Ticket to ride - all day!
Trip Start Sep 27, 2012
15Trip End Oct 12, 2012
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I decided to use my all day ticket and ride up and down the coast! I love how easy public transport is here; this is what I did today: Train to Lutry, train back to Montreux and the electric bus on to Chateau Chillon, and then to Villeneuve at the end of the line, and then back to Montreux, then a local bus back up the hill to home
Chillon Castle is one of the big local attractions and it is certainly imposing, sited on the edge of the lake. It was first mentioned in 1150, controlled by the Savoy family. It was then conquered by the Bernese and then taken over by the State of Vaud in the 18th century. Compared to the chateaux that I saw in the Loire Valley in December, Chillon is more of a fortress, rough hewn and clearly made for defence, even though it was later used as a residence. Its claim to fame is that Lord Byron wrote a poem called 'The prisoner of Chillon' about Lord Bonivard who was held captive there in the 16th century. I can only imagine that life there was never very comfortable! I actually found it rather menacing and foreboding, and as always in these sort of places, very aware of the people who have been there over the centuries. One uncomfortable feature was the stone floor in the kitchen areas where the stones were laid with the narrow sides upwards! Why?
Villeneuve, a bit further along the coast, is a delightful little town with a winding, historic centre which was pretty sleepy on a Sunday afternoon. I love the little specialty shops - cheese, taxidermy and antiques were a few that I saw
I can never last too long without Asian food so I was delighted to find a Chinese restaurant open in Villeneuve. The beef in oyster sauce was absolutely delicious or else I was ravenously hungry! It is interesting to be back in the land of dog- friendliness, and they are everywhere - on the buses in the shops, and in this case, under the next table. One little fluffy white animal bared its teeth and growled at me every time I took a mouthful, which was a little disconcerting! No one else seemed to take any notice of the dogs and the waitress just stepped over them.
I hopped off the bus briefly at Territet on the way home but was running out of steam for any more serious sightseeing. It was such a pretty town and the most interesting thing I saw was a rare Anglican church which had a beautiful garden. That was the nearest I came to getting to church today! I saw some lovely gardens and flower beds today. Unlike in Italy, where gardens mostly seemed to be greenery, they really love flowers here and although it is autumn, there is still plenty of colour. The area is famous for its flower lined promenade, which goes for kilometres. Today I wandered the stretch near Montreux and marvelled at the colour and variety and the skill in producing this horticultural feat.
When I read about these flower lined walks I wondered whether there would be much in flower a month into autumn but I needn't have worried as the paths were lined with a glorious display
The sun finally re-emerged in the late afternoon, giving hope of some more scenic experiences over the next few days. I can't help feeling how privileged I am to be seeing such wonderful places - the world is a beautiful place! Better than all that, however, was that finally Peter and I got FaceTime going on our phones even with dodgy wi-fi, and had a lovely long conversation this morning - about time!! We are definitely not used to not being in communication.