The inception of this post is through a debate . I debated with my wife as in how I should explain our tour to Montreux – either looking at her in a sensuous way or bow down in respect of her matured beauty . I realised she is actually enigmatic and whenever in doubt with a woman, isnt it better to be safe in admiration of her beauty rather than flirting with her ?
We had an open day in our Swiss trip and it was left for us to plan the day as we wanted .We hate to travel with large groups and see the city as wished by someone else. We would rather prefer to explore it on our own . We wanted to avail the Golden pass Line and experience the breathtaking panoramic journey to reach Montreux .
We boarded the train from Interlaken OST , changed at Zweisimmen ( again a quintessential beautiful lonely station ) with the town promising to be all like Engelberg (read here why we loved Engelberg) but we didn’t have much time to explore the city . It took almost 3 hours to reach Montreux .
An absolutely new city with no plans of what to do or where to go . We didnt even know the tourist points . Welcomed by overcast sky with drizzles now and then added to the fun .Reminded us of those famous lines –
No one to tell us no or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming
The easiest and most convenient help at these times is the city convention center . A warm helpful and smiling hostess convinced us to explore the city by walking . She marked the places for us to see . She confirmed the return train timings. She handed over the city map – and we were ready.
The world famous singer of the rock band “QUEEN” – Freddie Mercury once said that if you want peace of soul come to Montreux ..
We started walking around the lakeside road of Lake Geneva and found it was a world in itself . Every Thursday they have a flea market where small household items , artifacts, food items , curio items, dresses etc are sold . Local residents with smiling faces set up their individual items on tables, waiting for the trade to happen . In case you want, you may strike up a conversation with them.
We followed the map and stumbled upon a 10 ft tall statue of Freddie Mercury, overlooking Lake Geneva. We reached there as we walked along the lake side road, still engrossed in the roadside flea market by the locals . Unveiled in 1996 as a tribute to the great singer, Montreux still celebrates – “Freddie Mercury Montreux Memorial Day” on the first weekend of every September”. His fans across world come to Switzerland to pay a tribute. One cannot resist but take a picture of self with the statue.
We were no different either! Few more pictures of the surroundings were too tempting to resist . Our walk continued along the lakeside with an occasional peek a boo with different narrow lanes and by lanes. Colourful houses adorned the clean streets and silence played its own music . At times it seemed as if time had stood still .
Time actually stands still at Chateau de Chillion – the most visited historic building in Switzerland . It is situated on a rock on the banks of Lake Geneva . With a history of more than a 1000 years , this place was the home of the Count of Savoys from 12th till 16th century . A guided tour inside the castle is worth the money . More about the tour inside the castle in some later post. Situated in an island with a frightening silence around, I was wondering how life would have been here in 12th – 13th century or even before that . But the tour inside the chateau was not the only highlight of this place. After the tour we just roamed around the castle for sometime . This is the time when I got few of my best shots . The light was rapidly decreasing. So we moved on .
We realised that it would take us some time to go back to Montreux station on foot through the city. However we had a train to catch back to Interlaken and it was getting dark. So we quickly got in to a passenger ship for a ride of 10 minutes . We bid goodbye to the castle for the last time and in an overcast sky with drizzles around, it looked even more mysterious .
On our way back to Montreux station we experienced the city once more . A charming beauty, who had been and is home for many rich and famous had also been a silent witness of civilization over ages – but still age had not caught up with her . She still has the charm to entice a young couple for a day and while leaving her, one would still yearn to spend some more time with her .. – If this is not enigmatic then what is ?