Start your visit with the Communal Cemetery of Corsier Village which is located up the hill near Vevey (home of Nestle International and Nestle Swiss Headquarters) which is easy to reach by Swiss Rail.
Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.
One of 11 children, Chaplin’s daughter, actress Geraldine Chaplin, is now a resident of Miami (and star in my favorite film, Doctor Zhivago, from the 1957 novel by Boris Pasternack ). However, Ms Chaplan has resided occasionally in the Chaplin family home in Corsier and is an active contributor to the community. The Chaplin home is being turned into a museum for honoring the life of Charlie Chaplin and should be finished in 2011. Also in the area is the “Parc Charlie Chaplin” with a stele monument to this legendary man.
Another famous actor interred in the Corsier Communal Cemetery is James Neville Mason (May 15, 1909 –July 27, 1984) who was also English. Mason was in films from 1935 to 1985 and was perhaps best remembered in the role of Brutus in Julius Caesar with Marlon Brando in 1953.
After paying homage to these great men and visiting Corsier village, go down the main street a ways to the Funiculaire station Vevey-Plan and take a fantastic climb to Mont Pelerin for the view of a lifetime and a stop at the elegant Belle Epoque style Le Mirador Kempinski Lake Geneva Hotel . Treat yourselves to a sunset “aperitif” (with a flute of Champagne, of course) or an expensive-but-worth-it dinner overlooking the Swiss and French Alps as well as most of the largest lake in Western Europe, the Lake of Geneva.
Situated almost straight up from Montreux by cog-wheel train or by car on the hairpin-curved road is the tiny village of Caux with an incredible panoramic view of the Swiss and French Alps and most of the Lake of Geneva (Lac Leman). After you adjust to the impact of the view, you will be struck by the enormous castle that was once a grand hotel and is now a venue for international conferences, a hotel school and the tourist office.
Morges. Image courtesy of Dominique Schreckling
The charming port of Morges can be walked or cycled to from Lausanne along the Lake Geneva lakeside path or reached by fast train from Geneva (or also walked to or cycled to if you’re not in
a hurry). With the medieval Chateau Vufflens uphill from the town which is set in the vineyards and fields with poppies in season (along with a Michelin restaurant), lakeside Morges is very picturesque but also a constantly growing community with new multi-national companies springing up like mushrooms all the time. The port of Morges is gorgeous anytime but especially in the spring when it is literally overwhelmed with tulips of all colors everywhere. In addition to the Morges Chateau, which is a military museum, you must experience this amazing ship that we could watch being hand built by artisans and unemployed craftsman in Morges during a 5 year period when we had a long recession in Switzerland.
Christened in 2002, the ship is called the la galere La Liberte and is a reproduction of a galley ship (which used oarsmen for power) of the XVII century.
A quaint village with one of the best views of Lac Leman in the region is Grandvaux which originates in centuries past. It is located between Laussane and Montreux within the newly designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lavaux Vinyards. With an excellent gastronomic reputation, Grandvaux offers 7 restaurants (many with Lake Geneva and Swiss Alps views) and the village wine cellar of local Swiss wine which is a coop of Grandvaux winemakers called “Caveau Corto”. It is well known for its wines from Chasselas, Pinot-Noir and Gamay grapes.
Hugo Pratt (1927 – 1995), Italian-born creator of the comic strip, The Adventures of Corto Maltese along with many other international lifetime achievements, made his final home the village of Grandvaux in 1984. Much beloved by the villagers, they erected a statue of him in the center of the village looking out over the vineyards and the mouth of the Rhone River entering Lac Leman.
Although Le Bouveret is a charming small town with a lovely port and canals, as well as the miniature trains which can be ridden at the Swiss Vapeur Parc, it’s Aquaparc that is the real reason that the locals go there. This is the place for your kids (and for you!) when you are getting tired of fascinating medieval buildings, elegant castles, placid alpine waters dotted with beautiful swans and Swiss Alpine panoramic views that literally take your breath away! In Le Bouveret you and/or your kids can focus on the water slides, the big wave, the many pools, the sauna, the hammam and much more. Even though their website is in French, take a peek at the Aquaparc video which is in the universal language of music!
See my latest GUIDE: Hidden Gems of Lake Geneva for more Swiss Travel Secrets!
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