My first trip with Y and R to Switzerland in December last year started with a driving trip through small quaint towns of Vevey, Montreaux, Monthey before rounding up with my annual ski trip in Zermatt with Y’s buddies. Although taking the efficient Swiss train seemed the most logical and economical thing to do, but we figured driving might seem more convenient. Given the number of pit stops we wanted to do and coupled with luggages of ski wear, winter wear and even one dedicated luggage filled with local Singapore groceries, a rented Volkswagen from Europcar in Zurich became our trusted transport for the next few days in Switzerland.
Navigating the GPS map for R. He was a little stressed driving on the roads in the beginning.
Vevey was literally just a pit stop on route to Montreux where we would spend a night there. It was a rather rainy morning after we arrived in Zurich airport, but thank goodness we still managed to make it through the Swiss highways to finally reach the town of Vevey about 2 over hours later. Vevey is known to be the home of Nestle as well as Charlie Chaplin, interestingly who lived in his home Manoir De Ban in Vevey, Switzerland for 25 years till his death. Hence, not surprisingly, there are museums, statues and buildings bearing his image. As we drove through the town of Vevey, we saw buildings with illustrations of him, pretty cute!
Buildings bearing the image of Chaplin.
We parked our car at a large open air car park in the town area, and took a short stroll along Lake Geneva. The skies were starting to clear up after the morning drizzle, and it was so nice walking in this wintry climate, a nice escape finally from the hot and sunny Singapore.
First views of Lake Geneva.
Lake Geneva is the largest body of water in Switzerland, located on the north side of the Alps, shared between France and Switzerland. Y and I somehow love to see lakes (remember how I just fell in love with Lake Como back in 2013), I find they have a much more scenic view as compared to the sea and beaches. There’s a sense of romanticism and tranquility, coupled with the mountain views and fresh air of the Alps especially here.
Trying to peer out at the mountains.
Oh gorgeous Lake Geneva!
Strolling down the promenade along Lake Geneva in lovely 2 degrees celsius.
There were tons of swans and other birds in the lake, and hmm Y and I aren’t big fans of these big birds, just felt like they were gonna bite off my paw or head anytime, but I decided to be friendly and take some pics near them, thank goodness no mishaps happened.
Lots of swans and birds around Lake Geneva.
Hello swan! Wanna be my friend?
Me and the swans, who’s more graceful you think?
We stopped by for lunch at Cafe La Clef (1 Rue Du Theatre, Vevey 1800, Tel: 021 921 22 45), and we had a really good local fish fresh from the lake, cooked in butter lemon sauce, and mussels.
Delicious local fish from Cafe La Clef.
And after walking around, if you are feeling like you need a toilet break or a drink, drop in to Grand Hotel Du Lac, a gorgeous hotel overlooking the lake. After my toilet business, we continued on with our drive to Montreux. Read my next post on that and Christmas towns in Montreux.
Other useful tips to getting around in Switzerland:
1. Swiss simcard: for local calls and dataroaming, a much cheaper option. You can easily purchase from Swisscom or Sunrise shop (which has a few different telco providers) in the Zurich airport. We bought from the Yallo counter at Sunrise shop, great service and roaming coverage was good.
2. Europcar: the only car rental company that has an outlet at Tasch near Zermatt. So rent from this company if you wish to do some Swiss driving from Zurich all the way to Zermatt.