Day 9, Wednesday, 8 July 2009

I got up at 6:30 am and was out the door around 7:00 to explore the town before breakfast.  I walked past Lac Grenon, a small lake near the hotel.  Then I headed to the center of Crans and walked around.

I was back at the hotel around 8:00 for breakfast.  It was a buffet breakfast with a wide variety.  The most intersting items for me were the many grains that were placed around a mill.  You could mix whatever grains you wanted and grind them in the mill.  I picked bulgar wheat and some type of resoto creal and added a little milk.  There was also an array of cheese and what we would call artisan breads in the U.S.  I selected four cheeses to sample with a couple of breads.  There were several other items to try at breakfast, but that’s all I got around to.

After breakfast, I headed to the cable car that runs up the mountain with a group of adults and students.  Teagan headed off with a group of students who were going into town to look at the stores.

As my group rode the cable car up, we passed over a heard of cows.  They were all wearing cow bells so there was a constant clanging of bells.

At the first platform, the attendant told us to stay on the cars and go on to the end of the lower cable.  When we got there, we were in a cloud that was dropping snow.  We walked around a little to see if we could find someplace with good visibility.  The clouds cleared a bit, and we could see some of the valley before long.

After several pictures, we took the cable car back down to the first stop and got off.  The visibility was even better there, and we took more pictures.  Then we returned to Crans.

We walked around the town and went into a grocery store to lay in supplies for lunch.  After more walking, we headed back to the hotel for a noon departure on the coach.

We headed to the Castle of Chillon near Montreaux.  This castle is mostly know as the setting of Lord Byron’s poem “The Prisoner of Chillon.”  We had a guided tour that started at about 1:30.  The tour guide was very knowledgable and spoke excellent english.  After the tour was over, we had free time until 3:00, when we met to walk along Lake Geneva to Montreaux.

The walk took about 30 minutes.  There was flowers planted all along the walkway which enhanced the picturesque view of the Lake and the mountains.

The Montreaux Jazz Festival was going on in the town, but there wasn’t much music when we were there.  There were lots of vendor tents set up that we could look at.

Our red bus group met back at the statue of Freddie Mercury (lead singer for Cream) at 4:25 for a 4:30 departure back to the hotel.  We arrived at the hotel around 6:00 for our 6:30 supper.

The meal tonight consisted of a buffet salad (greens, corn, carrots, and beets), foccacia, beef with brown gravy, and ice cream cake.  Once again, the food was excellent.

After supper, it was concert time.  The concert began at 8:30 in the town tent.  There was a good crowd of locals there as the choir began its part of the concert.  As the concert went on, more and more showed up.

Once the choir finished, it was the bands turn.  The crowd especially like the marches, and the Dixieland piece “Just a closer walk with thee.”  They went crazy over “Stars and Stripes Forever,” which was the finale.

This was, by far, the most successful concert.  The performing groups appreciated having such a large audience.

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