It is Mary's birthday today and she had decided to have a lake cruise and meal to celebrate. Our Swiss Pass tickets allow us unlimited first class travel on the day chosen so we decided to ride from Chillon to Lausanne and back to Chillon then continue on to Montreux as the boat does not stop at Montreux on the second leg. The steamer left Chillon at 1330 so we took the opportunity to visit the castle beforehand.
Chillon is the major tourist attraction in the area and we expected it to be busy with tour groups. There were also several school parties, all well behaved, who were enjoying the tour and learning about the castle and its past.
The gift shop was doing a roaring trade, particularly with the kids. The boys were buying catapults, shields and wooden swords while the girls were buying silk scarves. Most came up to the teacher to get approval before going to the cash.
|The paddle wheeler Vevey arriving at Chillon|
|This school group was engrossed in the chateau's history|
|An unusual window|
At the dock we were surprised to see that, apart from two others, there was just one small group of school children and teachers embarking here.
The 1910 paddle steamer, La Suisse, is a real gem which has been restored amazingly well as my pictures will attest. The wood carving is beautiful and I was impressed to see the restorers had used oval headed, slotted, brass screws which we found almost impossible to find in Ontario when we were restoring Thurso Railway car 27. The chairs and stools were beautiful, there must have been over 100 of them. The staff were very proud of their vessel.
|The marquetry was beautiful but difficult to photograph because of the reflections.|
|The dining room was virtually empty except for this lively group who had drunk all the way from Lausanne and continued drinking until they got off at Lausanne,|
The meal was excellent and added to the wonderful atmosphere.
|The staff had picked up that it was Mary's birthday and her dessert came with a sparkler and some almond paste with the message|
We passed slowly along the shore pointing out things of interest with which we are now familiar, including out downhill walk yesterday.
We had finished the meal by Lausanne so we adjourned to the upper, first class, deck to finish off the wine and enjoy the return to Chillon and Montreux.
|La Suisse has a carved wooden figurehead covered with gold leaf.|
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