Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday 4 September - Rochers de Naye

The mountain on the other side of the lake was clear of clouds this morning and we decided to take the rack railway train up to the Rochers de Naye which rises to about 6,000 feet.  A quick trolley bus ride into Montreux gave us a little time to visit the weekly market and the tourist office.  The train to Rochers had just left so we had about 50 minutes to wait.  This wasn't much of a trial as there is plenty of action on Montreux station with three different gauges.  There are 12 arrivals and departures an hour as well as the freight trains that are threaded through.  The most interesting train a BLS railway two locomotive set hauling hauling a long line of tanks.  I don't know what BLS locomotives are doing on this SBB line.
SBB Re 460 095-3 on a train from Geneva Airport
The catch of the day - two BLS locomotives on a train of tanks
This MOB metre gauge locomotive was putting its train away
The train to Rochers de Naye was a two car set.  The line is 800 mm gauge and is rack all the way. The line out of Montreux is very well concealed.  We had no idea it runs so close to the apartment. There are wonderful views over Lac Leman with the occasional steamer and the Chateau de Chillon is easily picked out. The line is single track and we paused for a meet at Caux before continuing on to the summit.  Like many mountain railway termini Rochers de Naye is not particularly inviting.  The visitor has no option than to use whatever is provided.  Prices tend to be high, even though everything has to be hauled in by rail. The station is a glorified shed although the self serve restaurant was quite pleasant.
Train arriving at Rochers de Naye with two baggage trucks in front.  These seemed to be on every train - pretty important as there is very little room for bags inside.
The clouds had drifted in a little so the views from the top were not particularly good.  There is a very interesting free Alpine Garden.  The man on the gate told us that it was looked after by about four volunteers, one of them, a botanist, grows plants at home and brings them up. There are about 1,000 plants that are identified with labels and another 1,000 that are not specifically identified. Across the valley we could hear the cowbells ringing, a typical Swiss sound.  
Alpine Garden
View from the Alpine Garden
Presumably this is a hut for the people who have to work up here in the summer
Alpine garden
Rosti is a pile of grated potato smothered in grated cheese with some dried meat, pickled onions and a gherkin with a fried egg on top.  It went down well with a bottle of local white.
There is a marmot colony close to the summit hotel
A man and his goat at Rochers de Naye. "'E smells a bit but we don't mind that" (Python)
We took the train back as far as Glion where there are great views over the lake. The trip down the funicular to Territet was free, thanks to the Montreux Riviera Card.  There is an old funicular car, probably the original, bricked in at the lower station which is very close to the apartment although well concealed.
The Chateau de Chillon from Glion
At Glion
It was pretty hot at lake level but we decided to take the shady walk alongside the lake as far as the Chateau de Chillon.  It has plenty of trees of many varieties and we spent some time looking at the plane tree which provides roosts for several hundred crows each night.

Chateau de Chillon from the lakeside walk.
Chateau de Chillon from the lakeside walk

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