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The Medieval Swiss Town Of Gruyeres
cwo3ward @ 10/ 21/ 2009

As you arrive in town, the Gruyeres Cheese Factory is just across the street from the train station.  This is the modern factory.  It has a small restaurant and a tour of the cheese making process.  We went into the gift shop and bought some small souvenirs.

 

The train station doesn't have any lockers, which I thought was odd because they must get a lot of tourists.  The man at the ticket window allowed us to leave our suitcases with him in the office while we went up to see the medievel town of Gruyeres.   

 

A bus came around and we took the short ride to the top of the hill.  You can see that old town from the valley floor below and it's a marvelous sight. We walked from one end of the town to the other and went into the castle to walk around.  As part of the entrance fee, there is a multimedia presentation that describes how the town came to be and why the castle was built.  It was quite good and available in many languages.  After the show, we walked back down the hill and through the town taking pictures and enjoying the sights. 

 

In October, the crowds of tourists are less than the peak season.  I can imagine that the parking lot would have been filled with tour buses during May through September.    We went back to the bus stop and waited for the next bus.  We had just missed the bus as we walked around the corner, so we settled in for a long wait.  After 30 minutes we tried to read the bus schedule, which was confusing.  We asked several people to read it so we would know when the bus was due next.  No one seemed to be able to figure it out.  After 75 minutes of waiting, a lady walked by and we asked her if she could tell us when the next bus would be coming by.  She said it would be 3 1/2 hours.  She showed me how to read the schedule and I realized that she was right.  We had a train to catch and needed to get back to the train station.  There were no taxis around and we couldn't wait another 3 1/2 hours.  It was then that she asked us why didn't we just walk down the hill to the station?  She claimed it was only a 10 minute walk.  We were stunned by this, as we assumed it was too far to walk.  We thanked her and set off to walk back to the train station.  The lady was right! It was an easy walk, only about ten minutes on nice sidewalks.  We both felt rather foolish and still laugh about this.  We got to the station just in time to catch our train.

What were the WOW moments you experienced?
The town is really well preserved. It is a single street from the town entrance to the top of the hill where the castle is. Being transported back in time is a lot of fun. Gruyeres gives you that sense of awe and amazement at how people lived so long ago.
Switzerland, Gruyeres, The town of Gruyeres
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