Chateau de Chillon

The Chateau de Chillon is a gorgeous castle outside Montreaux, Switzerland on Lake Geneva. Disney used it as inspiration for the castle in The Little Mermaid. I mean, look at this:

The day was both beautiful and hot – it was a good day to spend inside a cool stone castle.

There were loads of courtyards. I mean, how else do you get windows that let in light? This was the days before electricity.

The tour starts in the castle keep, a place that was used as both a storage area and a place to hold prisoners, depending on who was in charge and what was happening. This is the original castle, and was built largely in the 1100s.

The keep was also an escape hatch – this was the door the Duke of Savoy’s man escaped out of when the Bernese took the castle. (Lake Geneva is an incredible color.)

When people started visiting the castle in the 1800s, Lord Byron showed up. He wrote a poem about one of the castle’s religious prisoners, Francis Bonivard.

There are lots of picturesque courtyards at Chateau de Chillon. It is lovely.

The building is lovely, and it’s set up for amazing views. These are window seats for sitting and talking or sitting and reading or sitting and thinking.

In addition to there being lots of courtyards, there were also lots of dining rooms. This is one of at least three grand dining rooms that we saw.

Views and defensive towers coexist.

Some of the tile and decoration that was used throughout the castle. This is a high level of pattern matching.

It’s a passageway at the top of the castle, to get you from one tower to another. There are lots of these, too. They were fun because the day was hot and sunny, but I can see how on a rainy winters day, not having these enclosed would not be fun.

It’s another courtyard! This one a little quieter. If I lived here, this might be the one to go hide in with a book.

That was it! Lots of courtyards, views, and dining rooms. I would recommend spending a day at the Chateau if you’re on Lake Geneva. We took a boat ride – also a great thing on a hot day – to get there and back.

Switzerland is pretty, aka, an introduction to Lausanne

The early morning, jet-lagged view from our apartment in Lausanne/Ouchy.

We went to Europe! Our family (me, my husband, our daughter) traveled in Europe for two weeks. First, we went to Lausanne, where it was hot and we had a lovely 4th floor apartment near Lake Geneva. The view was great, and being near the water kept things a little cooler than they might otherwise have been.

The first morning there, while my husband and I were up and ready to go and our teenaged daughter, um, wasn’t, we went for a walk to see a bit of the city. We actually mostly stuck to the shoreline. It was lovely.

I personally enjoyed this fountain of three horses fighting over who has the best access to the water.

This is apparently the hotel you stay at in Lausanne if you are royalty, rich, and/or famous. We did not stay there.

There were lots of wild swans. I chose not to get to close. Swans are dangerous.

There is a lot happening on the shoreline at Lausanne. When the Romans founded the town, this is where they started things. But after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 400s CE, the people remaining moved up into the mountains. (Lausanne is incredibly hilly. Being in the Alps will do that.) So the Old Town isn’t here, and there was plenty of room for development when the time came around.

I’ll be spacing out posts from our trip, with a different thing to do on different days. I’ll post restaurant recommendations as I come across them. Enjoy!