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The Swiss Riviera

Mountreux and the Golden Pass

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View The Alps Bucket Trip on sstalpo's travel map.

===The Golden Pass ===
I thought I would have much more to stay about the Golden Pass. There were two trains from Interlaken to Montreux. The first one was a little older regional train - to be honest even the 'older' regional Swiss trains outshine the US ones I've been on. The cool thing was the top part of the window opened. Going through tunnels was 'interesting' with an open window. We headed around the Grimmel Alp, and into Zweisimmen.

The second train was the more high tech panoramic one of the MOB line. Though the views were nice going through the Parc Natural Gruyere Pays-d'Enhaut. I actually enjoyed the views from Lucerne to Interlaken better. It was kinda cool how high up we were when we came upon Lake Geneva. And how the train made its way down the steep mountain side to get down to the lake edge.

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More on the Golden Pass Line: http://www.goldenpass.ch/en

===Montreux===
Montreux is known as the Swiss Rivera. I could instantly see the different in the environment as we came down the mountain. There were palm trees, and fig trees, and the architecture was definitely more French. It felt more like San Diego with Lake Geneva playing the role of the Pacific.

We arrived that the Hotel du Grand Lac Excelsior. 7C5EA321-A246-44C3-9E2D-9E0F02C5FBEB.jpeg

An older grand Belle Epoque style hotel with ELEVATORS!! Though our room was on the main floor (even better) which was one of the original, old rooms (with very high ceiling) and opened on to a terrace. The view and location was to die for!! Very quiet... I could see the Chateau de Chillon from our veranda. The very flowered and well kept promenade was right below us and it was delightful to walk along it. Though the views of the mountains (in France) on the other side of the lake were amazing and I would sit and drink them in.

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And the sunsets were romantic and drinkable!

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At first the condition of the hotel was a little disappointing. It could really use a good influx of cash to bring it back to it's former glory. But after seeing the rest of Montreux, I decided that I liked the old girl (issues and all) and our room with the view...

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The best part of the day was the lake cruise on the La Suisse CGN Belle Epoque Steamship.

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Their was a dock so close to the hotel that when they blew their arrival warning horn it was right in front of us.. so I walked down to the dock (watched an amazing - I think Newfoundland - play throw the really big rock I just dug up into the water game with his owner) and then got on and settled into the First Class top deck viewing deck for a very relaxing 2 hour tour around the Montreux/Vevey area of Lake Geneva. That included stops on the French side at La Bouveret. I sat with a couple of sweet older ladies so spoke very little English.. but were fun.

The boat stopped at Chillon Castle and it was great to a view of it from the water side.
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Rest of the views from the boat:

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And the French side:
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On the way back from the boat, along the promenade - I came across this memorial. With relatively fresh flowers at its base. Though not in English I could make out it was in honor of Carl Gustaf Mannerheim. Who happened to be, as it turns out, a president of Finland!

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====Gruyere===
The next day we got the trains to Gruyere. Had to get on the Golden Pass again and get off at Montbovon to get a regional train.
We partnered that journey with a super sweet family from London - who were on their second day in Switzerland. He was a dentist, his wife was very much pregnant and their little two year-old girl adorable. And a musician herself as she sand her own version of 'Are You Sleeping" to us as we waiting to change trains. They were just doing a day trip to the cheese factory and the Gruyere Medieval Village and Castle.

We were able to give them some tips about the Tremmalbach Falls, Lauterburren and Murren as they were going to be heading that way.
As Pat and the dentist chatted about his adventures with his guitar, when we arrived at the medieval village Pat broke out the guitar and played a song for them. The crazy thing is that it started out with just us (a song for their family) and then a little crowd gathered.. with people taking pictures and video taping Pat's playing. LOL Again.. the tourists really liked him! It was pretty amusing.

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We then entered the village:

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When checking in, we had our first 'travel' issue .. which since we on the tail end of the trip I think that is pretty good. Somehow I had double booked us at the Gruyere Rooms and we were under threat of having to pay for two rooms instead of one. With lots of calls with Booking.com and Agoba.com we finally worked out a settlement and only had to pay a small fee. Yay! And then we had an annoying mosquito in the room. URG.

But it's a new day! The view from room is lovely. Today is a rest day. Doing some laundry. Resting my foot and knees. Will be walking around the village later and looking for souvenirs. It's a bit overcast (the sun is trying to break out) so a rest day is perfect! Tomorrow we will hit the Castle.

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Posted by sstalpo 02:12 Archived in Switzerland Tagged golden pass montreux gruyere Comments (1)

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