Château, Freddie Mercury and Concert in Montreux
I still cannot believe that my aunt, whom I hadn’t seen for two years until this summer, actually made it to Switzerland! She plays violin in a travelling orchestra based in Moscow and she had the wonderful opportunity of playing for the Tchaikovsky Competition Recitals in Montreux, Switzerland! Of course she and I made every effort to see each other. I saw her once earlier on that week in Geneva, but I wanted to make the trip over to Montreux, a place I heard is beyond gorgeous and is well-known for a few things, one of them a jazz festival held every year in July (too bad it isn’t while I’m here…)
My aunt, Gisane, met me at the train station when I arrived at around 15:30. We went for a walk along the lake where there were many little vendors set up, apparently for only that day! It was hustling and bustling with people, and somewhat resembled a carnival (the smells did, anyway). There was the Freddie Mercury statue (I look a little blinded in the picture), placed there to commemorate him. Montreux was the place where he wrote and recorded his last songs and Mountain Studios. Normally, when the statue is on a postcard or elsewhere, it is taken from the back, so that he is found overlooking the lake. Beautiful.
Gisane and I took the bus to head over to the Château de Chillon, a well-known 13th century castle. It was a barracks and contained a jail in its time. My aunt had already visited the castle, and was actually my tour guide of the day! We walked into every room and she described its purpose and read about its architecture. The castle was absolutely gorgeous and had an even better view of the town. Oh, so this weird wooden picture below? This is a picture of what people sat on to (excuse me) poop and pee. When you sit down, there is an intense breeze coming from the bottom, and you better not have vertigo, because it is way high up. The light at the bottom is where the lake begins. It’s pretty scary. I wish I could rotate the image, but I am having a hard time… 😦
After visiting the castle, I went to see my aunt’s concert. I only stayed for half of it because it was getting late and I was very tired. The performers were wonderful, but the violinist was not very appreciative of how wonderful the audience was. I wanted to slap her. Rude child. My aunt told me that she had star fever already. The girl’s only been famous for a month or so! Really now. I said good-bye to my lovely aunt and got to the train station. Little did I know Madeleine from my group was also making it home from Montreux that night! She had come to visit her friend who attends a culinary institute in Montreux and was making her way home. We were glad to have some company on the way home, need I say it.