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Montreux

Monday, January 21, 2013 12:00 PM

Montreux, Switzerland, is part of the Swiss Riviera — a region I had never heard of before this trip. It's along the shores of Lake Geneva, and it's full of vineyards. I also didn't know how much wine is produced in Switzerland, but apparently that's because they drink it all themselves. In the winter, when the wineries are closed, there's not a lot to do in Montreux, and the weather was pretty terrible while we were there, so I was glad this was the shortest part of our trip.

J and I had wanted to spend more time in Florence, so we were almost a full day behind the rest of the family in heading to Switzerland. We flew from Florence to Geneva, caught a train to Montreux and arrived at our hotel at about 4 p.m. Exhausted, we ate a light meal and watched an episode of "Homeland," and then I took a nap before we had a late dinner with the full group — the first time we'd seen them this trip.

Our hotel was very luxurious, with a great spa, so all of us took advantage of that on Thursday morning. I enjoyed my first sauna experience. Then the family met up at midday for lunch and a walk along the lake to Chateau de Chillon, one of the top tourist attractions in Switzerland. It's a 12th-century castle that's never suffered damage in a war or from any serious assault. The structure is beautiful, and the exhibits provided an interesting look at Medieval life. And I'm sure the views from the top of the keep would have been gorgeous, if not for the weather.

Our first "view" of Lake Geneva, from the train
Found in our hotel room. Oddly, kiwis were everywhere in Switzerland.
Our hotel
There were lots of topiaries and sculptures along the walk.


The red flag says, "You are here."
The basement of the castle, formerly used as a dungeon. No escaping from here!
Big-ass fireplace
A tub, with an illustration of the way bathtime used to look
Down a latrine to the lake

View from the keep
Late Thursday afternoon we loaded up all our bags in two cars (not easy — J's parents seriously overpacked!) and drove to Zermatt, our favorite place we visited.

Part 1: Pisa
Part 3: Zermatt

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