GRUYERE: MORE THAN CHEESE

October 19, 2010 in SWITZERLAND | Comments (2)

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5 October

A favourite excursion from other alpine resorts, the little fortified town of Gruyères perches on a hill surrounded by the alps. We drove there through burnished mountain woodlands along a winding road. Past a door in a cliff, where they used to store the Gruyere cheeses – the cheeses are of course named after the town.

It is ridiculously pretty, this little walled town full of hanging signs, quaint old houses and colourful flowers. And so – naturally – full of visitors and curios. I tried snapping a few shots of the fountain in the cobbled square, but always someone walked half in or half out my frame.

We sauntered further to the castle, which is encircled by a narrow path; as we circumnavigated, peace reigned, while autumn blazed warmly. This castle dates back to the 1400s when the counts of Gruyères had their heyday as a military power. It was also a place where lords and ladies of other alpine castles met for jousting, feasting and hunting of wild boar. There is a museum in the castle as well as two other museums in the town.

Down to the medieval church. Then on to the very Swiss sight – vines, sheep and castle on a hill, all in one shot.

When we returned to the square the sun came out and the people had gone. Must have been a tourist bus. A moment of delicious abandon – we sat on the verandah of a hotel and ordered raspberries with cream. If clotted cream is a fond memory from Cornwall it is eclipsed by Gruyeres cream. The spoon could stand up in it…