Today we hooked ourselves up to our coffee drips, got ourselves situated, and jumped on a train up the coast of Lake Geneva. Most of our morning beautifully waned away at Chateau de Chillon. Chillion went through a variety of identities - first a Roman outpost in the 1000s (nope, that year isn't a typo), then a country retreat for the dukes of Savoy, then a prison for the enemies of the dukes of Savoy, then a munitions and weapons depot in the 1790s, then inspiration for Lord Byron's The Prisoner of Chillion (Byron also carved his name in one of the dungeon pillars), and now finally a place for tourists to take a zillion pictures for a zillion hours.
All in all, we castled real hard. And might have done that thing where we get distracted by the pretty and forget to eat and then don't quite realize why we're cranky. Or as Meghan likes to exclaim, 'I'm le tired!'. Nothing a stop at the nearest boulangerie couldn't fix. Here is a brief survey of Switzerland signage we enjoyed along the way:
After fueling ourselves, we explored some of the towns along the lake, made some very fortunate transportation mistakes on the way to Lausanne, and accidentally stumbled into the vineyards of Lavaux. We strolled down the hillside through the vineyards and had a nice dinner thoroughly confusing our non-English-speaking waiter.
When we finally made it to Lausanne we were pretty darn exhausted, but I was on a mission. We headed straight up to the Lausanne cathedral. Unfortunately we got into town too late to see the inside of the cathedral and the beeeautiful organ inside, but we we were just in time to eavesdrop on Johannes Skudlik practicing for his concert the following night and awkwardly speak to him on the way out of the cathedral.
After relaxing for a bit, it was time for the main event: The Nightwatchman of Lausanne. Every night since 1405 between 10pm and 2am, the nightwatchman bellows the time from the bell tower of the Lausanne Cathedral. The tradition was established after a fire burned down a good portion of the city one night. The nightwatchman was to keep a lookout over the city for signs of fire. If all was well on the hour after the church bells rings, he bellows out 'C’est le guet! Il a sonné dix! Il a sonné dix!” or translated to Engligh 'It’s the nightwatchman. It just rang ten!'. It was so kitchy and SO LOUD and so magical and I'm so happy Meghan indulged my need to hear it even though she was 'le tired'.