Europe 1997 (Part 4)

August 25

It’s the change of rhythm which I think is what keeps me alive. In Spain, I hear so much noise from my window that I can’t stand it. In Switzerland, it’s the lack of noise that drives me crazy.   ~  Geraldine Chaplin


Switzerland is my favorite place now, because it’s so – nothing. There is absolutely nothing to do.  ~  Andy Warhol

[Chamonix, France, exotic as it sounds, at the west end of the Mont Blanc tunnel.  Chamonix was host to the first Winter Olympics in 1924 . . . ]

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[The Chamonix Valley is considered by many to be the best freeride resort in the world. With its 5 ski resorts (Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere and Le Brevent) Chamonix Mont-Blanc offers the perfect ski holiday.  Anything you would ever want to know about skiing in Chamonix Mont-Blanc is here (]


[Mont Blanc . . . ]


If you’re looking for a vacation concept that combines the element of outdoor fun with the element of potentially knocking down a tree with your face, you can’t do better than skiing.  ~  Dave Barry

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Cross-country skiing is great, if you live in small country.  ~  Steven Wright

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[Saint Michel Church, and a car that dates the photo . . . ]


[I could have sat in the town square all day just thinking about skiing.  And I think we did, enjoying the beverage of choice, orange beer . . . ]


[The rest of the “team” took the cable car to the top of Mont Blanc.  Some reported altitude sickness (which is common at the top) – thus explaining why our preference was the town square . . . ]

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The next day

[The Super and I drove around Lake Geneva (Lac Leman).  A spur of the moment decision to give the family some space.  Worked out great . . . ]

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[Lake Geneva (or le Léman) is a deep lake on the north side of the Alps, shared between Switzerland and France.  It is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe and the largest on the course of the Rhone (Wikipedia).  The lake is 45 miles long and 9 miles wide, it averages over 500 feet deep and is over 1,000 deep at its deepest.  You can drive around it in a couple of hours, depending on how much touristing you do.  We did the touristing thing so it probably took all afternoon . . . ]


[View of Lake Geneva about between Vevey in front, Lausanne in the back behind Mont Pelerin on the right and Evian-les-Bains on the left, shot from a place between Caux and Glion above Montreux (Wikipedia).]


lake geneva

[From the map above, we began at Chatel, drove the 34 miles to Geneva, and began our trip around the lake.  I took this shot from the far side of Geneva . . . ]

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[Geneva, above and below, with Jet d’Eau, literally meaning ‘water jet’, the huge fountain on the lake, one of the tallest fountains in the world shooting water up 460 feet . . . ]

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[The Alps as seen from the lake . . . ]


[Flower gardens along the lake . . . ]

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[The city circles around the west end of the lake.  Here we’re wandering along the promenade and the gardens . . . ]

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[Quite lovely waterfront, n’est-ce pas?]

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[Le Richemond, a 109-room luxury hotel . . . ]


[Commercial streets that I believe the Super would have loved to have shopped . . . ]

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[But we were on a mission to circle the lake . . . ]

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[Nice unidentified garden . . . ]

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But before I die, I want to visit heaven on Earth: Switzerland.   ~  Govind Maheshwari

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[For those visitors who’d like to taste what the Swiss are keeping to themselves, the guidebook recommends the Lavaux region, whose “vineyards, enclosed within low stone walls, slope so steeply that all the work has to be done by hand.” That’s made the area a UNESCO World Heritage site: “10,000 terraces of Chasselas, Gamay, and Pinot Noir vines spread over 40 levels.” Strung prettily along the north shore of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), it runs 24 kilometres east from Lausanne to Montreux (]

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[One would think this would be a significant enough piece of art to at least get a mention on the world wide web . . . ]


[But it didn’t – an impermanent structure?]


[St. Peter’s Cathedral (english), or Saint Pierre Cathedral (french), is over 850 years old Geneva’s main church is located in the center of Geneva’s Old Town, slightly on the hill overseeing the city, combining various architectural styles from Gothic to Ancient, as it was being rebuilt over the centuries.  Since 16th century Cathedral belongs the Reformed Church (]


[My guess, Old Town (?) . . . ]


Switzerland is a country where very few things begin, but many things end.  ~  F. Scott Fitzgerald

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[Pollarded plane trees (beats me?) along the boulevard . . . ]

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[Pollarding is a pruning system involving the removal of the upper branches of a tree, which promotes the growth of a dense head of foliage and branches.  The practice occurred commonly in Europe since medieval times, and takes place today in urban areas worldwide, primarily to maintain trees at a determined height.  Examples of trees that do well as pollards include broadleaves such as beeches, oaks, maples, planes (Platanus) . . . (Wikipedia).]

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[On the road again, by Lausanne (where I apparently didn’t get any photos), home of the International Olympic Committee . . . ]

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[Through Vevey, with the along-the-lake journey ending at Montreux . . . ]


[Somehow (?) the numbering of the photos appears out of order because . . . ]

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[This is the Chateau de Chillon (Chillon Castle) in Montreux (see again further down) . . . ]

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[Sculpture in the form of a girl with a seashell on the seahorse by Edouard-Marcel Sandoz, Vevey, Lake Geneva, Switzerland (]

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[Vevey is a town in the canton of Vaud, on the north shore of Lake Geneva, near Lausanne.   It is part of the French-speaking area of Switzerand.  Vevey is home to the world headquarters of the international food and beverage company Nestle, founded here in 1867.  Milk chocolate was invented in Vevey by Daniel Peter in 1875, with the aid of Henri Nestle.  The residence of British American actor and comedian Charlie Chaplin was in Vevey, where he lived from 1952 until his death in 1977 (Wikipedia).]


[The Super with Charlie . . . ]


[On the road between Vevey and Montreux . . . ]

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[Roy in his Chateau de Chillon sweatshirt . . . ]

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[Chillon Castle (Château de Chillon) is an island castle located on Lake Geneva (Lac Léman), south of Veytaux (Vevey) in the canton of Vaud.  It is situated at the eastern end of the lake, on the narrow shore between Montreux and Villeneuve, which gives access to the Alpine valley of the Rhone.  Chillon is amongst the most visited castles in Switzerland and Europe.  Successively occupied by the house of Savoy then by the Bernese from 1536 until 1798, it now belongs to the State of Vaud and is classified as a Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance.  The Fort de Chillon, its modern counterpart, is hidden in the steep side of the mountain (Wikipedia).]

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[A mechanical automaton representing the Chillon Castle illustrates the capture of the castle and the liberation of Francois Bonivard by the Bernese in 1536.  Barred windows also show the interior of the castle, including scenes of torture in prisons. After having disappeared for decades and being found in various homes, the automaton was eventually acquired by the Association of Friends of Chillon, the Cantonal Museum of Archeology and History (MCAH) and the Castle Foundation, in March 2016.  Having been inspired by the story of Francois Bonivard after a visit to the castle, Lord Byron wrote a poem on The Prisoner of Chillon in 1816 (Wikipedia).]

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Since Peter the Great, Russia had been expanding at the rate of one Belgium per year.  ~ Henry Kissinger

Up Next:  Still in Europe . . .

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