Yes, Riley, its a REAL live castle!
Trip Start Sep 17, 2010
22Trip End Sep 29, 2010
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After our impromtu stop at that most amazing bakery, we munched on our purchased sandwiches in the car so we could get to the castle and do the tour. The sandwiches were a delightful treat. Mine had local Gruyere cheese and really fatty thin meat of some sort. Riley had cheese and pepperoni, Madeleine had a yummy looking salad and Patrick had a cheese and meat sandwich as well. The bread was so crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Pefect po-boy bread in Louisiana. Yummy lunch on the go. We also sampled some "meringues"
The Chateau de Chillon in Montreaux, Switzerland appeared in all of the websites to be in a remote location literally hanging over a rugged outcrop of Lake Geneva. Actually, it is surrounded by the town of Montreaux as well as a train station, and other crowded urban buildings. It was still beautiful but not quite as the photos looked like in my guidebooks as well as internet sites. Remotely located it is not and the village has grown up all around it. It's just fairly easy to take pictures that look like the castle is the only thing for miles.
It's so hard to imagine life during the time of the castle. It originally dated back to the 1100's. We enjoyed walking through the many rooms used as storage for wine, grains, prisoners as well as bedroom chambers, dining halls, and study rooms. The views from the top turrets of the castle looking over Lake Geneva helped set a feeling of how remote it must have felt living in that area during that time.
After the castle tour, we decided to head to Gruyeres, Switzerland. On the drive, the countryside turned into the picture postcard scenery that is iconic of Switzerland. I have researched this trip for about 5 months now and not one picture can prepare you for the drippingly quaint scenery that paints the most precious country life of this part of Earth. It's like everything good, beautiful, and plentiful, just poured into Switzerland. The drive up and over hills, around windy curves and wooden bridges, and through the most flattering array of flower adorned villages was everything one imagines when reading the book Heidi