We made the last-minute decision to go to this winemakers’ festival in Switzerland. (Wine? From Switzerland, you say? I KNOW!) Turns out, they don’t really export their wines, so, you know, they drink them themselves.
The Fête des Vignerons began in 1797, and only happens every 20 or so years, so we jumped at the chance to go, got a pet sitter for the little Harps, and got on a plane the next day.
We booked a flight from London City to Zurich, and had a cab pick us up for the 1 hour 15 minute drive. Welp. Best laid plans. The freeway was shut down! We had to settle in for a route that took us about an hour out of the way, After getting to airport security as the plane has begun boarding, I’m thinking as long as they don’t pull my bags like they always do, we will still make it, they…drum roll…pulled my purse! And the backup for extra security to comb through everyone’s bags was super-long. Watching the minutes tick by, I was thinking, there is NOTHING in there for them to find, not even a tiny forgotten toothpaste that had them pulling my suitcase apart last month. And wouldn’t you know it, they found absolutely nothing. (More of my HSO’s on airport security for a later day.) Sprint to the gate, get there just as they are finishing boarding. Whew.
Landed in Zurich, then took the train to Montreux. Along the way, there were terrible, awful sights like these vineyards. Yuck, amirite?
Montreux is super-easy to navigate, but if you want the absolutely best-located hotel, you gotta stay at the Suisse Grand Majestic. It is literally across the street from the train station, and on the other side, the lake. Perfect.
…and you get views like these:
The train to Vevey is only 7 minutes, and, by god, you can count on the Swiss to have their train schedules down to the second. Vevey is like a fairy tale.
Fondue in Switzerland is often just cheese and potatoes, served in an adorable bread bowl that you - wait for it - cut down, dip and eat as you go. Trust me, it’s a meal for 2.
The festival is huge; I mean, they only had 19 years to plan, so…
…yeah, not that big a deal.
I may or may not have accidentally referred to their elite* military officer in cermonial dress as “the guy in the clown costume..”)
*I’m an idiot.
They had wines that were made especially for the festival. In fact, the wines were almost as good as the views!
The second day we took the ferry over to the festival, a gorgeous 25-minute ride. The views of the coastline help make it clear why this is called the Swiss Riviera.
Even when a bit of rain rolls in, you don’t mind, ‘cause, I mean. Look.
Friendly reminder: for any sunny place where you’ll be outdoors, you gotta protect yourself from the sun. This hat from REI did the trick. Also, make sure your morning routine includes a Vitamin C element (lately I am loving this one from Clovertree), which protects from the sun and everything else in the environment, plus an actual sunscreen. The original Bare Minerals makeup has physical sun blockers with SPF 15, and is simply gorgeous on the skin. I use a darker shade for a bronzer/contour on my cheeks & forehead.
So much SPF-ing.