (was it the guy from the Giger museum? Perhaps) so you'd go from amazing art from hundreds of years ago, and then be confronted with something like this. Those are pallets fyi.

And then we went into the room with the armour.

And these, spoils of war. David pointed out that they all looked like faces, and after that all I saw was faces.
Elisabeth was happy that there were so many Princess Rooms. The decor was truly beautiful in some of these rooms.

And then there were the Renaissance works, telling stories from the Old Testament and New.

As well as stories about the wars over the castle.

There was even ancient graffitti.

And we climbed the towers to see the view of the garden.

Before once again being confronted by modern sci-fi art. This stuff wasn't so bad. It was the weird naked stuff that we didn't like.

There was even a hunting room. With this jolly guy.

Among other trophies.

There was older art.

And then David and I walked the ramparts.
Which were obviously built for short people.

And then it was time to go. Again, we didn't hardly spend enough time there.

If you come here, I recommend spending at least one more hour and looking in the shops.

And a second hour to try some of the cuisine.

But we had places to go and things to do.

(so typically Swiss).

So we hopped on the bus and headed back to Gruyere.

Where the kids and I explored the gift shop, but not the factory.

Before getting on another train. And another. And then one more.

And heading home. Even if we had only done this weekend away I would have said it was the trip of a lifetime. This trip has been incredible so far, and I feel blessed. It's bittersweet sometimes, like in Chillon when I'm so reminded of my grandmother. But I'm so happy to share my beloved Switzerland with my children. And I'm so happy they seem to love it as much as I do.