Day 18: Rest Day – Gruyeres

Today is a day for rest, not for spending what’s left of our energy chasing after William Tell or climbing Alps! So what are we planning? Can you say cheese?

In fact, last night’s dinner was (what else?) Fondue!

But before we get to that, and before the tourist busses arrive, we take advantage of the calm to walk around the village

and then tour the castle.

Built in the 13th century, we find the castle to be well preserved and quite interesting. The apex of its influence came in the late 15th century when the count joined in the Burgundian wars on the side of the Swiss Confederates. Certainly worth the look, but what are these things hanging just inside the entrance? Another representation of good and evil, heaven and hell, or something else entirely?

And the views from the castle walls are great.

Leaving the castle we walk back into the village center. Could too much cheese cause hallucinations? Walking down from the castle we come across this!

Turns out that H.R. Geiger, the creator of the superstar aliens in the films Alien, Aliens, More Aliens, etc. is a Gruyere homeboy! And he even has a museum, which this time we simply cannot guggenheim.

As expected, it is bizarre! But, we do guggenheim the Geiger Bar.

Now back to the cheese.

Of all the cheeses in the world, Le Gruyere is Mark’s favorite: smelling, eating, cooking…it’s the best! So this too is part of our pilgrimage, to the shrine of Gruyere! If you want to know more about the cheese that caused an international incident, read on: The Wild History of Gruyere Cheese

After the Geiger experience it is time for lunch, and none too soon: another thunderstorm is on the way.

As we eat lunch and wait out the rain we see something which strikes us as odd, or at least new. Here in Gruyeres at least, fondue is served with thick slices of bread, to be torn by hand at the table, and a bowl of boiled potatoes. It’s as if they want to make sure you are not disappointed if what you really meant to order was raclette!

We get back to our room between raindrops and settle down for a nap just as thunderstorms resume. This is a good day to not be walking!

After a wonderful non-cheese Fondue Bourguignon for dinner, we retire for the night, wishing we had another rest day or two. Tomorrow it is back on the Jakobsweg!

4 thoughts on “Day 18: Rest Day – Gruyeres

  1. Gruyere is the first town I experienced potatoes along with the bread and fondue. Dipping raclette, a wondrous thing! Planning Gruyere this fall, thx for the Geiger tip!


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