We awoke at our good campsite in the small village of Neydens to a lovely sunny day and caught the bus from there with a change at St Julien to Geneva city. We met a couple of English ladies who were also staying in the campsite so chatted on the way to town.
Geneva is a beautiful city with it’s interesting architecture, vast lake and lovely places to have coffee and eat, although a lot more expensive than France with it’s strong Swiss Franc. We found our way with the aid of a city map to the Reformation wall located in a large leafy park. It stood very high with larger than life statues depicting those involved in the reformation. From there we went to St Pierres cathedral with the ruins of the old cathedral beneath it in a very well preserved archaelogical site over three levels below ground. The Reformation museum just opposite the church was in a beautiful old house and the information was very innovatingly shown with films and clever audio explanations.
We walked around the old city and down and around the promenade by the lake with stops for coffee and lunch along the way. Everywhere was very clean and tidy and we saw very little graffiti which was a change from most of the larger european cities. The only bus to take us back to Neydens was at 6pm with a change again at St Julien and we walked from a large new shopping centre/pool complex along the backroads to the campsite. The public transport in Switzerland is excellent and runs on time to the minute.
The trees on the hills were already changing colour and the nights were getting shorter.
The campsite was very well appointed with good pitches and spotless facilities and we managed some washing in the two nights that we were there.

We drove along the east side of Lake Geneva on the French side the next day – the border as such is in the middle of the lake – to Thonon where we had a walk around and then continued to a nice quiet spot with a small jetty by the lake for lunch.
We drove on further to Montreux at a nice leisurely pace and around the pretty, very orderly city with it’s very large and ornate appartment houses which had beautiful views across the lake. On the edge of the lake near Montreux was the Chateau of Chillon which belonged to the House of Savoy from the 12th century.
The location and the chateau itself was magnificent as were the views across to the other side of Lake Geneva.
The secondary roads which we took all through Switzerland were in tip top condition. Our campsite of ‘Rive Bleue’ by the lake at Bouveret a short drive away was a nice quiet one with excellent facilities.
The following day we left Bouveret to see the town of Vevey (where Charlie Chaplin spent his last years) on the way to Lausanne to meet our friend Christian.
We managed to find a parking spot very near the centre of Lausanne and walked up hundreds of steps to the Cathedral where we had a view all over the city. Lausanne was very hilly and we had a steep climb even in the pedestrian shopping area. We found a cafe ‘Blackbird’ serving healthy food and I had a delicious salad with the tag of ‘superfood’ Quinoa and pommegranate seeds etc and Maurice a haloumi, hummus and salad sandwich and with two cold tea drinks and we did enjoy it – just as well as it translated into $55 Australian! We decided not to convert Swiss Francs any longer. Even Christian a Frenchman who has lived in Lausanne and who we met in Pondicherry a few years ago said that it was an expensive place to live compared to France and for us it was many times more expensive to eat out than in the other countries we had visited other than Norway. We found some delicious looking pastries and bought some to take to afternoon tea with Christian. He is French speaking with little English and it sure did test my French but it was lovely seeing him again.

Switzerland is such a small country compared to it’s French neighbour and it only took us an hour to get to Bern the capital which we drove through and on to Spiez,a little town which I remembered from 27years ago. It it on the the shore of Lake Aare and is the most beautiful picturesque town. There was no campsite very close so we drove on and up to Stuhlegg in Kittigen another pretty site with ‘Lurch’ for a manager. A very dour individual but we only had to book in with him and then we enjoyed the scenery it afforded. The showers were good and hot which was just as well as it was like having a shower in the field – they were not in an enclosed building. Needless to say we didn’t dawdle. We left the campsite early the next morning.

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