Lakes: Switzerland is renowned...
Lakes: Switzerland is renowned for its beautiful lakes. Almost all the larger Alpine valleys have lakes near the foot of the mountain. Essentially they are elongated basins within the valley. The lakes were originally formed either by the glacier action during the Ice Age or by a sinking of the mountain mass after the formation of the valleys which reversed the gradient at the mouth & damming the river & creating a lake.
Switzerland has a total of 1484 natural lakes & 44 man-made lakes. Wow!
2 largest lakes are Lake Geneva & Lake Constance.
Smoke on the Water (I&V)
On December the 4th 1971, during the concert of Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention in Montreux Casino, a rocket flaire was fired into the ceiling and the Casino building was suddenly engulfed by flames. Ian Gillan of Deep Purple was inspired by clouds of smoke above Lake Geneva to write Smoke on the Water, one of the most famous rock songs of 70s.
Ian Gillan has written about December the 4th 1971 events: "We all came out to Montreux, to make an album; because the guys were keen to get a different sound. The Rolling Stones had a state of the art mobile recording studio built into a truck; so we rented it and had it set up alongside the Casino, which was a beautiful old wooden building.
(Funky) Claude Nobs, who was (and still is, as I write nearly thirty years later) the driving force behind entertainment in Montreux (records, films, the jazz festival and so on), had arranged for us to use the concert hall in the Casino to make our record, and we duly arrived and watched the last show of the season, the day before the Casino (and the town) closed down for the winter of '72.
Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention were onstage and I was sitting in the audience marveling at the Man and his music. […] I didn't seem much at the time as some guy shot a flare gun from over my right shoulder. I saw two blobs of fire loop across the hall into the top corner.
Very quickly, the room caught fire and there was a danger of pandemonium as people started to panic. Frank stopped the band and took over, controlling the situation and talking almost everyone out safely.
A few kids had run back through the kitchen door and down a flight to nowhere. Claude Nobs, heroically, found the party and led them to safety.
No lives were lost; thanks to Frank and Claude and no thanks at all to the dickhead who started it.
We sat in the restaurant of the hotel 'Eden au Lac' and watched the flames racing into the sky, fed by the downdraught of the wind from the mountains. Later, as the inferno waned, we looked out across Lake Geneva and saw that it was covered with a layer of smoke. […]"
Deep Purple made Montreux famous with Smoke on the Water.
Vevey, the smaller "Pearl of Swiss Riviera", is often neglected by visitors in favour of Montreux, but undeservedly – it is a chic little resort of quiet charm, with much to offer to its visitors. Actually, we preferred Vevey.
For the short time we have spent in this small town, we managed to see Musee Jenisch – Jenisch Museum and Musee suisse de l'appareil photographique – Swiss Camera Museum, both excellent. And to take a pleasant walk along the lake.
The easiest way to reach Vevey from Montreux is by City bus #1.
Enjoy a scenic train
Choose your scenic route and welcome aborad. Make your choise among:
* Golden Pass Panoramic . A well known and reputated scenic for a panoramic view on the Swiss Alps. Route: Montreux - Ch?teau d?Oex - Gstaad - Zweisimmen - Interlaken - Br?nig Pass - Luzern
* The Swiss Chocolate/Cheese Train. Great to discover the home of the famous Gruy?re cheese to visit a chocolate factory Cailler-Nestl? in Broc. Ride in first-class comfort in a "Belle Epoque" Pullman car, vintage 1915 or the modern panorama car affording stunning views of the vineyards surrounding Montreux and medieval Gruy?res. Route: Montreux - Gruy?res - Broc and back
* Rochers-de-Naye. You will reach Rochers-de-Naye (2045 m) after a pleasant journey in less than an hour aboard on a rack railway train. There you could enjoy a breathtaking panorama at the summit on the Alps and Lac L?man (Lake Geneva).
TIP: Take one of the 2 last trains going to the Rochers-de-Naye you will pay only :
Full fare: CHF 36.- instead of CHF 55.- (July-September)or CHF 49.- (low season)
Half fare card: CHF 18.- instead of CHF 36.-. Valid until October 30 2005.
Recommended timetable (July-August) Montreux dep. 17h46, Rochers-de-Naye arr. 18h41. Rochers-de-Naye dep. 19h46 (last train), Montreux arr. 20h41
More views from the top of Rochers De Naye.
There is truly much to see both on the train journey up and dwon the mountain as well as at the top.
Views of the lake, the steep mountains on the way and the Marmot colonies at the top.
On the return trip down you can transfer at Glion to take the funicular to Territet if you want to visit the Chateau de Chillon. The fourth photo shows the view down towards the lake. When this was constructed it was one of the steepest rial lines ever built.
By the way there is no driver, it is automatic!!!!.
Photo 5 shows the Chateaux and the road and rail lines that occupies the narrow strip of land, between the lake and the hill.