Entree to Switzerland

Blog – Switzerland

It was so exciting (well for me anyway!) arriving in to Switzerland. We stopped at the border to exchange money as although Switzerland is part of the EU they still use Swiss Francs – very pretty money I must say.

Flags at Geneva - border

We had the GPS on shortest route instead of fastest route, to get to the town of Vevey, where we were staying that night.  Shortest means it takes you the shortest way (obviously!) which can include tiny roads across farms, short cuts etc – but does ensure you are not on the big motorways so you get to go via the small towns. BUT shortest route when in Geneva City means you get to see all sorts of local domestic dwellings, apartments and side streets you never thought you’d want to see………………

Then up the side of lake Geenva where we stopped off for lunch at a small town called Nyon.  We had tried to get accommodation there but all was booked out. 

Peter lakeside at Nyon

We had lunch on the shores of the lake at a Mexican café. So, our first meal in Switzerland was Mexican! We thought that was very funny – and it was also very good too! We were of course still getting used to the new money and Peter bought a day’s parking for 7 Franc instead of an hour. Made us laugh.

Peter having Mexian lunch in Switzerland!

The swans were so pretty – and so many of them.

Nyon from along the waterfront

Swan with wings up - he was flirting with a girlfriend swan!

Then drove up via many beautiful vineyards and lake views to our hotel in Vevey. WOW. 

Vineyards on the way

Traditional house in village we passed through

Village from "Car cam"!

We had had so much trouble getting some where to stay we landed this one – a bit more than we’d usually pay but it did have lake views. And what a pure treat.  From the service, which was amazing and informative, to the views, linen, the building itself (built in the 1800’s and still a private family hotel) to the food (of course!).   And the decoration, the flowers, the carpets……… A pleasure for all the senses.

Vevey hotel from outside

Vevey hotel from inside

 

Vevey is where Charlie Chaplin lived for the last 25 years of his life. They also have a food museum hosted by Nestle.

Charlie and Jo!

 

The first night we ate at the hotel restaurant, after having a drink out on the terrace overlooking the lake. Food was amazing – Peter had fish three fish courses!

View from hotel in Vevey

Back towards Geneva from Hotel terrace, Vevey

 

The next day we went on a boat trip up the lake – it was lovely to see the villages and towns from the lake side. By now it is truly autumn – and the colours are starting and the light is autumnal. So very pretty. But a little cooler so for the first time we are wearing a jersey or wrap at nights.

French side of Lake Geneva

 

View on boat trip

Chateau from boat - see new viaduct behind - the old and the new

After the boat trip we walked the promenade and ate lunch.  I had my first crepe over here – I meant to try one in France but hadn’t and it was lovely – filled with parma ham, potato, cheese and local herbs. We sat watching the lake, local buskers and enjoying the sun. 

That afternoon we looked at a few local sights including an international art exhibition – unusual photo and film images.  Very striking – for example subjects like the damage the mafia does to oil and money in Africa…… child workers in India and all in between. I then went to have my hair cut and colored.  Well, that was interesting in a foreign language.  In Vevey French is spoken so at least I could say hello and thank you! The hairdresser and I had some time “liaising” about what color and in the end she asked another client who spoke English to help translate. What an experience overall – I received no less than FOUR head massages as part of the visit, the last being a Zen one – which was so slow and gentle I nearly went to sleep at the basin. At the end I am thrilled to say I love the “hair do”.

That night we decided to eat on the terrace at the hotel – and watch the moon come up.  It was a little cool but so pretty. The hotel was so amazing it seemed a shame to leave there. We both had Asian food, which reminded us how much we miss the amount of Asian cuisine we have in NZ.

The next morning up early for a walk along the promenade………. It is such a pretty spot. Lots of locals fishing and walking too.

Vevey promenade - jo and swans

We had to say good bye to the lovely staff and off on our way to Zurich. It has poured with rain ever since we arrived.  The first time we have seen such heavy rain since we left NZ! The first thing we did after checking in was go to the train station to sort our tickets for the “tops of Switzerland” tour which starts tomorrow. We have every finger and toe crossed that the weather forecast for more rain and mist to be wrong – or we will see nothing from the top of the Alps. 

Today has been a catch up day and sorting travel in to Germany and Luxemburg for the next month of travel.

So although this is a short and sweet “blog” we hope it finds you all well and that NZ’s weather has calmed a little. No photos of Zurich – as I am sure you can imagine heavy rain and grey clouds yourself! 🙂

Lots of Love, Jo and Peter xx

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