So last Saturday we did a day trip to Gruyères and to Broc … to bring the mum and Claudia to visit the cheese factory, La Maison du Gruyère and the chocolate factory, La Maison Cailler.
And while in Gruyères, we also decided to go up the hill to the small medieval town where the castle of Gruyères is located. Although it was a tough climb for the mum … encouraged by us, she gamely walked up the steep hill very, very slowly.
Although we spent some time walking around the tiny hill-top medieval town … unfortunately, there was no time to check out the inside of the castle itself, as we wanted to be sure that we would have enough time to do a tour of the Cailler chocolate factory at Broc. But fortunately for us, the weather was cooperating very well on that day. After days of cool and mostly wet weather, it was warm and very sunny on Saturday. What luck … that we had not picked Sunday to do the excursion since it rained quite heavily for nearly the whole of Sunday in several European countries (as you might have seen from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee)!!
While we were doing the excursion, the hubby and I could not help but compare the beautiful weather that we had had on that day in the region … with the time when we took my family to visit the same factories in June two years ago! Aaahhh … my poor family … they were not very lucky with the weather during their maiden visit to this country, unfortunately! 😦
And the beautiful weather really made the area seem quite different from what it did two years ago. Here are some photos of that day … and if you compare with our visit with my family two years ago … you can see how different things looked when the weather chooses to be nice to you!!
(As usual, feel free to move the pointer of your mouse on a picture to display background info or click to enlarge.)
Making our way up the mountain on the Goldenpass Panoramic train … leaving the beautiful town of Montreux and heading towards Montbovon. The train was so full that a number of passengers had to stand near the doorway. Fortunately for us, we heeded the conductor’s call to go to the second carriage that was still partially empty. And much to our surprise … we ended sitting in the first class carriage!! Nice … 🙂
Changing train at Montbovon station … from the Goldenpass panoramic train (left) to the regional train, La Gruyère (right).
And the scenery of Gruyères countryside from the train … on that beautiful sunny Saturday.
La Maison du Gruyère … where one can observe cheese-making (for a fee) or see rows and rows of cheese chilling on the racks (for free).
Inside the cheese factory … which also houses a shop and a cafetaria.
There are specific timings to observe cheese-making processes in the factory. Since we were late for the morning schedules … we skipped it altogether and decided to go up the hill to visit the nearby castle instead … before leaving for Cailler chocolate factory in Broc … after purchasing some cheese from the area!
Making our way up the hill towards the Castle (Château de Gruyères) and its tiny medieval (but very touristic) town.
The town ramparts … and the entrance leading into the medieval town on the right.
The only entrance and exit to the tiny medieval town … as seen from outside (left) and inside (right) the town.
A view of inside the tiny town looking in the direction of the castle (with one of its turrets seen in the background) … with a water fountain in the middle of the old town …
… and the view looking towards the opposite direction … from the direction of the castle.
Although tiny, this old town has some very interesting features that make it an interesting place to visit.
Such as this old house, for example. Check out the date on the door below … which tells you when it was built. Of course, it is not the oldest building in the tiny town.
This particular building dated even earlier … as can be seen from the date above the door.
Some of the medieval window designs in the old town … nice.
This is another old house in the medieval town which the hubby and I found very interesting.
Just look at how beautiful the design on its door … and how creatively the rain gutter spout was camouflaged! 🙂
And of course, like many other old towns … their shop signs are very eye-catching.
From the old town, we made our way up to the entrance to the Château de Gruyères. Constructed in the 13th century, this castle was home to a long succession of Gruyères counts … but now belongs to the State of Fribourg.
However, realising that there might not be enough time to do a tour of the castle if we wanted to catch the next train to Broc Fabrique to visit La Maison Cailler … we decided to skip the tour and just took some shots of the surrounding from the terrace near the entrance to the castle.
The sweeping 180° view from the terrace outside the entrance …. from the right, with a view of the old town just below the castle …
… towards the middle with a view of the valley in the far distance and a small graveyard near a church down below …
… and to the left where the famous Moléson (symbol of the Fribourg Pre-Alps) could be seen. It is the mountain on the left with its top partially covered with passing clouds. The train station and La Maison du Gruyère are just after the mount of hill (covered in lush green colour) in the centre of picture.
Making our way back down the hill heading towards the train station.
The hill-top medieval town of Gruyères …
… and its castle as seen from the train as we made our way to Broc.
We had to change train at Bulle in order to get to Broc Fabrique, where the Cailler chocolate factory is located.
Other entries on Gruyères/La Gruyère:
- A day of Cs — cheese, castle and chocolates… part 2… (including visit to the chocolate factory)
- Continuation…the big family Swiss holiday…in Gruyère…