The town of Chateau-D-Oex is located about 28kms from Gruyeres. The drive here was scenic.
The Town has a well known film star buried here. Who?......David Niven, who lived in Chateau-D-Oex, and now he is buried in the local cemetery.
We stopped at the town for our morning break and Toilet which was located across the road from the Tourist Info Centre. I went for a walk around the town, and thought the old Swiss buildings were lovely. Mid morning, and it was a pretty dead type of town.
Another point of interest is the Hot Air Balloon festival which is held yearly at the end of January. Even if not here for the festival, you can do a Balloon flight, not cheap at 390chf. And if you can't afford that, then visit the Espace Balloon Museum in town. It probably is a busy town then, and in winter for skiing.
On our way again after our stop at Chateau D-Oex, we came across a scenic area where there was a Gorge and an Old Railway Bridge, well it looked dis-used, maybe it isn't. What I wanted, was a photo of the Bridge, this proved impossible! No photo of the bridge, so photo of the canyon had to suffice! There wasn't much water on one side of the bridge, but on the other side, there was a Kayaking tour group getting reading for kayaking, so there must be a lot more water on the side.
I since have discovered, you can go canyoning, hydrospeeding, canoeing/kayaking or river rafting.
En-route from Chateau-d-oex to Gruyeres.
We actually were going in the opposite direction, that is from Montreux to Guyeres. We had two choices, either on the more major roads of the A9 & A12, or the scenic drive from Montreux to Aigle, and then to Gruyeres.
There is not much difference in kms in either route, and as we were tourist's sightseeing, we chose the scenic route - A very good choice and one I recommend.
First, we arrived at Aigle and visited the Castle set admist acres and acres of grape vines, before heading up the windy Mountain, stopping at the Fonntenay view point/bus stop on the way. The views from here were of the valley and Aigle and the Castle were breath taking!
Further on, we passed through some Ski resort towns, and then a lot of roadside wooden sculptures, before arriving at Chateau-d-Oex, a town where we stopped and had a look at. From here, more great scenery before our arrival at Guyeres.
On a lovely, fine, sunny day, it really was a beautiful scenic drive!
The distance was about 80 kms.
If you are visiting the Lausanne, Montreux or Bern areas, like true Swiss cheese, a little vino and an afternoon getaway, Gruyeres is a fun, inexpensive place. It is about a 40 minute drive from Lausanne or Bern and 20 minutes from Montreux. Gruyeres is famous for both it's Gruyeres Cheese ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gruy%A8re_%28cheese%29 ) and it's medieval town and castle, which has daily tours.
When I worked in Lausanne we would sometimes take off in the afternoon, drive up and go to the Cheese factory. This is a small operation in the middle of the pasture filled with cows (it also has a tour). We would buy a block of cheese and a bottle of wine and sit at a table next to the pasture. Eat a little, talk a little, drink a little, look up the hill to the old village and castle and just smell the flowers. The old village and castle are well restored and are a good example of a real medieval village and castle and what life was like in Medieval times.
This is fun for adults, a romantic afternoon or the kids and family. Drive and country side is beautiful.
Gruyeres was built on the entire top of a small hill and so you will have a great view of the surrounding hills and landscapes from many places in Gruyeres, mainly from the balconies of the chateau and from some watchout-points of the medieval townwalls that are still surrounding the village of Gruyeres from almost all sides.
Next to the church of Gruyeres you will still find a part of the ancient, medieval townwalls of Gruyeres and you will be able to walk on top of it freely and without restrictions. There is also a gate from where a path with a lot of steps will start taking you down to the valley.
Bulle is the town where you have to leave the highway when visiting Gruyeres from the north and it really makes sense to stop there for an hour maybe, there are lots of great buildings, a castle and for all amateurs of vintage cars there is a garage as well, beeing specialised in the repair of vintage-cars, it will be at the end of Bulle, before you are leaving for Gruyeres : see my last pic !
You will find the church of Gruyeres below the castle, in the back of the village. Dont hesitate to get inside in order to take a closer look at the lovely details of its interior.
The church is open daily between 08.00am and 05.00pm in winter and in summer from 08.00am till 08.00pm and the door will be locked automatically afterwards (with a security-button inside of the church where you are able to unlock the door from inside)
In case that you get to the castle of Gruyeres at a time, when the castle is not open for visitors you can at least take a walk around the castle on a narrow path. The total walking-time is around 10 minutes.