Day trip to Gruyéres
Gruyeres Travel Blog› entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
October 19th, 2009 – by: puttyland
My folks showed up from their panoramic train trip around Switzerland about 5 days after I arrived in Lausanne. They had some trouble with the topography of the city - there are loads and loads of stairs and ramps on all the steep hills, and that would wear them out, so I wasn't able to take them to the cathedral and other parts of town, because they just got too tired walking around. But I did show them around quite a bit, and we ate GREAT. It's game season, called "La Chasse" in French, and so we ate at Le Vaudois around the corner from the hotel, and got huge, heaping plates of venison and pheasant, along with the typical accompanying side dishes for La Chasse: poached pear in red wine, marinated chestnuts, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and spätzli.
We took a day-trip to Gruyéres on an absolutely stunning day. Clear and brisk. Took the train to Paléyzieux and changed to the little Gruyéres train, and then walked up the big hill to the town. I didn't tell my folks ahead of time about the climb...I figured they would balk...but I knew they'd love it at the top, and they did. It's the most charming place, an unspoiled old Swiss town, with those gorgeous Alps all around and surrounded by green pastures. Of course we had traditional fondue for lunch (1/2 gruyéres, 1/2 emmantaler), and then walked up to the castle, toured around there and took a load of photos.
Afterwards, we walked back down to the Giger Bar. Giger is the guy who designed the movies Alien and Aliens. The bar looks like it should be a movie set - the arches are all alien spines, and all the chairs and tables look like there held up with alien bone structures, and the floor looks like some kind of large computer chip or machine part. We got the "Alien Coffee," which came with either coffee or that fabulous Swiss hot chocolate along with a couple of meringues with double cream, and an anise cookie (all specialties of Gruyéres). Yum. Then we checked out the museum (the combo castle/museum ticket is cheaper) which I was surprised my parents were interested in. Kinda dark, disturbing stuff. But interesting.
We took more pictures around town, bought some souvenirs and took the train back. Mark was saying that the tour of the cheese-making factory was actually cool, but we ran out of time. We did watch some of the cheese-making action from the souvenir shop/restaurant by the train station.
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