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Day 4 - Montreux, Lausanne & Thonon-les-bains

A nice wee day trip around some other locations planned for today, a train ride to Montreux to start the morning, hopefully a visit to Chillon Castle, before catching a train back to Lausanne to catch the Ferry across to Thonon-les-bains. As I got to the train station I figured I'd get something to eat, one thing I've noticed here is that everywhere sells croissants. Now I'm not exactly against them, I just don't find them as a go to meal or snack. I was thinking what would the equivalent to a croissant be back home, and yes... I know we sell croissants back home, but what would be something that almost every cafe would sell, my only conclusion would be a good old cheese scone.

Waiting at the bus station I noticed the bins, something I had seen already, but really admired how much they are into their recycling, they had bins for plastic, aluminium, general rubbish, and people actually used them correctly, I wish NZ would up there efforts, but from what I've seen I can't picture it'll happen anytime soon.

I jumped on the train to Montreux and enjoyed the incredible smooth ride along the train lines, only stopping 3 times along the way, certainly didn't feel like an hours train ride, there was the most amazing sun rise while on the ride there, you could clearly see the sun coming up behind the mountains, unfortunately I didn't happen to get a very good picture due to the location I was sitting.

Arriving in Montreux I made my way down to the waterfront where I would walk along the shoreline and made my way to Chillon Castle, within a couple of minutes I saw a statue of Rami Malek, but as I approached I realised it wasnt... it was just some guy called Freddie Mercury, apparently he was some well known guy and spent some time there, so they decided to erect a statue on memory of him. The walk down the shoreline was kind of like an Outdoor Art Gallery with sculptures the entire 4km or so stretch that I walked... Probably goes even further than that. Walking along the shore I saw a group standing preparing to take a photo, I was thinking they were standing awfully still, as I carried on and got closer I realised, they were statues, obvious once you got closer to them, but from a distance I certainly caught me out.

I arrived at Chillon Castle, this was my main reason for the visit to Montreux, from the outside it didn't really look too big so I thought I'd be in and out within about 45 minutes, especially seeing as I was the first in the door. I couldn't believe just how big it was, how many courtyards, dining halls and bedrooms there were, they even had a bedroom with an Ensuite (a drop hole latrine) which wasn't even the master bedroom. Now obviously there was a lot of photos taken, but really I couldn't exactly tell you all about it... Just too much to say, hundreds of years of history there, with rooms changing from cook houses to the blacksmithing station, to the winery becoming one of many different store rooms over the years.

Moving on from there was a walk back along the water front again. I could have just caught the train, but I had a heap of time and rather liked the walk... The buildings opposite the waterfront looking stunning, and what I could only imagine were hotels due to the size of them, otherwise they would have to be mansions made back in the 1600-1700's (I'm guessing the years, but they certainly looked like they were old). Arriving at the train station I jumped aboard and headed to Lausanne. Lausanne was not really what I was expecting, probably because the majority of the places I had been to so far were responsibly flat, Lausanne had a lot of uphill, something I'm not too much of a fan of, but even moreso in the heat which was currently at 31°C

I walked up the hill, walking through the old city to Place de la Palud, which is an old cobbled square known for its fountain and statue of Justice. Up some more hills and stairs... lots of stairs to see the Lausanne Cathedral, another tall building with lots of stainglass windows. I couldn't help but wonder... Why do they build them so high, surely they would save more time and heating costs if they just made them smaller. After a good nosey around I made my way to the port. I would catch a Ferry across to Thonon-les-bains where I get to meet up with my friend Emma from back home, she has been living there for a few months now and I don't think I have caught up with since before the whole Covid pandemic.

The ferry was uneventful, but it was nice to take a different means of transport other than feet or train. Cellphone data was gone so I wasn't able to let Emma I was on my way, thankfully I had mentioned which boat I was catching and she was there waving her arms about as I came off the walkway and around the corner. We headed straight to the ice cream stand to get some sorbet, well deserved on a hot day like today 38 degrees was the high today... I tried one sorbet which was a blend of Berry and Fennel, and interesting combination, but very tasty, I did have one other sorbet, but I can't remember what it was called, it was kind of like a grapefruit flavour, but not... Also very tasty.

We took a bit of a walk down the shore to a beach where we were able to take a dip, shoes came off and as I stood onto the stoney beech I could feel the pain in my feet coming from the heated stones. It was a quick scurry across the stones to jump into the lake waters, the temperature was amazing in the water, not cold, but too hot either, just right, Goldilocks certainly would have been happy.

Before we knew it, it was time to start making out way back to the train station for my finally ride back to Geneva, as Emma put it, I've done a tour around the entire lake today, which would explain why I'm so exhausted. We stopped on our way to the train station at an organic food store, immediately as I walked in I spotted the plumbs, honestly they aren't something I normally go for, but sometimes your body just knows what you need and let's you know. I got a couple of those and boy were they the tastiest and juiciest plumps I've had in a long time, my only regret is I didn't get more of them. A final hug goodbye and I was on the train, back to Geneva for the last time on this trip, for tomorrow. I'll make my way to Milan.

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