Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday 30 September - Coming Home

Paul happened to take this picture of our train leaving Montreux for Geneva, Mary and I are in the car next the engine.  Paul was headed out to Brig and a circuitous route to Zurich.
We were ahead of ourselves getting to the Montreux station and it looked as if we would catch the 0753 to Geneva Airport but there was a 0748 posted also to Geneva Airport which turned out to be a suburban set with a Re 4/4 on the back.  The first class car was on the rear so we felt the old electric locomotive as it pushed us to Geneva Airport.  Every notch setting could be felt through the drawbar but we arrived precisely on time.
Geneva Cornavin

The rest of the day went steadily downhill from there.  Check in at Geneva was carried out by a pleasant human and Air Canada sucked us in and blew us out as planned.  The plane to Montreal had the usual unsmiling Montreal crew and the Captain declined to talk to the fare paying passengers.  I decided not to take a picture of the meal.  It would be better if Air Canada stopped providing food on their flights. There are much better meals available to buy at airports that could be carried on.

The self guided tour of Montreal Airport was carried out quite easily.  It is good to get some exercise after a long flight.

As usual the worst part of the trip was the OC Transpo 97 bus although now there is a little bit of stupidity thrown in with the gyrations through Hurdman.  The bus now describes a loop  crossing several lines of traffic to negotiate the temporary station.  It will be even more "amusing" when the bridge to Lees Avenue is closed in a couple of months.  I look forward to more fun in the future.

What a great trip.  It is difficult to pick out the highlights.
The wonderful view from the apartment
Walks through the vineyards
Chateau de Chillon and the Lac Leman paddle steamers
Interesting villages
Interesting villages
Wonderful food - magret de canard
Filet mignon de cheval
Great trains - in the entire month I noted only one SBB train running late (17 mins and there was a knock on effect).  The other railways, other than the bRochers de Naye, all ran to time
Great trains
Great trains
We will have to go again some time.
Click here to see all pictures taken on this trip

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday 29 September - Last Day - Chexbres

While walking down to the glass recycling bin I saw this Re 4/4 light engine running towards Montreux.

A train to Vevey and a change there brought us to Chexbres in the vineyards which we visited a couple of weeks ago.  Lunch was at the Lion D'Or restaurant as last time and the plat du jour was excellent.  However, there was a slightly different air to the place.  It was still filled with workers but there was an urgency we hadn't felt before.  One man came in and quickly sat down with a group and sighed "La vendange.'  Everyone was busy with the grape harvest and the making of wine.
The Lion D'Or sign shone brightly against the clear blue sky

Beef with rice and vegetables
Dessert, and soup, came as part of the meal
Chexbres station with some unusual floral displays
We enjoyed a half bottle of pinot noir with our beef and mentioned it to the manager who introduced us to the owner of the vineyard where that bottle was produced.  He was at another table with three others. We complimented him on his wine and parted the best of friends.
Our wine - a pinot noir from St-Saphorin

The vigneron with his wine
This afternoon we decided to walk down through the vineyards but this time to stay higher so that we could follow the vineyards all the way into Vevey.  This worked out very well although there was some wicked uphill walking.
The vendage was in full swing and several areas had already been picked.  You could tell these by the absence of netting which is put around the vines to keep the birds away.

It was quiet and peaceful.  There were very few people to be seen, one young girl went past leading a horse.  Her dog was having fun trying to catch lizards.
Picking the grapes

A rack monorail
The monorail climbs some wicked grades
A vegetable garden with a waterfall behind - one cannot live by grapes alone
A pumpkin patch close to Vevey
The road eventually brought us into Vevey where we caught the trolley bus at the Funi terminus.

Click here to see all pictures taken at Chexbres (both visits)

For out last supper Mary, Paul and I went up the funicular to Glion to the Pinte de Jaman where we were greeted by Christoffe.  La chasse est arrivee is a common theme in restaurants in this area when hunters go into the forests and there are plenty of fall vegetables.

View at sunset from the station at Glion
Venison steak with spaetzle and chestnuts
Bourguignon of wild boar jowls with spaetzle and chestnuts
Christoffe and the chef at La Pinte de Jaman

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday 28 September - Geneva

We used our penultimate free Swiss pass day to travel to Geneva.  Mary and I voted Paul to be our tour guide seeing that he had been in Geneva last Saturday for a couple of hours.  Paul worked out an excellent program.
CGN are active out of Geneva
The only disappointment of the day was when we walked down to the lake front to find that the famous fountain was not working.  We then walked up into the Old Town which we found delightful and really interesting. The streets are narrow and at every twist and turn something new and interesting was revealed.

The Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville had an interesting menu and we returned for lunch.  The plat du jour was honeyed magret de canard with baked figs and polenta and turned out to be one of the best meals we have on this trip. The vin du mois was also very good.  The place quickly filled up, mostly with local people either having come into town for shopping or from local offices.  A thoroughly good meal.

In the afternoon Paul steered us on to the trams for a run out to Carouge which has been described as similar to Greenwich Village.  Again, it was an interesting visit with each twist producing something new.
Geneva Carouge
At Carouge there was an almost continuous stream of trams

We decided to return via Palettes which would have been fine except that the tram refused to go and a replacement had to be used.
This tram had great vinyl - pity it would not go
We found Geneva to be an interesting city to visit and had a thoroughly good time there.

To see all pictures taken at Geneva click here

We had a small supper in the apartment and finished with pastries from a patisserie in town.  For reasons of privacy I cannot reveal who had which one.