Switzerland 2014

Monday July 7, 2014
Saas Fee to Martigny

Tuesday July 8, 2014
Martigny to Montreux

Wednesday July 9, 2014
Montreux to Geneva

There was a steady rain Tuesday morning.  On to Montreux!


Our room in Martigny.

Our room in Martigny had a unique feature - a single door that either closed the bathroom or the bedroom.
Outside the bedroom and bathroom was a small foyer in the room with a few closets.


Lake Geneva from the train


Guess which one is Freddie Mercury?

It was too early to check in to our hotel so we left our luggage at our hotel and caught the bus out to Chillon Castle.  We tried to buy tickets from the driver but he just waved us on board.  This became a problem later.....



The dungeon where François Bonivard was kept and inspired Byron's The Prisoner of Chillon.  Byron felt compelled to leave graffiti with his name in the dungeon.  For some reason Bonivard was convinced he was imprisoned below lake level and that he would someday drown.



Montreaux from the Castle









On way back to Montreux we got busted by bus police.
On way there, the driver just waved us by when we tried to by tickets, which is the way you buy bus tickets in every other part of Switzerland we'd visited.
Turns out you must by tickets in advance.
The bus nazi goon squad included 5 total goons - 2 larger enforcer types (think ex-military, as in Rob Riggle in The Hangover), 1 woman who did nothing at all but watch, and their aging sith lord commander.
Kent and I admirably tried every possible plea - bus driver waived us on, look at the huge stack of bus passes and train tickets we've got from all over your beautiful country, (clearly were not breaking your laws intentionally),
our hotel is right at this stop, aren't the going to give us a free bus pass the second we're allowed to check in? (the answer to the last question turned out to be yes)
We both thought about rabbiting but decided against it.
The best we could do was get the 100CHF fine reduced in half since we were travelling as a couple.
This now makes us married in many countries.
There were of course no signs anywhere telling you to buy a ticket before you board the bus.
Organized crime thrives in the Montreux transit system...
Can you say 'racket?' :)

On the other hand we now had a heck of an expensive story to tell, so while we were irked we didn't let it get us too down...
Four others got busted at the same time we did, all locals, including one who didn't appear to be documented.  She appeared  to be in real trouble.
The goon squad did deal with us first, presumably so we could continue on our vacation, which was awfully nice of them.


Our room at the Hotel Helvetie, an older and somewhat expensive hotel.

We're still fuming a little over the bus heist...

Rooms are at a premium during the Jazz Festival, which was about a mile away from the hotel


View from our balcony looking west toward Montreux


View from our balcony looking south to Lake Geneva


View from our balcony looking east

We walked down the lakefront toward the Jazz Festival and found nothing but closed hundreds boothes and rain, eventually walking back to the room.

Kent's pic

A couple of hours later we walked down the lakefront again to get something to eat. 
By the time we got near the Jazz Festival I finally realized I had kept my camera with me, we still hadn't eaten, and I likely wasn't going to be allowed to carry my camera into the venue.
I literally ran back to the hotel in the rain to drop off the camera, then ran back to the Festival. 
Kent followed me part of the way back to the hotel, but I missed him on the return. 
I picked up my wristband for the Jazz Festival and texted him.
He came back down to the Jazz Festival while I found a yummy, yummy lamb gyro and some beer.

Kent found me and the party finally started!



Kent's pic

Kent's pic


Kent living the dream, finally entering Montreux Jazz Festival!

We'd been talking about this for months, it was finally time....

Prior to Kent buying us tickets to Montreux I'd never heard of MGMT.
However CJ went to Coachella in 2014 and crowdsurfed to MGMT and I was quickly hooked.
I ended up watching Coachella on AXS network and recording the performance on our DVR.
CJ later told us about the crowdsurfing, and eventually I realized that we've got a recording of him crowdsurfing to Electric Feel!
In Feb 2015 I finally found the performance on vimeo here. 
CJ is at 17:42 - 18:00 in this video.


CJ crowdingsurfing Coachella

We entered the Jazz Lab about 30 minutes before showtime.
We sat down in the middle of the middle of the floor and waited.
We weren't quite the oldest people there since a few tweeners parents were with their kids, but we were nearly the oldest.
Jazz lab was perhaps the smallest venue I've ever seen.
Only held 2000 and we were about 15 rows of people in front of the stage.
Kuroma played maybe 7 songs, 2 or 3 of which were pretty good.
The others were ok but not great.
The crowd pushed in after Kuroma.



MGMT kicked ass though they never addressed the crowd, I'm guessing perhaps they were too 'into the groove' to talk.
The crowd wasn't really very active since the Swiss are so proper and restrained - no crowdsurfing; half the people in the audience were barely even moving to the music.
There were big signs telling you that you couldn't record the performance so I at first was worried about taking pictures and video, and I only took brief iphone videos.
After a while I realized that lots of people were taking videos and obviously no one was getting arrested so I took longer videos.

MGMT played maybe 9 songs before the next break.



Metronomy was great.  I'd never heard of them either (and neither had my kids, which tells me they can't be that popular).  They played for perhaps 90 minutes.

This was my favorite song - perhaps some day I'll figure out what it is.

Metronomy was great and played until 12:30am or so, but i liked MGMT better (obviously different types of music that you can't really compare).
Got back to hotel and crashed at 2am but traffic noise and light and adrenaline kept me up all night.

Monday July 7, 2014
Saas Fee to Martigny

Tuesday July 8, 2014
Martigny to Montreux

Wednesday July 9, 2014
Montreux to Geneva