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.
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
The Knights' Hall set up for Bingo Night
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
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 14 November 2012.