Back for part 2 of my trip report, we have been really busy since the last post so it has taken a bit longer than anticipated to provide an update. As I mentioned previously we made reservations for dinner on Thursday, 28th June at Sens Restaurant at the Vitznauerhof Hotel in Vitznau where we were staying for the 6 nights. When we arrived for dinner we had the option of either a 4, 6 or 8 course degustation, we ultimately opted for 8 courses and we were not disappointed with either the quality or presentation of the food or the service, I would highly recommend this experience if you enjoy good creative cuisine.
Friday, 29th June - headed to Lucerne to visit the Rosengart Museum www.rosengart.ch/en/ on the way to Vevey, only spent an hour there but viewed a fine collection of impressionist and classical modernist artworks, I purchased the book highlighting the collections works so looking forward to reading more about them on my return to Australia. If interested in this style of art, I would definitely recommend a viewing. From the museum we headed to the train station (about 5 minutes on foot) and caught the train to Vevey, arriving around 3.30pm. On the way to the hotel (Grand Hotel Du Lac) we walked along the lakefront promenade (Vevey is on Lake Geneva), the weather was exceptionally warm (around 28c), so we enjoyed a cool drink at the hotel's marina lounge facing the lake before heading out to Montreux for dinner at La Rouvenaz www.rouvenaz.ch/en/res taurant (a mid-priced Italian Restaurant), dinner was lovely, with good brisk service and we also had the opportunity to take in some of the sights and sounds of Montreux (it was the opening night of the jazz festival) prior to dinner, so all in all a good, albeit long day.
Saturday, 30th June - another warm, sunny day and our plans include a trip to the Lavaux Vineyards and lunch at Auberge De L'Onde www.aubergedelonde.ch/ en/ in St Saphorin. After travelling by train to Chexbres (approx. 15 minutes from Vevey), we walked down the hillside via the wine route to the village of St Saphorin (about 35 minutes on foot) though as the route was not well sign posted, I think we ended up taking a more indirect route that took longer than the 20 minutes that google maps had estimated. The views were lovely as we walked down towards the lake, however as it was exceptionally warm we were glad when we reached our destination. The town of St Saphorin (according to Wikipedia) was first mentioned in existence in 1138 AD. The auberge sits on the site of the former house of the Brotherhood of the Saint-Esprit, an association of laypeople founded in the 13th century and the town itself has a very historic/medieval feel about it, as do most of the villages in the Lavaux. Lunch was a 3 course set menu and easily one of the best meals I have enjoyed since I arrived in Switzerland, we opted to pair wines with each course and they were a perfect accompaniment to a leisurely 2 hour meal, we then headed to Rivaz (another 30 minute walk through the vineyards) with the intent of visiting the Lavaux Vinorama, not sure if it was the wine or the very warm weather, but when we arrived in Rivaz, we walked in the opposite direction to the Vinorama and arrived at the train station, so we decided to head back to Vevey on the train and back to the hotel, after a couple of hours rest, we headed down to the lakefront promenade and then walked around the old town and finished up at Charly's (a lakefront 'burger joint'), all in all a good, but tiring day.
Sunday, 1st July - after a sleep in, we headed down for Sunday Brunch at the hotel, a good selection of both hot and cold dishes and relaxed on the terrace before boarding a boat for a 2 hour round trip on the lake www.cgn.ch/en/catalog/ product/view/id/302/s/ riviera-tour-summer/category/4/ , it was a nice way to see some of the sites (Chateau Chillon, Montreux etc), and we opted to upgrade to 1st class and sit in the restaurant on the top deck to take advantage of the views as it was rather hot outside - 30c. As the boat trip finished around 4pm, we decided to take another boat to Rivaz and visit the Vinorama (2nd attempt) and do a spot of wine tasting, it is certainly a good way to learn more about the local wines (though to be honest the wines were not to our liking), we then caught a train back to Vevey (around 7.40pm after a somewhat lengthy train delay - which is highly unusual in Switzerland) and back to the hotel for an early night in preparation fora trip to France the next day.
Monday, 2nd July - an early start and on the train bound for Nyon (about 50 minutes from Vevey heading towards Geneva). A 10 minute walk from Nyon train station to the lake and we boarded a boat to Yvoire www.yvoiretourism.com/ accueil_en.html, a medieval village across the lake in France, did a bit of shopping/sightseeing and then lunched at Les Jardins du Leman lesjardinsduleman.com/ en/ on the top terrace that had great views of the lake and surrounds, again we opted for a set menu (the perch fillets were melt in mouth) and we enjoyed a lovely bottle of local french wine, before heading back across the lake and boarding a train back to Vevey. Later that evening we headed to the Montreux Jazz Festival (we had tickets to the Jazz Club), a nice evening relaxing and listening to some great jazz sounds, we didn't get back to the hotel until after midnight as it was very busy in Montreux even though bus transport left every 10 minutes they were jam packed (but this is normal for the festival).
Tuesday, 3rd July - we had planned a trip to Chexbres for lunch but the day turned overcast and rainy so we decided to cancel and instead spend the day at the hotel relaxing in preparation for another trip to Montreux and the jazz club in the evening. I would strongly encourage anyone who is in the Montreux area when the festival is on (1st 2 weeks of July) to attend, there is something for everyone given the wide array of music (not just jazz) and there is free music in the park if you don't want to buy tickets to see the more well known artists. Another late night as we spent time back at the hotel after the concert chatting to other guests who had been at the festival as well.
Well that's it for now, we are currently in Gstaad (will provide an update again early next week). I hope the update is informative and helps fellow travellers in their journeys (or potential journeys to Switzerland).
Happy and Safe Travels!!!
PS, when I am back in Australia, I will post photos from the trip so you can get a visual of where we visited and stayed.