Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Young William's first trip to Switzerland

Curiosity and bemusement in the Alps and Préalps


William and the Château de Chillon

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

Young William (or Will; or Bill; Billy, at a need; but never Willie!) is tagging along with his Mum on a visit to her childhood Stomping Grounds.

The Château de Chillon, the ancient Savoyard tax-collecting checkpoint between Montreux and Villeneuve on Lake Geneva.

William's first visit. Marlowe's 423rd visit. My 633rd visit.

We're disembarking from La Suisse, bursting with castling excitement.

Chillon, the classic view. There was a tiny island here (the only natural island in Lake Geneva), just off the rocky shore where the mountains come right down to the lake. At least since the early 12th century, the Savoyard government fortified the thing to control all land traffic along the lake (the ancient Via Italica).

The château belonged to the counts of Savoie until the Bernese took it over in 1536 and chased the Savoyards out the postern gate; the canton of Vaud has been Protestant ever since (nominally so, in recent times), and Bernese bailiffs ran the place until the Vaudois Revolution of 1798.

William doesn't care about any of that at the moment.

La Suisse is headed back to Lausanne.

La Suisse and the château

In the earliest photos of Marlowe in this place, she was smaller than William is now.

And presumably William will be back again someday, too.

La Suisse

The gardens

Near the entrance

The shoreside towers

Kristin in the first courtyard

-- Are you ready to go down into the crypt, William?

-- Errmm -- what's a crypt?

Byron's dungeon -- His long poem The prisoner of Chillon belabored Bonivard's six years chained to a pillar here, and it's commemorated by Byron's own name carved into the pillar.

The postern gate -- the Savoyard bailiff slipped out this way during the Bernese siege and got himself rowed across to the French side of the lake.

William in the crypt. (The last time I was here, this was dated to the early Carolingian period, but that's since been revised upward.)

William investigating the base of one of the round towers

William's curiosity knows no limits.

Kristin waiting for us at ground level

Very wet mittens

The Ville-de-Genève bringing in another load of visitors

The castle's keep on the upper right, the highway from Geneva to Italy on the upper left

The third courtyard, the Cour d'honneur

Where next?

The Knights' Hall set up for Bingo Night

Castle-hopping William

The glacis on the keep, and the outer shoreside walls

Les Dents du Midi at the end of the lake

William on the battlements

We're down off the walls

The third courtyard again

And now, a hike along the lake shore to Villeneuve

And then the wonderful commuter train back to Lausanne

William and a big piece of bread, at almost the end of the day

Back to Ouchy, and the weekly Junk Market

Kristin can never pass up a Junk Market.

Marlowe and William in Switzerland, October 2012

GO!


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 14 November 2012.


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