abroad travel

Chateau “Duh” Chillon

Breakfast came first, and then the long wait at the bus stop (20 minutes, and this is a Swiss bus!). From the bus we rode the Metro to Ouchy and walked over to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. Plenty of statues lined the road up to the Museum and then we walked under the highest high jump, well over our heads.

Inside, our Swiss Pass gained us free entrance (thanks Swiss Pass), so we felt no need to spend hours-on-end inside to get our money’s worth. To start, we both “really enjoyed” a Disney-like show on how the Olympics restarted. Wife loved it so much, she wanted to go back in but I had to drag her away so we could see the rest of the museum (does sarcasm transfer well on written text?)

We then wandered through and enjoyed the rest of the artifacts throughout the museum and also wondered how they updated everything every two years. The highlight of the museum was the 2002 Winter Olympic torch which I saw and took pictures of as it passed through San Luis Obispo (I have to find those when I get home).

Next up on the our list was a stop off to pick up our picnic supplies from the grocery store and then a boat ride across Lake Geneva to Chateau de Chillon (also covered by Swiss Pass). Right as we sat down on the boat to enjoy our food, the sun came out and while Wife enjoyed the warm feeling, I thanked the gods that I had finally decided to use sunscreen before we left the apartment.

An hour later, the boat pulled up to the dock next to the Chateau. Once again, Ol’ Swissy (my just made up nickname for the Swiss Pass), provided us with free entrance into the Chateau. We did however decided to spend the money on the audio tour.

The good thing about the castle is that it is still in use and well maintained (and can be rented out for birthday parties). As we enjoyed the audio tour (as others without it blew by us), we toured the great halls, enjoyed the Lord’s view over his lands, played soldiers on the ramparts, and climbed to the tallest point inside the castle’s keep.

After a few hours of walking and more stair-climbing, Wife and I walked along the river to a small (and I mean small) train station to wait for the local train home. While we waited, we played with the camera’s gorilla pod to try and take a few pictures of the two of us. I think we did get at least one. After play time, Wife enjoyed the local train home which stopped about every 10 seconds. (sarcasm again?)

Once home, we prepared a stir-fry meal for our gracious hosts and enjoyed the night with food, drink, and vegging out in front of the television.

Savvy Traveler Moment of the Day: It may be an upsell, but sometimes the audio guide is worth it. We enjoyed the Chateau that much more and learned a lot. I would recommend purchasing one at the site or seeing if there are free ones to be used on your iPods (Rick Steves has several you can download for free).

Travel Lesson Learned: Just because you have to take a bus to the major train station doesn’t mean that won’t be faster than going to a close by regional station and taking the train that stops literally every 2-3 minutes.

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