Day 53 – Walking the Via Francigena – Vevey To Villeneuve, Switzerland, The Beautiful Resort Town Of Montreux, And Our Last Day Of Walking On This Leg Of The Pilgrimage

Day 53 – Walking the Via Francigena – Vevey To Villeneuve, Switzerland, The Beautiful Resort Town Of Montreux, And Our Last Day Of Walking On This Leg Of The Pilgrimage

The guesthouse we stayed in last night sits on the main square of Vevey, overlooking the lake.
But this morning it was anything but a scenic site.
The square was a major construction zone.

We asked the owner of the hotel what was going on in Vevey.
He told us that they had just had a major wine celebration in the square, that happens once every twenty years.
The city built a temporary wooden structure which could fit twenty thousand people, and now it must be taken down.

The workers were on a tight schedule and were rushing to finish, because in just three days the circus comes to town and will built its tents in the main square.

We walked around the construction zone and started to walk along the lakefront, towards Villeneuve.

The day was sunny and the walk was beautiful.
Both Jules and I were still feeling sick.
Jules was coughing often and feeling a bit weak.
Our backpacks felt heavier than usual, but it helped that the walk was so scenic.

By lunchtime, we arrived in Montreux.
Montreux is a very scenic traditional resort town on Lake Geneva.
It extends from the lakeside all the way up into the very steep hills.
Some castles and houses are built so high, they seem to be inaccessible, deep in the unreachable cliffs.

There are elevators, stairs and escalators to take people up to the train station and to the streets above.

Montreux is well known for its mild microclimate which allows palm trees and lush vegetation to grow all around.

The Montreux Jazz Festival, held here each year in July, is a major musical event known globally.
Recently the festival dedicated a sculpture of a big saxophone in honor of the 200 year celebration of the birth of Adolphe Sax, the man who invented the Saxophone in the early 1840’s.

The town’s promenade is lined with beautiful flowers, sculptures, trees and Belle Époque grand buildings.

We spent some time in Montreux, having a light lunch and admiring the biannual sculpture exhibition on the waterfront.
Feeling sick, we did not have much appetite, and had just fresh orange juice, a local milk chocolate (milk chocolate was invented in nearby Vevey, home of Nestlé) and a piece of pastry.

All around town, we saw groups of tourists.
This area is very popular with visitors from all over the world.

From Montreux, the walk took us by a medieval island castle called Château de Chillon.
The impressive Chateaux has ramparts, formal halls and a chapel from the 14th century.

We stopped to have ice cream at an outdoor cafe by the castle, mostly so we could rest awhile.
We arrived in Villeneuve pretty early, but went straight to our room and took a nap.

We cleaned up and I took a longer bath, trying to wash away the congestion.
Jules was blowing his runny nose all day long, and it made me sad seeing him like this, although he told me not to worry, that it is only a short bout of the flu.

We ate dinner at the hotel’s restaurant just across the street on the lake side.
We had the specialty of the day, fish served with a selection of vegetables and some dessert.

Today was our last day of this leg of the pilgrimage.
We will return again next year, to continue walking and finishing the Via Francigena.
The next time we come, we will walk the whole way to Rome from Villeneuve.

It was a wonderful journey for us.
We know that in just a few short days, we will recover our health.
We will have some time to enjoy some of the cities of Switzerland, before we return home.
Snow has already been falling in the mountains of Colorado, while the Swiss Alps still look green around us.

With gratitude to you for sharing in our journey,
Tali

Today’s Stats:
Daily Steps – 20,843 Steps
6 hours of walking
Active walking time – 4 hours
Daily Kilometers – 15 Km
Total Kilometers walked from Canterbury UK – 1126 km

Accommodation:
Hotel Du Port in Villeneuve, Switzerland
A clean lakeside hotel with simple but decent rooms, a hot shower and a big restaurant.

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