We actually headed out of Mont Blanc toward Switzerland yesterday evening however there was no one at the Swiss border station, and no one in the small village there only sold vignette’s for cars (We needed one for vehicles over 3500kg for about CHF 28, available at the boarder crossings!!). Vignette is the Swiss road toll system for using any motorways and we needed to obtain a 10 day heavy vehicle vignette and also wanted a stamp in Trish’s passport to show Trish had left the EU Sengen visa zone.
So we turned around and went back into France to find a campsite and stayed at Camping Vaudois in Chemin des Chosalets not to far from the border.
visit the Chateau De Chillon.
Arrived at the border at a respectable 11am, still no one there! So carried on to the next large town of Montreux to buy an appropriate Vignette and the garage there did not have one.
The fines are very heavy in Switzerland for using motorways without one,so carried on to Martignay. No luck, so we just bought a standard vignette (CHF40 for 14 months) and put that on the windscreen.
On the bright side the weather is fine and sunny 25C and a beautiful day for a drive through the mountains to the Rhone Valley. The vineyards were clinging to steeply terraced hillsides and the grape harvest was in full swing.
We reached lake Geneva about 4pm and managed to park opposite Chateau De Chillon, an advantages of now being in the low season!!
The Chateau De Chillon is well worth a visit. In its current form the Chillion Castle is the result of several centuries of construction and alterations. We thoroughly enjoyed learning the history, exploring the many passageways going every which way, secret staircases, rooms, dungeon, the keep and fortifications.
The Chillion Castle is built on a rock in the lake, a strategic location to control movement between North and South Europe. Excavations indicate this site has been occupied since the bronze age with the first fortifications being built in the 12 century.
At the time of our visit the Chateau was hosting an exhibition on the history of whitchcraft in the area, or rather the persecution of witches, many of whom were held and executed here. Apparently they executed, usually by burning at the stake, more people convicted of witchcraft here than anywhere else in the world. Naturally the convicted also had to pay court costs, costs for executioner, his assistant and the wood and the straw used in their demise. A fascinating place.
We found a nice campground on the lake opposite the castle to spend the night. Our evening walk was along the shores of lake Geneva.
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