Early explorations

Trip Start Sep 27, 2012
Trip End Oct 12, 2012

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Flag of Switzerland  , Vaud,
Sunday, September 30, 2012

Even beautiful places have grey days, and I'm afraid yesterday was overcast and a bit damp. My plan was to have a laid back day and explore Montreux - it just wasn't quite a postcard perfect sunny day for photos. I decided to forget about the climb home up the hill and headed down, down to the waterfront. Walking from our place is decidedly hazardous because there is really no footpath and the traffic veers wildly around the corners while you flatten yourself against the rock or buildings then race to the next bit when the traffic slows. Not being very nimble these days, I had an exciting time but made it to Rue Grand Marche and all the local attractions.

I learnt long ago that you can't plan all your sightseeing, and it is the surprises that are often the best.  I came around the corner and heard music - it sounded like a slightly muffled school brass band!   It was a full Swiss mountain horn ensemble, complete with guys wearing  little hats- I have never heard the long wooden horns played before.  They got better as they went, so I wondered if it needed a little warming up to get into tune. Market stalls were setting up and it was a lot of fun.

Down on the water is a rather imposing statue of Freddie Mercury, who apparently loved Montreux in its glory days as a resort for the rich and famous and eventually had his recording studio here. I picked up all the info for ferry rides on the lake but decided to delay and wait for better weather. Lunch inside at the brasserie overlooking the lake seemed more attractive! That's when I remembered one of my favourite things in Switzerland - rosti! It is a potato pancake served in the pan with all sorts of savoury toppings and is absolutely delicious.  I ordered Le rosti Vaudoise in faith, which turned out to be a sort of rissole on top which spilt out runny cheese when I cut it open.  Heavenly!

At this stage I stumbled on two important places - the tourist information shop and a large supermarket.  I filled my backpack with leaflets and food supplies (including chocolate from the vast array, of course) and headed off, a little more loaded up than before.  Wandered and explored new and old town Montreux, but it was getting wetter and the slopes overcame me so I headed home, which was a 1km walk, uphill.... I am going to be fit or wrecked by the end of this little stay.  I fell on the bed and slept for a while, then we cooked ourselves dinner - I had a delicious veal steak, fresh salad and Brie cheese, so I did well today and felt that I had recovered from airline and travel food!

We spent the evening poring over our brochures, looking up train times in our railway app and trying to plan a fun day.  For me, probably a mini train ride through the world heritage vineyards (exciting for someone who doesn't really drink wine) and then a trip to Chateau Chillon
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