Today was my first full day in Switzerland. I'm here visiting my parents, who moved here just over year and a half ago. They live in a village outside of Geneva, in the most charming little yellow cottage you ever did see. Scott and I came over to see what we could see, and spend some quality time with the folks.
We woke up a little late today, no thanks to my body's total inability to deal with jet lag. Over the past three days I've probably gotten a total of around 6 hours of sleep. Eventually my body will have to figure this whole travel thing out and knock me on my ass. I'm hoping tonight is the night. We'll see.
Anyway, we hopped on a train today, and arrived in Montreaux around noon. Montreaux is a beautiful city, packed with ornate buildings, gilded cottages, and houses that seem to be carved into the mountain itself. Along the shores of Lake Geneva, which is clear, blue, and massive, Montreaux has built a gorgeous walkway, lined with beds of colorful spring flowers, and bustling with cafes, ice cream stands, and tourists. Oh, and they also have a giant statue of Freddy Mercury. What?!
We caught a ferry to Chateau de Chillon, a wicked old castle butted up against the shores of the lake. I've never been to a castle, so starting out with Chillon was extra impressive. The original building was built around the 11th century, but it evolved into its current structure over the course of hundreds of years. It's a little surreal to find yourself exploring a place that is older than your whole nation. Naturally, the parts that intrigued me most were to weird bits, torture chambers, potty holes, dungeons, etc. The views from the castle towers were also pretty amazing. Lake Geneva is pure beauty. The clear blue water stretches all the way out to the snowy alps across the way, peppered with itty bitty birds.
After our castle visit we grabbed some dinner back in the city center. I had cream of asparagus soup with truffle oil and a salad with poached egg, washed down with a good sized glass of Weissbeir. My favorite thing so far is the baked goods. Surprise surprise, the Swiss and French know their way around a bakery. I've been gorging myself on baguettes and croissants since I landed. Eclairs and cream pastries are next... and crepes... and waffles. Actually, my list of things to eat is pretty extensive.
Oh, and I've fallen hard for Swiss ice cream. We had a little taste test last night, checking out different flavors from the local brand, Movenpick. It has a super light, fluffy texture, and a remarkably clean finish. I wasn't surprised to find tapioca starch on the ingredient list. I detected that tell-tale gooeyness right away. Replicating this base is going straight to my to-do list when I get home.
Want to see more photos from today's trip? Check them out on Flickr!