Travel: Exploring Switzerland

{Lake Geneva}
Hello friends,

If you were following us on track my tour, you have seen some of these photos. Now it's time to share the story.

The World Traveler is in Switzerland all the time, but never long enough for me to have a proper visit. When he mentioned having to attend a conference for a week, I jumped on the chance to explore life in Vevey.

We flew into Geneva and took a train for a hour to Vevey, a small village sitting on Lake Geneva.

Our plan: As is our custom, we had a list of options but didn't make plans until we arrived. This approach takes pressure off us to check off a list of ten things we have to do/see. Once we settle in and meet with friends/colleagues, they tend to suggest must see's not listed online or in a travel log.

Vevey is a tiny french speaking village, you will not find much online to help plan.

I hope you enjoy traveling with me, via the written word. Let's get started with an overview the region we explored. ~ enjoy!

{old town Vevey}
Vevey: Trios Couronnes was home base for our visit. Part of the old village, the location was perfect. I was able to explore the delightful streets, shops while looking at these shop windows.  Every morning I was out walking the streets within fifteen minutes of waking up.

There is a paved path to walk/bike along the shore, playgrounds everywhere.  Vevey has a train station, and a bus loop to Montreux but mostly is a walking town.

The village center is located on the lake, but look to the south and you are surrounded by vineyards, and a cable car leading to the International Hotel School. Charlie Chaplin lived in Vevey, click here to learn more about the Charlie experience.

{Chateau de Chillon}
Montreux Riveria: This is a lovely town, with a castle at the end of town.  It's home to the famous Jazz Festival, Freddie Mercury tribute, and the Noel Village.  On foot, the journey from Vevey to Montreux is 4.2 miles.

During our stay, the Noel Village was in full swing which gave me the perfect destination for a daily run. I could run there, walk the shops lining the lake, grab a nibble and work my way back to Vevey in under two hours.

Lausanne: Lausanne is a large city with an old world feel.  Located between Geneva and Vevey.  We didn't spend much time there but it's a lovely place to visit, you can walk everywhere AND you can take the twenty minute ferry to France, for lunch, or a run!

{Evian, France}
Evian, France: Another town we didn't spend much time in but it's just a twenty minute ferry ride away (from Lausanne). Home to Evian water, museums, cheese(!), and it's own old town feel.  I will be back to explore, and need to learn more about the towns display of driftwood.

We happened to visit opening weekend for la fabuleux village (Evian's noel celebration) so we spent our time enjoying this rather than visiting a museum.

The Language: I was thrilled to discover I can read French pretty well. Sadly, the locals speak so fast I couldn't understand much.  After mentioning this to a few colleagues I learned they speak in a different dialect from what I'm learning with Rosetta Stone (and my foreign movie consumption).

A few things you should know before visiting the area:
- Vevey, Montreux, and Lausanne speak french but most of Switzerland speaks German.
- Residents speak one or the other, not both.
- Shops are open from ten to noon, and 1:30 - 7PM
- It's hard to eat out midweek, most restaurants are not open past 8PM
- 99% of Switzerland is closed on Sunday's

More posts to come, from cultural observations, our travel adventures, and more! Have you been to Switzerland?  There's SO much we didn't see.  Let me know if you have any suggestions for my next visit.  I would love to hear from you.

Next travel post: Montreux Noel (Christmas Village)