Day 8 Territet, Chillon and Lausanne – Foggy 2°

We set off this morning in the cold, foggy weather to do some sight-seeing and to visit Richard’s second cousin, Rev Dr Paul Dalzell, who has recently taken up a position as the priest with the Territet/Montreux St John’s Anglican Church, an English speaking church. We caught the train to Lausanne, where we changed trains to Territet, via Montreux.  The train stopped right opposite the church and the church house, which is next door.  We had a lovely visit with Paul, who made us a nice morning tea and then showed us his church, which has some beautiful stained glass windows and is rich with history – there has been a church on the site since 1875.

A painting of the Madonna and Child, which had been part of the church for years and everyone had thought was a copy of the Italian renaissance artist, Andrea Previtali, turned out to be the original.  The painting was sold and the proceeds were used to build a new roof and provide much-needed renovations.  A copy of the painting hangs in the church “to remind us that miracles really happen!”

We got to meet Paul’s dog, Suzie, who is also an international traveller, having come with Paul and Robyn from Australia.  Unfortunately, Robyn was in Paris, so we were not able to catch up with her.

Paul showed us where the walking path from Territet to Chateu de Chillon (Chillon Castle) is and the two us headed off along the path beside the lake for a brisk 20 minute walk.

We hoped to get some good views of the lake, both on the train and as we walked to the castle but the fog didn’t lift at all during the day.  We had hoped that we might see France across the other side of the lake, but it was not to be.

The original part of Chillon Castle dates back to the 12th century and it has had many different alterations over the years.  The castle stands on a small rocky island, which acted both as a natural protection and as a strategic location to control movement between the north and south of Europe.  We wandered through the castle, climbing up and down dozens of stairs, viewing some of the rooms and up into the Sentry’s Gallery.

We walked down to the Veytaux-Chillon train station, about 5 minutes from the castle, and caught the train back to Lausanne for some sight-seeing.  We went down to the harbour area, walked along the waterfront, which was still shrouded in mist obscuring the lake almost completely.  We visited the Parc Olympique, including the Museum, where they had some interesting displays of past Olympic games’ medals, clothing, equipment, etc.  Had the weather been better, we would have had some spectacular views of Lake Geneva looking across towards France.

We hadn’t realised that Lausanne is so hilly and that the Old Town is set high on a steep hillside overlooking the lake.  Because we were trying to fit in as much as possible, we decided to catch a taxi back up the hill to the Cathedral, set overlooking the city and that we would walk back down the hill through the cobblestoned streets of the Old Town to the station.

We were a little disappointed that we couldn’t get any decent photos of the Cathedral from the outside because it is big and other buildings have been built around it, so when Richard got far enough away to take the photo of the whole Cathedral, only the spires were visible.  We were able to have a look inside the Cathedral before heading off down the steep hillside, including walking down about 80 steps, along the cobble-stoned streets of the Old Town, past the St Francois Church, to the station.

We caught the fast train from Lausanne back to Geneva, arriving back at our hotel at about 5.00pm.  The fog didn’t clear all day and so we don’t have any magnificent photos of Lake Geneva that we were expecting to have!

After writing up some of our blog, we headed off to the little Pizzeria, La Grappa d’or, around the corner from the hotel.  We discovered it on our first night here – they have a varied menu eg pasta, pizza, grills, traditional swiss food – at reasonable prices, with two very friendly English speaking waiters/owners.

Again, we have had a really enjoyable day and managed to fit in a lot.

We have done our on-line check in with Swiss Air for tomorrow evening’s flight back to London and we are planning to catch the 8.00am tilt train from Geneva to Zurich.

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