Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chateau de Chillon Excursion

What up family and friends!! Sorry it's been a while. I think that things are finally starting to feel normal... hence nothing seems out of the ordinary to tell anymore.

Lake Leman, Montreux, not Hawaii
SO. Yesterday (Saturday) I went to Montreux with my British friend. Quite the interesting trip I must say. It's incredible how different the French portion of Switzerland can be from the German portion.. AND IT'S JUST ONE HOUR AWAY! For instance, we're on the train... and start hearing, "Bonjour! Billete! Bonjour!" So we think it's a ticket man.. he comes by, we show him our passes, and he didn't even look at them! But as he starts walking away I notice something quite different about him... I can see his butt! He had cut out the whole section of his pants exposing hairy behind and all. Haha. Quite the jaw dropper. This would NEVER have happened in the German portion...

Even the weather felt warmer and it was sunnier there too. (It's called the Vaud Riviera.) Another thing is that the language spoken there? Just French. "Sprechen sie Deutsch?" "non." Do you speak English?" "eh... non." Ok... Very interesting. Quite another shock was that I could understand more French than I can Swiss German. I've never had one French class in my life...

Professional pic.. wish i had taken this! But I couldn't get a good view of the whole castle.
Anyway, so my friend and I went to arguably the most famous castle in Switzerland, "Chateu de Chillon." It was a fortress built right on lake Lausanne I believe in the late 1100's? It was a bit touristy but really interesting. Did you know that Switzerland holds the record for the most killings condemned by witchcraft? This castle/fortress/also prison! Was used to try, imprison, torture, and kill the accused. In one particular room a man (held captive for being from France or something, not a warlock) had been kept prisoner for 6 years. The chain that held him was still in the pillar. It was quite an eerie feeling standing in the exact same place that he had laid, dreaming of the outside world. There were windows but they were all just out of his reach and too high. Harsh!
Real moat...
After the chateau we walked a bit around Montreux and ran into this random festival. I had NO idea what they were speaking or where they were from.. So I decided to ask someone! In perfect German I said, "Do you know which language she is speaking?" My answer? A blank stare and a "waaaaaasss?" I take it he didn't speak German. So I repeated my question in English and he said Portuguese? Um.. that was DEFINITELY not Portuguese. My conclusion? He probably thought I had asked what country they were from (Portugal fits after looking up the traditional outfits and confirming a similarity), and they were probably speaking a different dialect of Swiss German (I've heard it's crazy from Valais, which is close by.)

Then we got hungry and split a loaf of fresh baked still warm bread and Italian ham. We ate it on a bench by the lake and I've never had so many awkward stares in my life! We even understood some people saying "look at those hungry girls" or something... Nonetheless, total cost of my dinner? 2 francs. That's how it's done people!

On our train back we got caught in an elderly tour group from England. Oh how I miss English speakers. They are so nice and FUNNY!! However, this group of particular Brits was probably more out there than most. For starters, they were always smiling, I sometimes couldn't understand what they were saying, and they shared their whole life's story with us. Down to the color and projection rate of their puke from the train stop before... Again, ELDERLY. Chipper, fast talkers, and from Cornwall? Or something like that. They decided to invite us on their travels and included us in everything. At one point I asked the leader for some advice of where I should take my sister backpacking. He decided to plop his little self down right between my friend and I. There were only two seats... he had a grin on his face the whole time... He did give me some very interesting tips though!

So that was that for my excursion to Montreux! It was a beautiful day.

1 comment:

  1. ohh wow, Chateau de Chillon! it's also my 'must see' :))
    it's nice to hear from you again!