I loooove Montreux,
There – that’s simple. As towns go, this one has an awful lot going for it. It is more French than Paris. Known as the Swiss riviera, it deserves the title. Palm trees everywhere, lush tropical flowers I have never seen, rich, tropical scents in the air, balmy breezes and warm temperatures that give no hint that fall is ever going to come, and a lifestyle that is completely oriented to the outdoors. I walked for hours today (yeah, I know, a rest day) – most of it on the amazing waterfront. This place is happening! It’s like the whole town is in festival mode and yes, there’s the 18th annual celebration of Freddie Mercury but it’s more than that – there are food trucks and musicians and people swimming and stopping to smell the roses and beer and wine pop-up stands and oh, the flowers!
But, before I did any of this gallivanting all around town, I went in search of new Lowa hiking boots. Apparently, I was out of luck in Montreux. But I had other fish to fry as well, I stopped into the Zurcher confectionary shop and bought a bar of their handmade dark chocolate. I do not want to admit how expensive it was. I ate a goodly chunk of it after lunch. Exquisite! Almost too rich, actually. But yeah, that’s the flavour. That’s Swiss chocolate at its finest.
But back to this morning. I stopped in at the railway station to buy my ticked to Zurich tomorrow. Did that and was just turning away from the counter when I thought to ask the woman, “I know this is a shot in the dark, but you wouldn’t happen to know where I could buy hiking boots?”
“You probably want good quality ones,” she said.
“Then you have to go to Vevvy,” she said. That’s where you’ll find them.l
“How far is Vevvy?” I asked.
“Ten minutes by train,” she said.
“And when does the next train leave?”
“In 6 minutes.”
And so I bought a ticket and hopped on. Hopped off 10 minutes later and stood in front of the station assessing the situation. Where to go? Where to find the shop I was looking for? On a whim I turned right and 2 minutes later there it was: Oeschinen sports.
And, of course, the rest is history:
Guess which pair are the new boots. Can you also guess what I did with the old ones? That said, part of me kind of wanted to get them bronzed. But I left them there. The new ones are lynks (spelled something like that) and I also got new insoles (trust me, the old ones were in worse shape than the boots) and I got everything at 20% off. This does not mean they were cheap. ‘Nuff said.
So – back to Montreux for lunch wearing my new boots and feeling quite pleased. Then off to explore the town. And then I noticed this sign:
Say what? But of course! The castle of Chillon! I’ve see a ton of pics of it. I just hadn’t married them to where I was – and only a 45 minute walk.
And so off I went and bought a ticket and toured it for a good part of the afternoon and was in complete cultural awe. I remember so well falling in love with Lord Byron’s poem, “the prisoner of Chillon.” Something about it always stuck with me. And here I was, in the centuries old castle. I took my time wandering through it. Wow!
I saved the dungeon for the last. I won’t say I got shivers or anything. But I felt it.
And this is the only view Bonivard, the prisoner, had for 6 years.
So it was an amazing day. And, as I said, I love Montreux. It has taken me by surprise. I didn’t expect to like it. And one of the things I like are the people. A hugely diverse group of every colour you can imagine. And everyone seems so chill. Yeah – really nice place. That said, it’s built on the side of, shall we say, a hill. It makes Nelson or San Francisco look almost flat.
Tomorrow – Zurich.
And one day closer to hugging my husband and puppies!