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Travel Series – Switzerland | Gruyères

07/05/19

Hi, I'm mandy.

I'm Mandy and I'm so happy you found the Sugar Tree blog. Here you'll find posts from recent sessions, personal ramblings and tips and tricks on anything from taking better selfies, to how to get great snapshots of your kiddo's. Stay a while and say hello!

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Switzerland – Part 2 : Gruyères.

If you have ever dreamed of visiting Europe and want to include magnificent scenery at every turn, gorgeous old castles and delicious food, then you have to make a stop in Switzerland. Granted I have not been to many European countries, but I have visited a few and none captured my heart the way Switzerland did. This is part 2 in my mini series on this beautiful place. You can read the first post here.

Gruyères

I have to admit that touring Europe with someone from the region is far more interesting and informative, you also see far more of the culture and day to day life than if you’re visiting with a tour. Having lived in Switzerland for 15 years, Michelle and Daniele were the most amazing hosts and really showed me the heart of their portion of Switzerland.

On my first weekend in Ollon we had full 2 days of touring and our first stop was the beautiful town  of Gruyères. This medieval town is known for its cheese of the same name – and as I came to discover….it’s meringues (oh.my.word! they were so good!! I even brought a box home for my family!! And yes they survived the plane trip in tact!! Much to my families delight. 😀 ). As with most of the Swiss towns I saw, Gruyères is nestled at the foot of magnificent mountains and has a 13th-century hilltop castle (or Château – which sounds so much cooler haha 🙂 ).

Cheese glorious cheese

Our first stop in town was La Maison du Gruyère to see the huge wheels of cheese and the cheese room (I’m sure it has a really fancy name, but in my mind it’s just the cheese room). This is where the cheese matures. There are rows and rows of shelves, all filled with huge rounds of cheese in various stages of maturity. There is a very nifty little robot that glides up and down the rows and it stops at each shelf and turns over each and every round of cheese. This is apparently a key part of the aging and drying process as it ensures the moisture, fat and protein are equally distributed throughout the cheese – giving you the smooth, rich flavours throughout. I have never been a huge cheese buff and am not adventurous at all when it comes to trying new flavours of cheese and I loved seeing how the process unfolds, so if cheese is your thing, this is definitely worth adding to your MUST SEE list.

La Maison du Gruyere cheese shop Gruyere cheese aging room gruyere cheese wheel

Real life Castle

From the minute you step through the entrance of the 400 year old castle you can see for miles in every direction from the castle walls and it’s easy to imagine being a villager in this little hilltop sanctuary going about your daily life, whilst knowing that the guards and those really big walls have your back.

As in times gone by, the town within the fortress is still there with apartments and hotels lining the main street. I even spotted an apartment or 2 that were for sale. I wouldn’t want to know how much they actually were, but it’s nice to dream of living within walking distance of a real life castle.

It really is a feast for the eyes – everywhere I looked there was something that caught my attention. I love old buildings and especially the ornate doors, so being in a place like this was a little piece of heaven for me. The history and stories these walls could tell if they could talk….and to top off our experience we happened to walk into the square as a group of Swiss yodellers did an impromptu performance.

Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle entrance Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle town square Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle town square Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle architecture Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle old doors Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle apartments Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle stores Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle

Museums aplenty

If you are a movie buff and have an affinity for the movie “Alien” you can visit the H.R.Giger museum which is filled with artwork relating to the film. And if you want to take the Alien experience even further you can eat lunch at the adjoining restaurant. The interior of which looks like the inside of the alien – complete with Alien skeleton running along the ceiling and down the walls. We didn’t go in and I don’t have any pictures of that – because they are very strict about you taking pictures- but I was looking through the windows and to be honest, as cool as it looked I don’t know if I could eat my lunch in the belly of the alien. haha
Also within the fortress walls, the Tibetan museum showcases buddhist sculptures and ritual objects of the Himalayas.
Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle HR Giger museum Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle HR Giger Museum Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle

Scenery for Miles

We however, simply wandered the grounds of the castle, taking in the magnificent views, enjoying the warm weather and delicious strawberry ice cream. No summer trip to Europe would be complete without ice cream!!
Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle view
Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle view Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle view Gruyères Switzerland medieval castle
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into Gruyères. Be sure to leave me a comment – I love to hear from you!

  1. Amy says:

    Wow so cool!

  2. Maria says:

    These are such great photos. This part of the world is beautiful.

  3. Love these! I need to blog more of my travel pix!!

  4. Sarah Duke says:

    I am not much of a traveler but your images are so georgeous it makes me want to travel there! It is easy to get use to the world around us and the world we know, and just kind of live in our little box…easy to forget just how amazing other places and destinations are! Awesome post thanks for sharing!

    • Mandy Provan says:

      Thanks so much Sarah. You’re so right – we get stuck in our little bubbles sometimes, we forget that there are amazing places to explore just beyond the horizon. If you ever get the chance you must definitely go. It is just too beautiful for words.

  5. Absolutely gorgeous! This would be a dream trip!
    xoxo Jen

  6. Sarah says:

    I’ve never visited Switzerland – the scenery looks spectacular. I am bookmarking this page!! And for now I’ll just sit here for a minute and pretend I’m there! 🙂

    • Mandy Provan says:

      It truly is just out of this world!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post Sarah. Look out for the rest of the series- the views just keep getting better!

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welcome to my blog

I'm Mandy and I'm so happy you found the Sugar Tree blog. Here you'll find posts from recent sessions, personal ramblings and tips and tricks on anything from taking better selfies, to how to get great snapshots of your kiddo's. Stay a while and say hello!

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