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Gruyeres

8/25/08 - After making our next day reservations for the Glacier Express in the Aigle train station, we parallel the train tracks that we took to Interlaken on 8/21 until we arrive in the town of Château-d'Oex where we make a turn toward the Canton of Fribourg and Gruyeres, a perfectly preserved old castle-village. Feeling that it was important to gain a greater understanding of the cheese making process we stopped at a little cheese factory to watch the process. This is a very efficient little factory capable of producing 36 large rondelles of cheese in two hours. Of course, the magic isn't in the making of the cheese, it is in the aging of it. This cheese gets aged up to 18 months. With explanitory devices in hand, we made our way through the exhibit and to the cheese-making room, learning everything there is to know about the process beginning with the cow. We were surprised to learn that a cow eats 100 kilos of grass and drinks 35 litres of water every single day but that does explain why you never see one reading a book or updating a website.

Château-d'Oex Cheese Factory Cheese Factory Cheese Factory
After leaving the cheese factory we drove to the parking lot that serves the car free village of Gruyeres. There we can see the walls and turrets of a fairytale castle, bristling atop a single crag rising above the gorgeous rolling lowlands of Canton Fribourg. The whole region – of which Gruyères village is the best-known attraction – is known as La Gruyere, taking in the long Lac de la Gruyère and the Sarine valley south of Fribourg, the market town and regional transport hub of Bulle, and a handful of resorts clinging to the slopes of the prealpine peaks.
Linda in Gruyeres Gruyeres La Gruyere from the Castle Gruyeres Castle

As I walked around the turrent of the castle I saw a church and cemetery below so I walked closer to get a better view of the modernistic gravestones.

Gruyere Churchyard Gruyere Churchyard Gruyere Churchyard Gruyere Churchyard

Next I wandered around the HR Giger Museum, waiting for the morning light to shine on the outside sculptures. The building complex is the permanent home to many of the artist’s most prominent works. It houses the largest collection of the artist's paintings, sculptures, furnitures and film designs, dating from the early 1960's until the present day..

HR Giger Museum HR Giger Museum HR Giger Museum HR Giger Museum

By the time that I rediscovered Linda and Kathie we were beginning to long for lunch so we found an outdoor restaurant overlooking the valley. After raspberries and Gruyeres cream at the Hostellerie St. Georges , we traveled on to Bulle where we didn't visit the Nestle Chocolate Factory and then raced back past Vuadens and Chatel Saint Denis to the lovely vineyards of Aigle and home.

Hostellerie St. Georges Bulle Chatel Saint Denis Aigle Vineyard

 

Map of Gruyeres

Brig from Glacier Express Goms Valley from Glacier Express Hospental from Glacier Express Overal frpm Glacier Express
Vorderhein Gorge from Glacier Express Ocupants of Isenau View from La Palette Vers d'Eglise
Le Chamossaire Bains de Lavey Roc d'Orsay Cable Car View from Le Chamossaire
View from Le Chamossaire Bretaye from Above Bretaye from Above Bex, Switzerland

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