Swiss Roosters are Better than Japanese Roosters

Trip Start Jun 08, 2010
Trip End Aug 26, 2010

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Flag of Switzerland  , Vaud,
Sunday, June 13, 2010

We were awoken this morning at a little after 8am by a nearby rooster. I didn't mind this for two reasons. First, we were going to get up around 8:30am anyway, and second, in Japan a rooster near my guesthouse had a tendency to go off at 4:00am. So compared to that, an 8:00am rooster was fantastic. I much prefer the laid-back Swiss roosters to workaholic Japanese roosters.

The plan for the day was basically to head back to Estavayer-le-Lac, by way of Montreux, which was only nearby in that it was in the same basic half of Switzerland as Interlaken. My friend didn't have anything specific planned, he just wanted to check it out, so we strolled along Lake Geneva.

With Lake Geneva situated on the border between Switzerland and France, the guidebook called Montreux the "Swiss Rivera", and it looked a lot like I imagine the French Rivera might look like. It seemed to be a bit fancier place than I'd usually visit, I'm sure I saw the world's most fancy-pants mini-golf course, but there were some beautiful views with old houses perched in several layers on steep hillsides and stone bridges interspersed. Apart from the lake, we didn't stop to see any of the sights, but I think there was a well-known castle there somewhere.

We hit one more town on the way back to our hotel, Lausanne. We spent the time in that town also just strolling along the lake. Lausanne's lakefront tourist area seemed a bit smaller than Montreux's but the town itself was much larger. Lausanne had a cathedral and many museums. The big draw on the lakeshore was the Olympic Musuem (Musée Olympique Lausanne). My friend had already been to the town, so we just spent a few hours wandering the lake front and skipped the other attractions.

Just outside of Estavayer-le-Lac, we stopped at a travel plaza. While browsing the convenience store shelves for a snack, I realized I hadn't had any Swiss chocolate yet, and I was running out of time. I got the most excessively chocolate Swiss bar I could find: dark chocolate stuffed with chocolate mousse. It was delicious, and not too expensive at around $3.

For dinner, I finally had a reasonably priced meal. It was $12 for a pizza the diameter of my forearm. In my limited experience, European pizza is hit and miss, but this one was good. There aren't many restaurants open on Sunday or Monday in Estavayer-le-Lac. My friend only knew of two. The restaurant we ate at mostly seemed to have a lot of exotic meats: ostrich, kangaroo, buffalo, horse, etc. There was a pizza place across the way, which we didn't eat at even though I had pizza, but I've been told wasn't as good.

The Swiss, or at least the French Swiss, seem to like eating odd meats, as several restaurants that we've been to, or fields we've driven by, have had an unusual selection of animals. At this restaurant, the meat was served barely cooked, and meat-eaters were given a hot stone to finish cooking their meat on. They were also given bibs with a lady-bug design on it. A woman at a nearby table had quite a good laugh at seeing her (male) dining partner in one. I think they were both surprised by the dining accessory.

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