The last few days of my trip to Switzerland were hectic, to say the least. I’m quite relieved that I finally found the time to write about it. Sometimes life gets a little bit faster than Twitter (not to mention blogging) so I thought it’s time to share my last 5 days…
The plan for this trip was fairly loose from the early beginning, to be honest. I just wanted to reconnect a little with my sister family, who live in Geneva, to have the New Year Eve in a hotel somewhere up in the mountains, and then enjoy each day as it came. That was the whole plan. After a few evenings at my sister’s place and several short shopping rides in Geneva and around, the first part of the trip was checked, so to speak. Something much more important had to happen. And we decided to make a short trip by train to La Gruyeres, a medieval castle in the Fribourg district of Switzerland.
At that time we didn’t have the car. Yet. The car came several days later. We were just regular tourists and so we acted, going straight to the train station and buying tickets for La Gruyeres. We had to change the trains at Palezieux, after one hour. We got in the train, comfortably sit down and started to enjoy the view. Traveling by train in Switzerland is really comfortable, the stations are clean and well organized, the trains are cosy and never saw a train wagon crowded. This must be because of the holidays, I suppose, so take this observation with a little bit of salt.
We were lucky to have a beautiful day, very sunny and almost warm. Everything looked gorgeous, especially the real estate properties on the shore of Lake Leman. After around 45 minutes of sightseeing we were still changing impressions about how beautiful the Lake Leman was, when, all of a sudden, we ran into a tunnel. We patiently waited to get out, thinking at more beautiful sights on that sunny day.
But surprise, the other side of the tunnel was in full winter. Half of a meter snow, fog and clouds. We couldn’t believe our eyes. We looked at each other clothes, which I can tell were no match for that weather and started to mildly laugh. We just got into a full winter area, with no warnings and no appropriate clothes. And sooner than we expected the train arrived at Palezieux. Our change.
We got down knowing that we have only 9 minutes to get the next train, from a line called, surprisingly, “PI”. All the lines in the station had numbers, and no “PI” line was there. I tried to find a person to ask about that. The station was basically empty, all doors closed. There was a little kiosk at the end of the station where a woman was selling newspapers. I kindly asked her where to find the “PI” line and then she pointed to a small train, outside the regular train station, somehow isolated. The next second she started to look a little concerned about the fact that we’re going to lose the train if we don’t hurry. And we hurried.
We catch the train just before it started to move. The scenery was copied from a regular Swiss post card: mountains, snow, fog and from time to time an old wood house. The small train proved to be quite comfortable, yet the stops were pretty close to one other. It was an old touristic train that left us right in the train station called “La Gruyeres”. It soon become obvious that we had to walk to the old castle, and so we did.
From here, the “La Gruyeres” story become fuzzier: we ate at a local restaurant, we visited the old castle, bought presents and returned with the same train circuit. It was the first real day of our holiday.