One of the things we are embracing with both arms in Europe is the abundance of public holidays. For Easter weekend, my husband had both Friday and Monday off and we took advantage of the opportunity to hit two places we have been lusting after on Instagram – gorgeous Montreux, and the Matterhorn in Zermatt!
A little intimidated by the thunderstorms in the forecast, we optimistically set off on an hour train to Montreux. The promenade is gorgeous and you could feel spring about to pop!
We were a little behind on planning (very unorthodox for us – but life has been a little busy the last few weeks 😂) but were able to find this modern and lovely Airbnb a 15 minute walk from the main promenade. And we were actually quite lucky- we didn’t realize it but Switzerland’s Polymagna Festival (for the unindoctrinated, myself included – a festival celebrating Japanese comics and video games) occurs over Easter weekend in Montreux. Allegedly 42, 000+ Swiss of all ages attend each year, all in a variety of costumes. I didn’t want to mock anyone by taking their photo, but if you are interested check it out at that link.
We took a short and scenic ferry over to the Insta-famous Chillon Castle (it touts being the most visited monument in Switzerland) and the sun came out!
I only learned this AFTER the fact, but Chillon is also “famous” for inspiring Prince Eric’s castle in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The castle’s origins are not unequivocally established, I have seen everything from the earliest mentions of it in writing between 1005 and 1150. The castle became famous with Lord Byron’s poem The Prisoner in Chillon in 1816 about Francois, a monk who served more than seven years for defending his city against The Dukes of Savoy. The castle is a fortress but has Lake Geneva views from every possible room, and served as a vacation residence for dukes and counts throughout its storied history from the Savoy to the Bernese to the Vaudois periods.
You can take an audio tour in a variety of languages as well for 6 CHF. The cost of the ticket (which you can buy online ahead of time) is 12.50 CHF for adults.
Even if you never went in the castle, how awesome are just the courtyard views?
please take a moment to gush over how adorable my mother-in-law and father-in-law are please.
It admittedly looked pretty ominous, so we took the ferry back to town and then the skies opened up with relentless storms.
So, as our family often does – we spent the rest of the afternoon in the Barrel Oak Irish bar. The burgers were delicious, and the beer flowed as hard as the rain poured. We had a wonderful trip and look forward to coming back for the Jazz Festival in Montreux in July, and the Christmas market in December (though I know nobody does a Christmas market like the Germans!)