Hello, world! Long time no blogging, and for that, I apologise. Life’s been oh so slightly hectic over the past few months, so blogging (and sadly travelling) has taken a bit of a backseat. However, I’m back, sat in a Starbucks with my iPad, listening to a couple argue about boilers, and ready to blog about Switzerland.
*** Please note – this was a company trip, and as such some information will be limited. However, I’ll be happy to gab on about how beautiful Switzerland was, so if you’re here for that, feel free to carry on! ***
I flew to Geneva on Thursday 6th April from Heathrow with BA, and touched down at around 11am. I’ve been to Geneva once before (again, with work!), but this was more a leisurely trip than that time, and also included a tad more travel around Switzerland which I was looking forward to. The transfer to Montreux took around an hour in total, and we got to our hotel (the Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic) at 1pm or so.
The hotel was absolutely stunning, with beautiful views over Lake Geneva – we were fortunate enough to have a lake view in our room with a balcony (!), so I took advantage of this by sipping cups of tea and coffee in the early hours on the balcony, pretending I was the kind of person who had their life together (you know the sort – swishy shiny hair, impeccable style, woke up naturally at 5am and went on a run – that kind of person. AKA the exact opposite of myself).
The hotel was slap bang in the middle of Montreux, conveniently situated opposite the main train station (which proved especially useful for one of the excursions). We were about a 10 minute walk from the town centre, but the buses were plentiful if you were feeling particularly lazy ;)…
We walked a little further and took a bus from the city centre to Chillon Castle, a lovely island castle on Lake Geneva. The castle used to be a prison, and held Francois de Bonivard for six years in 1530 – Lord Byron developed a fascination with the prisoner and castle, and carved his name on a pillar of the dungeon that held him. Plus it was apparently the castle in the Little Mermaid (exciting stuff, natch).
One of the most exciting highlights of the trip (for me!) was the Cheese Train from Montreux up through the Swiss Alps. This consisted of sitting on the most adorable train in existence, and stopping off intermittently to eat raclette. As you can imagine, it was a real highlight for me.
I love Switzerland and the friendliness of the people just about overrides the ridiculous prices (a diet Coke for £6? Really?). Plus the scenery speaks for itself – absolutely breathtaking! If you go, be sure to take a variety of all-weather clothes just in case you fancy a hike (for obvious reasons I did not), and for God’s sake, leave some room in your bag for raclette 😉