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kc goes to montreux

July 13, 2010

Summertime in Switzerland provides ample opportunity for weekend trips.  If/when we move back to the good ol’ US of A, I hope we bring back the sense of wanderlust that one naturally has here.  Granted, easier said than done given that getting to and from places is a lot easier with the transportation system here.  Living in Boston or New York, we would occasionally go to the Cape or Long Island, but weekend trips weren’t the norm.  It was generally summer in the city for us.  And what a shame, because even one night away can seem like a mini-vacation if you do it right.

This past weekend, Mr. KC and I went (for the first time in 3 years!) to the French-speaking part of Switzerland.  First to the Montreux jazz festival, and the next day to Vevey.  There was so much we packed in, that I’ll attack them both in separate posts.

Although we stayed in Lausanne for the night, transportation to and/from Montreux was both scenic and quick.  In less than 30 minutes we were there.  I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this was definitely different.  I think, in my mind, I had envisioned larger areas to listen to bands, similar to a Glastonbury.  While the festival attracts big name including, but not exclusive to, Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock, most of these concerts are indoors in the evening with tickets commanding upwards of 200CHF for good seats.   The “Music in the Park” venue however, provides a small grassy area to sit and enjoy some bands that may not be huge headliners, but certainly make you appreciate being part of the festival.

Nescafe cafe

Of course, part of any good festival is the hanging out and people watching. Montreux is no exception.  It’s fun to take in some of the great cafés set up along the lake and there’s no lack of corporate sponsorships.  Given the numbers that I’m sure this festival attracts, it makes sense that Nestlé (whose headquarters in Vevey are only 10 minutes away) has this beautiful covered tent allowing you to take in the view, enjoy a nice cocktail or ice coffee and cram in some serious people-gawking.

The street food!

The headline act though, in my opinion, was the street food (shocking, I know!).  From gaufres to paella to crepes (oh, the crepes!) to foie gras sandwiches, they seemed to have it all.  I felt it was unfair that we needed to choose.  Couldn’t we just stay for a few days to make our way down the tents tasting each one and maybe catching some music along the way?

Festival tents line the lake

Every person has their street food limit though and we decided that instead of sticking around for all the evening acts, we were going to catch the last ferry back to Lausanne.  Like most smart commuters, we grabbed some food and drink (in the form of a bottle of wine and one of those foie gras sandwich) for the hour-long ferry ride home.  For as much as we loved the festival, the boat ride was a highlight.

Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) shares shores with France, hence the French flag

The ferry ride was not crowded at all, gave us the chance to take in the views from the water, watch the sunset and most importantly, enjoy our wine and sandwich.  Given how hot is was, it was nice to get a break from the crowds and enjoy the lake breeze.   It was the perfect way to wrap up a day in Montreux.  And with sunsets like this, you really do feel like you’re a world away from “real life”.

Do we have to go home?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2010 9:32 am

    Such an enjoyable to read about Montreux. I was at a private British boarding school not far from Montreux. In a nice day we would stroll by Lac Leman to enjoy the scenery and watched people. Once awhile we would board the boat for sightseeing around the lake, even went acrosed the French border. We were not allowed to go to the Jazz festival that was the school policy. Reading this brought so much happy memories of my school days in Switzerland.

    • July 15, 2010 11:26 am

      I’m so glad it brought back those fond memories for you. It was tempting to take one of the ferries across the way to France, but figured we would save that as an excuse to come back another weekend.

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