When We Hopped Out Of The Train To ‘Flaneur’ In Vevey, Switzerland

“Not all those who wander are lost.” 

How true!!
After a day-long tour in the Golden Pass Panoramic train, we disembarked at Montreux – Switzerland’s very own Riviera. We were famished and a quick lunch at one of the many outside restaurants gave us back our energy — we strolled along the lake front, loving the sun and the warm weather. Ridi took fancy to a few rides, and we were more than happy to indulge her. She had been, after all, so good during the entire 6-hour tour. She deserved it!!

Soon after, we hopped onto a local train to get to Lausanne. And from there we had to take another train, to Zurich via Bern. Just as we were coming up to the small town of Vevey, I happened to wistfully tell Jayant, how beautiful the countryside was. Pat Jayant asked, if I wanted to take a short spin of the town. I looked at him. You are pulling my leg, I accused. No, he said and added, hurry if you want to. Of course I did. And without giving it another thought, we rushed out of the train. Baby, baby’s pram, my big bag full of food, water and warm clothes, all in tow.

What movie style impulse!! It was a bright summer afternoon, and like true vagabonds, we loitered around the little town of Vevey. Months later we got to know that Vevey is famous for housing the head-office of Nestle. That afternoon hour though, we were enticed by the quiet of the place.. Either people were busy working or they were taking their afternoon siesta. Or maybe they have all gathered at the lakefront, making the most of the lovely day, we thought.

There was this quaint, tiny church close to the station. We quietly slipped into it, careful not to disturb the quiet. And as the sun’s rays streamed in through the stained window panes, giving the church a very dramatic look, we knelt down and prayed. Despite the minimal embellishments and just the basic pieces of furniture, the Church looked every bit serious. I like such nondescript churches in the countrysides. They do not have the trappings of the lavish and magnificient churches in bigger cities, and yet exude the same divinity. Their simplicity bowl me over.

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We crossed over to the other side of the station where the hills overlooked Lake Geneva. Cottages dotted the hills till as far as you could see. Cottages that had their own personal vineyards. Can you beat that? We grow flowers in our gardens. But the people of Vevey grow grapes!!! We could have given our right arm and leg to stay in one of those beautiful cottages. People say money can’t buy you happiness. Well, it can surely buy me a chalet in Gstaad or a vineyard-cottage in Vevey!! What say?

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We loitered around for an hour or so. Or as they say in French (which is what people speak in this part of Switzerland), ‘flaneur’ed around untill we reminded ourselves that Zurich was about 2 hours away.

We left Vevey thoroughly intoxicated. Not by the wines they produce. But by the glimpses of the beautiful life they live there. So long!