When asked “why Switzerland” on our recent trip to that picturesque country, in a nutshell for me it would have to be nature. Switzerland is a mountainous country, home to numerous lakes, alpine villages, and the high peaks of the Alps. In addition, it is the land of watches, chocolates, Guyere cheese, scenic views and so much more. Reading and prepping for the journey was the hardest part. I am the planner, the booker and the executor of our travel. I wanted to see it all, being such a small country, but we settled on Montreux, Lucerne and Bern. I did enjoy researching it all though as it gave me an opportunity to learn a bit more about the country and its people.
The flight from London to Geneva was just about an hour and 15 minutes. I had mapped out our Swiss route ahead of time. We wanted to be on the lake and around mountains, which truthfully could be anywhere in Switzerland.
From Geneva airport, the train station was just about a 10 minute walk, we felt everything was so convenient and well run the moment we stepped on Swiss soil. I can’t stress enough how efficient and methodical these trains were with a well developed rail network all around Europe. Mostly everyone spoke English together with French and Italian, on account of these countries which Switzerland borders. Imagine being able to say you spoke 3 languages! A two and a half hour train journey from Geneva brought us to our first destination Montreux, made popular by the Jazz festival each summer.
My first accommodation choice did not disappoint. The Eden Palace hotel with the shimmering lake view front and a view of the mountains, presented an imposing presence on arrival. Old charm and a 19th century ambience made it the ideal place to hang our hats for 3 days.
Situated right on Lake Geneva, the views were just breathtaking! The walks along the promenade in both directions with the beautiful flowers, the lake and the mountains had me awestruck! So far my expectations were more than fulfilled.
The following day, we took an hour’s walk along the promenade which paralleled the lake to get to Chateau Chillon. This medieval fortress which is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva is supposedly the most visited monument in all of Switzerland. We were glad that we could actually walk to it from our hotel. Chillon Castle was originally built in the 9th century. It has a rich history and distinctive appearance jutting out on the lake. During the sixteenth century the castle was used as a prison. The waves lapping against the exterior of the castle was eerily uncanny, especially if you were in the dungeon.
We decided to take the boat back to shore, we could have walked, but this gave us additional breathtaking views from the tippy top. We were pretty impressed with the transportation system thus far. We rode trains, buses and boats and each method of transportation was spot on. There were no delays, no hustle or bustle, just orderly and systematic.
I thought I’d divide some of the Switzerland posts by region, as I have so many wonderful pictures to share with you. Believe me, you’ll enjoy the views, so I hope you’ll come along for the ride 🙂