Grindelwald was the perfect place to use as a base for our exploration, and the Derby Hotel was the perfect place to stay. Clean, comfy, really well located. The trains in and out of town stopped right below us (with minimum noise). Plus I thought it was great to sit on our balcony and watch people and trains.
These pictures don’t even come close to doing justice to the beauty we saw along the way from Montreux to Interlaken. The weather was rainy at times, but it kind of made the views all the more spectacular. You leave Montreux winding your way up switchbacks with ever changing views of Lake Geneva, you go through beautiful forests and small towns, incredibly green farmland, and lots and lots of views of the hills, valleys, and mountain peaks. It was a fascinating ride.
I love trains and Switzerland has trains of every possible variety and lots of them. And they are super efficient, and the stations and signage way better than they are in France, Here I am enjoying our wait for the Golden Pass Panoramic train that we will take from Montreux to Interlaken. No doubt I will have more on Swiss trains later.
After a flight that literally and figuratively flew by, we landed at Charles de Gaulle on August 22nd and hopped a fast train to the TGV station just outside of Tours in the Loire Valley. On the train there were two female backpackers that reinforced every stereotype Americans have about Europeans not showering enough. I have no problem with a little musk here and there, especially in the European context, but man oh man, did those ladies reek. Even the locals on the train were covering their noses.
We picked up our rental car without any problem and then drove to Amboise where we picked up our friends Ron and Barry at the train station. The weather was warm and sunny. Hot in the sun but really, really pleasant in the shade. We started things off with a little lunch on a lovely green garden terrace before we walked around town a bit and visited the chateau in Amboise.
The Melbourne system uses a variety of rolling stock that includes quaint old street cars to the most modern tram cars and everything in between. Not only is the tram system far quieter than buses, but they emit no exhaust, and, well, they just look pretty.