Our last day in Switzerland was spent visiting the small town of Gruyére in the French Swiss countryside. Honestly the main reason I chose for us to stay in Montreux was so that we could come here. We spent the day exploring medieval architecture, eating cheese, and stuffing our faces at the local Swiss chocolate factory until we were bouncing off the walls. It was glorious!
I was really impressed with how charming the town of Gruyére is too. It sits perched on top of a hill among the green, tree-filled mountains, overlooking pastures that are sprinkled with dairy cows.
The inside of the town is so quaint and well-maintained that you feel like you’re walking right through a movie set.
Can you see the kitty in there? Man, what a life!
All of the food was really good too. One of the cafes we stopped at served their coffee with these delicious cream truffles!
Then for lunch we had a melted Gruyére sandwich with a colorful salad on the side:
After lunch, we drove to the Callier Chocolate Factory to take a tour. While we were there they taught us about the history of chocolate, gave us a behind-the-scenes look of the factory, and then let us inhale about 1800 different samples.
Okay, for me, it was actually like 20. But Brandon had at least 40. I was a little concerned.
The last thing on our agenda for the day was to go swimming at the thermal baths nearby in Charmey. I was ridiculously excited for this part of the day.
I envisioned us relaxing in warm mineral-infused spring water as we stare out at the mountains and savor the lingering flavor of Swiss chocolate on our tongues.
Well it wasn’t exactly like that. It was more like a mildly chlorinated community pool that was extremely crowded and overpriced. And you’re required to undress and remove your shoes in a bare-bones unisex locker room and then walk around the whole place (including the bathrooms) barefoot. I guess I was expecting it to be more like a spa environment. Maybe the exterior should have been a hint that it wasn’t?
Or maybe I’m just a snooty pants? ;)
The next morning we started the drive to the south of France (more on that soon!) and on the way we made a pit-stop to have lunch in the lakeside city of Annecy. We were only there for about an hour but from what I saw, it was gorgeous! We ate at a place right on the lake and the color of the water was so pretty.
I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant because the food was amazing too. We had a ratatouille type dish with couscous and then finished with profiteroles (cream puffs) that were filled with chantilly ice cream and topped with a warm chocolate sauce. Oh my, they were heaven on a plate!
Then it was off to Provence!
Wow – gorgeous pics Sarah! Switzerland looks incredible; and who could resist all of that chocolate? Sorry to hear the spa wasn’t what you were hoping for. Walking around bare foot in a unisex change room isn’t my cup of tea either.
These pics are incredible! I have just added Switzerland to my list of “must-see” places. Thanks for sharing!
Switzerland! I love it there. I used to travel there to ski. There are so many super cute, small villages with little mountains. It is such an amazing place!
I agree that Gruyere is beautiful, but the smell. Oh the smell! I couldn’t stay there for more than a few hours because I thought I was going to lose my lunch. Kyle insisted upon eating in one of the restaurants and getting fondue and it almost killed me ;) #dramaqueen I did miss out on the chocolate tour and 20 pieces of samples which saddens me because I don’t think I can ever make myself go back, LOL.
That’s so funny! I’m assuming you’re talking about the cow poop? I noticed it when I was below the village (near the cows) but not up in the city. Was it warm when you were there? Maybe that made it worse.
Oh my gosh that looks like an amazing place! Your photos are gorgeous!
It’s hard to believe that places look like that and that people live there all the time! That town is gorgeous. And I like it’s name ;-)
Giiiiiirl! Your photos are so gorgeous, it’s driving me bonkers! I’m feeling the travel bug so hard right now and it’s all because of your beautiful posts from your travels. The food looks so amazing and the countryside – uuuuugh so beautiful! That’s it. Let’s go travel. Brandon and Coco can 200% come too ;)
The day that my husband eats more sweets than me, would be am amazing day. It’ll never happen. Gorgeous photos!!
Oh my gosh, I’m sighing with jealousy once again at all your pictures. That lake is gorgeous!
It is all just sooo picturesque! I can’t get over it! Bummer on the thermal baths – that would totally annoy me too :)
But that chocolate looks mighty delicious! haha
Oh, my – how picturesque!
Oh my gosh, cream puffs are one of my favorite desserts! Droooooling over here. Isn’t it funny how sometimes the things we are looking forward to the most, on vacation or otherwise, wind up being disappointments? It must be the high expectations that make it so ha but the rest of your day sounds perfect – cheese, chocolate, a beautiful town – take me there?! Seriously, you are a fabulous photographer and the all of your pictures look amazing!
Switzerland is breathtaking, one of the places I want to visit the most, I hope me and my husband will get a chance to go next year.
Those hills! So gorgeous! Did the whole town of Gruyere smell like stinky cheese? That’s what I’ve heard :)
Love profiteroles! They are very popular in Southern Italy too. Let me say Switzerland is a paradise.