Well, don’t get too excited: This might be only a tiny spark of writer’s itch in the long winter of silence…. Let’s enjoy it as long as it last, shall we?
The summer has been an interesting experience. Visitor’s forced me to leave the security of my light tight apartment and travel the premises of the north eastern part of Lake Geneva: the nicer part, sorry Geneva… :-).
To get started one takes one of the boats across the lake. The connection Haut-de-Lac is especially nice, since it takes you across from Lausanne to the south east and then hops from harbor to harbor along the lake till you are back again. It also stops at Chateau de Chillon and, most importantly, at Montreux.
Now, Montreux is very pretty, at least as much as Lausanne, but what makes it the winner is the additional flair of being more international, or as we writer’s say: cosmopolitan. I went two times to this year’s Jazz festival. The first we got caught by a terrifying thunderstorm and got completely soacked, so that wan;t much fun. The second time was nicer and we listened to a Big Band on one of the outdoor stages. Well, actually, there was only one outdoor stage this year… Later, we went into one of the jazz clubs and had a bit more Jazz and some drinks… Very enjoyable and recommended!
But Montreux is also fun when there is no festival on, you can just visit, sit on a terrace and enjoy the sun and a nice beverage. Or a dessert buffet, if you are lucky….
But in addition to all that, Montreux is your starting point to explore the Berner Oberland. You can either take a train to Gruyère (cheese), or go to Chateau d’Oeux (balloons), continue to Zweissimmen and Gstaad (mountains!), or stay at the lake region, but at about 1000m elevation, which gives you a very nice view over the lake.
One of the places we went for this years sortie fromage, the yearly cheese outing with the lab, was a little restaurant right above Villeneuve. We took one of the cog railroads from Montreux to Haut-de-Caux at about 1200m and then walked to the restaurant, which took us an hour or so… On the way we met a group of paragliders that were getting ready to jump. At the restaurant, you had a brilliant view over the lake all the way to the west. After night fall, you could even see the lights of Lausanne… ’tis very pretty and the fondue was very nice indeed! They have a variant which they call fondue tomate: they add tomatoes and spices to the cheese, so it turns a bit red. Then you eat it with potatoes instead of bread, maching them a bit and pouring the cheese over them… Sounds delicious, right?
Beyond exploring, the summer was filled with lots of movies. It was the year of the comic adaption, I would say, and a very successful one at that! So I had very enjoyable nights at the cinema (Dark Knight, Ironman) and not so enjoyable ones (Hancock…), but I will not start any reviews here and now, I am afraid.
All in all, I would say this was a pretty nice summer. And I am looking forward to the next one….