Located about 25kms from Montreux, is the town of Aigle. This village is in a pretty setting amongst the vineyards. What we went to see, was the Chateau. The drive to it was through narrow streets, some with high walls on either side, I am glad we didn't meet on coming traffic as it was a bit "hairy!"
On arrival, parking was once again a problem, so I left my husband with the car, and I walked to the Chateau.
We were early in the morning and the Chateau wasn't open, so I had to be content with wandering around the outside. What great view's of the town and valley from here, and in the vineyards, the workers were busy! The chateau was founded in the 13th century, but was burnt to the ground in 1475 by the Bernese. In 1798, it became locally owned, and was the town’s prison right up until 1972.
The Chateau is open and if you visit, you see the permanent and temporary exhibits of the Musee de la Vigne et du Vin. The ramparts walk has frescoes in the watchtowers, and probably better views than I had, so I was sorry we were too early.
OPEN..... July & Aug daily 10am–6pm; April–June & Sept–Oct Tues–Sun 10am–noon & 2–6pm; last entry one hour before closing
Musée de la Vigne et du Vin ...Vine and Wine Museum....7CHF
Maison de la DIme...Wine-Labels Museum.....4CHF
Combined entry ticket for both museums is 9CHF
For our return journey from Lausanne, we chose to follow the scenic route " Route Petite Cornishe"
You need to watch for the signpost to Chatelard Sur Lutry. From this town, you are on the route until Cully.
Following this route gave us more amazing views of the terrace's and even better views of the Lake. It is a very scenic drive, and one I recommend you do as well. It is much more scenic than the A9.
If you haven't a car, then is a little tourist train called the Lavaux Express or Lavaux Panoramic, that takes you through the vineyards. This means, everybody has a chance to see vineyards and views.
The website is for the Lavaux express/panoramic train. Check for details.
What did I expect?
To climb down a lot of steps into a Mine and then walk through and hear about the Mine and to see it.
Well, half is correct!
To our surprise, out came a tiny train, and we were told to hop in, as this was our transport into the Mine. The small train took us to the heart of the mine, which wasn't down the mountain, but up the Mountain.
Word of warning for TALL people, be careful or you will knock your head getting in and out of the carriage, I did! The carriages have uncomfortable plank seats, and this is where we sat, peering out through perspex window's into the dark, only the train light to see where we were heading.
We travelled for what seemed like for-ever, before stopping at a platform from where our tour began.
Our guide gave the tour in German and English, as this is what what nationality was in the small group.
First, she explained how it was found.
Legend is that a young shepherd noticed his Goats preferred drinking water from two particular springs. He tasted the water and found it salty. Boiling the water, he discovered salt crystals had formed.
We then proceeded following our guide through a few kilometers of the Mine. She took us back to the 17th century, when all was dug by hand, to what it is like today.
The circuit took about an hour or longer to complete, before we returned to the Train for our ride back to the Entrance.
It is quite safe, as they have a safety system in place to detect any odorless and dangerous gas capable of exploding at the slightest spark.
It is not advisable to go if your claustrophobic
We were staying at Montreux and decided to go for a drive and visit the Bex Saltmines.
We had never been into a Saltmine. The drive to the Salt mines from Montreux was through a very scenic valley, with enormous Mountain's on either side. We found our way to the mines, by following a narrow, bitumen road.
There was a large carpark, so parking wasn't a problem
We went inside to the gift shop, this is where we paid our admission to the Mines. Inside the gift shop was all types of Salt produced from this Mine.
We found out that it is best to book a tour, as one tour had just begun, and another wasn't for quite a while, and we couldn't wait that long. We opted for joining the group that had already begun a tour, we missed a little, but not a lot, at least not the main part, which was the Mines.
ADMISSION TO THE MINES IN 2011....Adult....19chf....
We had the FREE MONTRUEX CARD which gave us HALF PRICE ADMISSION
Please check the listed website for times when tours operate......
Please check the "other" website on how to get there. We followed the Brown Tourist signs.
The 40th Montreux Jazz Festival will take place from June 30- July 15, 2006. The place to be...
Music lives, and at the Montreux Jazz Festival you can feel its pulse. When it was first held in 1967, the festival lasted three days and concentrated exclusively on jazz, but it has since grown into a gigantic international spectacle. Over 16 days, musicians – from newcomers to legends – from all over the world come and go. Musical forms other than jazz have long since become part of the celebration and now high-class musicians representing just about every musical form produce a colourful mixture of sounds.
Its name alone promises quality, musical diversity and a multicultural atmosphere. The backbone of the festival is formed by the concerts given by big name artists in the Stravinski Auditorium, as well as the experimental fusion of musical styles to be found in the Miles Davis Hall. Another component of Montreux Jazz that has made itself indispensable over the years is the „Off-Festival” outside the Congress Center. This offers over 300 free concerts by artists of all types, staged daily from noon until late at night at various venues. The „Off-Festival” also includes the popular musical cruises on the samba, salsa, gospel and dance ships, which invite festival-goers to take part in a floating carnival.
This is without a doubt the regions most up and coming talents.
Philipe Landry seems to be driven by a unquenched search for perfection. To the humble food lover there can be no mistaking that the homely service and warm and inviting dining environment is exactly what his michelin counterparts are missing. To the connoisseur, an intelligently engineered adventure for your taste buds that will not be soon forgotten.
Each meal is crafted with the precision and unsurpassed attention to detail. The Service is extremely warm and friendly. On any given evening Locals of Chernex will be found enjoying the atmosphere and will only be to happy to laud their local hero.
Phillipe and Claudia make an extra special effort to ensure that your experience is genuine. They are natural hosts, with a penchant for genuine European hospitality. By the end of your meal, you will feel as if your dining with long lost friends.
It is a 5 minute train from Montruex to Chernex. This gem comes highly recommended.
When one is settled in Lausanne, one-day trip to Vevey and Montreux is certain pick. But when the base is in Vevey or Montreux, one-day trip to Lausanne is quite different thing – one day is enough just to take glance of Lausanne. Anyway, day in Lausanne is the great choice even if only to wander.
There are frequent train departures from Montreux to Lausanne but more enjoyable is to take a boat ride.
The most amazing spectacle at the Lac Leman – Lake Geneva is the magnificent Chateau de Chillon. The castle is among the best-preserved medieval castles in Europe. Occupying the whole islet in the like, it looks like rising from the water – stunning and almost surreal!
Here are a few facts about the history of the castle taken from the leaflet-guide: "In its current state, the Castle of Chillon is the result of several centuries of constant building, adaptations, renovations and restorations. The small rocky island on which the castle is built, acted both as natural protection and a strategic location to control the movement between the north and south of Europe. The history of the castle was marked by three important periods: the Savoy era (12th century to 1536), the Bernese era (1536 – 1798) and the Vaudois era (1798 until today). Excavations carried out from the end of the 19th century, particularly those by the cantonal archeologist Albert Naef (1862 – 1936), indicate that the site of Chillon has been occupied since the Bronze Age. The oldest written mention of the castle dates from 1150 and establishes that the House of Savoy already controlled the fortress and hence the path along the lake shore. The Swiss, more specifically the Bernese, conquered the Vaud region and occupied Chillon in 1536. For more than 260 years the castle was used as a fortress, arsenal and prison. The Bernese left Chillon in 1798 at the time of the Vaud revolution. The castle became the property of the Canton of Vaud when it was founded in 1803. The restoration of the historical monument began at the end of the 19th century and continues today."
It is very easy to spend hours wandering all over the castle. Among the most interesting parts of the castle are huge Coat-of-Arms Hall with the designs painted in the 13th and the 16th century, and Aula Magna overlooking at the lake, Chapel of the dukes of Savoy with the partially preserved 14th century decoration, toilets… But the most breathtaking is underground prison, so called Bonivard Prison for its famous prisoner who inspired Lord Byron to wrote the poem The Prisoner Of Chillon.
Leaflet-guides and audio-guides propose systematic tour and short but very useful information. The best time to enter the castle and to avoid crowds is early in the morning, just after the opening.
Chateau de Chillon is within the walking distance far from Montreux – it is 45 minutes romantic lake-side walk from Montreux to the castle. The castle can be reached by City bus #1 and by boat.
We do prepare for our travels, but every place (including the area around the city we live in) hides something that could produce great feeling of surprise and thrill, no matter how solemn our preparations were… That "something" (regarding our travel to Lausanne) was astonishing landscape of the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces.
Quite a long time later we have found out that the Lavaux is the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. World Heritage web page gives the following description of the site: "The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, stretching for about 30 km along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva from the Chateau de Chillon to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne in the Vaud region, cover the lower slopes of the mountainside between the villages and the lake. Although there is some evidence that vines were grown in the area in Roman times, the present vine terraces can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area. It is an outstanding example of a centuries-long interaction between people and their environment, developed to optimize local resources so as to produce a highly valued wine that has always been important to the economy. […] The Lavaux vineyard landscape is an outstanding example that displays centuries of interaction between people and their environment in a very specific and productive way, optimizing the local resources to produce a highly valued wine that was a significant part of the local economy. Its vulnerability in the face of fast-growing urban settlements has prompted protection measures strongly supported by local communities."
We saw the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces from the Geneva Lake. Hopefully, next time we'll have opportunity to take a closer look of Lavaux.
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.
It is a little bit tricky at the moment (2007) to get to Glion because there are lots of road works - or you simply go by train.
From Glion you have a very nice view over the complete region. You can enjoy the viewing on a cafe terasse or from the old church at the end of one street.
Near the church seems to be a nice place to stay for the night but I did not try it...
Blonay is a nice small village near Montreux with a private (!) castle.
You cannot visit it nor will you get far to it if you try to drive to it from the north.
If you want to get nearer to it you should go by train and exit the train on the station "Blonay - Chateau" or you can go there by car, leave your car on the parking between the central roundabout and the main station and walk to the other station. It is nearby.
When you arrived at the station you will find a very nice place to enjoy and you will have a very decent view to the castle.
When you are there you can walk to it up the small mountain but again you cannot visit it.
I went through Montreux and didn't get to Glion because of many road works. Then I decided to go to Blonay and on the way I remembered a castle left to the road. It is a bit hidden but you can find it if you see an alley on the left side of the street.
This is a very funny castle because it seems to be used for customs like some institute and at least a psychologist...
You can walk around, sit down to a table, take a look into the "institute" and take a look around the courtyard.
A must see (or do) for Vertigo amateur...
1st FAI World Hang Gliding and Paragliding Aerobatic Championship 18 - 27 August, 2006 – Villeneuve – Switzerland
For the 9th time, the world's best aerobatic hang gliders and paragliders will be converging in Villeneuve. For the first time, they will be competing for world champion titles. The skies above Lake Geneva will be transformed into an aerobatic playground, with the gliders pushing the limits of gravity. The titles at stake are hang gliding solo and paragliding – both solo and synchro (teams of two). Ten days of breathtaking aerobatic action touch down at the relaxed landing area on the shore of Lake Geneva – this is Red Bull Vertigo 2006.
Over 70 paragliders and 19 hanggliders will compete. Beside the now traditional countries that are France, Spain, Argentina, Norway or Germany, a new pilots’ generation coming from Poland, Macedonia, Hungary, Czech Republic or even a Japanese delegation.
The most amazing air show I have ever seen ;-)