10 Days. 5 continents. Day 6

I’m Matt. Me and my camera are exploring what the greatest degree on Earth might look like. Join me on my journey meeting brilliant minds, going behind-the-scenes at some of the world’s coolest brands and discovering some amazing places to study. Day 6 is once again in Montreux, Switzerland.

We woke to the devastating news about the terrorist activities taking place in Paris overnight. Being on the border of Switzerland and France, I felt like we were very much in France and the sad quietness washed over the town that day. The people spoke French in this town, the food was very creamy, and our view from the hotel looked out over Evian. The world around us was in mourning.

We had breakfast in the hotel restaurant overlooking Lake Geneva. The waitstaff gave us permission to set up our camera on the balcony to get some scenic shots of our location. It truly is a spectacular place. Once again the sky was misty, so we decided to abort our plans to take a ferry across the lake for fear that we would not see much out there.

Instead, I suggested we take a stroll through the Christmas village and enjoy this quaint town in daylight. We only had about 3 hours before departing so we made a move.

The Christmas village smelt like fresh wood chips and, well, Christmas. I guess that is the pine that they have used to build many of the small huts. There were unusual statues and plant sculptures along the way of cows and other cute animal structures and we caught glimpses of flags at half mast along the port, in respect for our French neighbours.

There is a large Freddie Mercury (from the band Queen) statue along the water’s edge directly in front of the Glion Institute of Higher Education, which is perched high up at the top of the mountain. Behind him is a ferris wheel and the Christmas village making the area a very odd mix of festive family fun and old school rocknroll.

It turns out that Freddie Mercury moved to Montreux and bought a house and recording studio in this area as he needed a clear mind in which to produce an album at the time. Various bunches of roses lay at his feet, which showed he regular visitation by adoring fans.

In front of Freddie is an unusual mechanical art installation paying homage to Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival. It struck me that the bar last night was called Funky Claude’s! It all made sense now. It was a clockwork machine made up of little musical bits and pieces and each piece was spinning and moving like the cogs on a clock.

I wandered the streets a little more and came across a fishmonger who had an enormous fish on display outside his shop. It was over a metre long. He kindly posed for a photo 🙂

We were out of time in this quaint town and made a move back to the hotel to collect our bags. We headed towards the train station for our journey to Madrid. The journey was a nice one, through the mountains and fields of Switzerland with cows and cottages dotted along the way.

The airport appeared to have ramped up their security today, and I was glad to see this. I’ll admit I was feeling a little nervous about flying right now after the tragic events of that day.

We arrived in Madrid at 9pm and made our way to the hotel. The hotel was close to the EU campus but it was located in a quiet area out of town. We decided to pack it in for an early night.

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