Postcard from Montreux

September 2009 – “Lakeside Promenade Fleuri”

I am sitting here on a bench overlooking Lake Geneva in the lakeside town of Montreux. Whenever I hear that name it makes me smile and remember a band from my youth, Deep Purple, and their song “Smoke on the Water”.

We all came out to Montreux
On the Lake Geneva shoreline
To make records with a mobile
We didn’t have much time…

The lead singer Ian Gillan was one of only two posters on my bedroom wall when I was a teenager. The other was Robert Plant. It was a very small bedroom.

It is mid-afternoon and the sun is shining on me, though the other side of the lake is shrouded in mist and I can only see vague outlines of the stunning mountains that I know are there. I am on my own at the moment as my husband is still at a conference in Geneva where we have been for the past week. I had decided that after the conference in Geneva we should extend our stay in Switzerland to celebrate my birthday and wedding anniversary in Montreux in a romantic old hotel on the lakeside.

The Hotel Eden Palace au Lac – an old lady right on the lakeside. Cheaper than some of the more modern hotels and a little faded gem. There are no buildings in front of us so our room overlooks the lake. The views will be impressive if the fog lifts. I hope it does before we leave on Tuesday.  It is a tiny bedroom with a disproportionately large chandelier, but it does have a petite balcony with a table and two chairs so we can sit outside and the bathroom has definitely seen better days and is quite a squeeze, but the room is clean which is my main concern. (Our room is behind the letter L in Palace)

After checking in this afternoon I came down to the promenade that runs for 10km along the shore of Lake Geneva, from Vevey to the Château de Chillon. This path is lined with palm trees and exotic flowers, while the magnificent views extend across the lake to the Alps and into Savoy. Have I mentioned the fog? I can’t really see much of the mountains, but I can sense their presence all around me. Continue reading Postcard from Montreux

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A Black and White Sunday

St Ives at high tide. I don’t know about the moving water, but it certainly makes you move pretty sharpish when it splashes over the pavement!

Weekly Photo Challenge | Moving Water

home thoughts from abroad

Home thoughts from abroad is a new series on Travel Words featuring a single photograph that reminds me of a country visited and showing something that uniquely identifies it as being ‘abroad’.

Visiting the African penguins at Boulder’s Beach in Cape Town in 2008 we came across this young guy sleeping in his wheelbarrow. Obviously exhausted from his efforts to keep the dunes tidy. Whenever I see this photo it makes me smile and brings back memories of those delightful and comical creatures who have colonised what was once considered to be a prime beach on the peninsula.

I can still recall the long row of parked cars along the roadside in the summer months making it impossible to visit the beach back in the 1970s.

Mmm… now where does that remind me of?

Plainpalais Flea Market

Old shoes, scuffed and oddly shaped by old feet,
Heels run down, soles flapping.
Miles of dusty pavements
Ingrained in the cracked leather.
For sale?
Surely not.
Electrical items from a bygone era
Pose safety implications for sure.
A VHS larger than any I have seen before.
So much tat.
Chipped and ugly painted vases
Lie amongst broken crockery
And balding teddy bears,
Once loved
Now forgotten.
LPs without covers
More than likely scratched
Causing that irritating repetition
When the needle jumps
And stutters
Again
And again.
And again.
Curiously there is an entire car engine
Rusty and tired
Like the car it once belonged in.
And a motherboard!
I recognise the jumpers,
The switches,
The spaces for the RAM,
And Video cards.
Almost an antique.
Almost definitely useless.
Close by is combat gear
And camouflage clothing,
Rusty saws and axes,
Swords and other miscellaneous evil-looking instruments
Of torture.
Or maybe not.
My imagination is getting the better of me,
they are probably gardening tools.
An elephant’s foot table.
Now that must be illegal to sell.
Or buy.
I grimace.
Indian puppet dolls
Are much more cheerful,
But I don’t stop.
Tables full of coins and clothing, glassware and china.
Bundles of straw which leave me wondering
What one would do with them
In a city.
Like this.
Time for me
to move on.

~wander.essemce~ | poetry