This isn’t the Swiss cheese from my Tom & Jerry childhood – far from it.
The default locale for a day trip of fondue and raclette is Gruyeres, a quaint medieval town 1.5 hours outside of Lausanne. It’s also eponymous for a type of cheese that reminds my unsophisticated palate of Gouda but possibly a bit creamier. Almost everyone who’s staying in the Geneva Lake region makes a pilgrimage to Gruyeres not only to see the town, which is interesting in its own right having a chateau as a focal point, but also to see what’s acknowledged as one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland. We finally made it there after discussing the idea since last week, wanting to time it when the weather was cooperating. Today wasn’t perfect but since we had little time left in Switzerland we decided to go, a decision that turned out as good as it can be. It still took three train changes though to reach it from Lausanne but once there found it fairly quiet, unhurried, and satisfying. It had a lot of atmosphere and did indeed remind me of Beauty and the Beast, often mentioned by others when trying to describe the town – in the course of wandering through the town I of course couldn’t help but sing the tune in my head during the first hour I was there even going as far as art directing the first few scenes of the song. Once we got through with the business of site seeing, it was time to sit down and enjoy two of Switzerland’s iconic dishes that I’m sure have left my arteries begging for air and most likely lessened my lifespan by a couple of years. Can’t say I didn’t enjoy it though.
Gruyeres was indeed a nice diversion especially since it gave us a chance to see more of the country’s enviable and breathtaking countryside that will be hard to beat much less forget. I just hope Switzerland hasn’t ruined me for everything else.