Monday, September 18, 2017

Honeymoon Day 8: The Swiss Alps: Morgins

1/6/2017
Honeymoon Day 8: The Swiss Alps: Morgins

Up early again and to the amazing Fairmont Montreux Breakfast Buffet again. I sliced some fresh bread and had some smoked salmon on it this time, which was so amazing. Incredible! Instead of a coffee, I asked, "Can I please have a Chocolat Chaud this morning?" The waitress responded, "Oh, it is good. It is Cailler!" Why not??! That was awesome. Also yuuuuuuus they had Passion Fruits again so I went crazy and got a bazillion.


Awesome view from our balcony
View towards the back of the hotel, looking up the hills of Montreux

Cheesssssse

The fresh juice was insane too
My favourite spot, the fruit bar


What a view at breakfast time!
A little more wandering around the hotel after breakfast...



We then headed to the train station and caught the train to go up the Alps. The awesome Concierge folks Matthieu and Jose helped us so well, as the snow had been light in many places and today the wind was so strong, so many ski lifts were closed. I had originally thought it might be fun to ski actually, but with the chilly wind and limited lifts in most places, we decided just to go up a mountain and take some photos.

We chatted with those guys for a bit to find out which hill would make most sense to go on that day, we had considered Glacier 3000 but it was too cold, at -20C!! It was also so windy up there that many attractions were closed. It was also quite far without having a car, so we considered other options. Rochers-de-Naye looked pretty but seemed kindof boring in terms of the activities you could do in that area (or was too similar to the kinds of things we'd done already). Gtsaad and Chateaux-d-Oex were awesome but we had just been there. I really wanted to do the "sledging" but almost all of those runs were closed, too. For skiing, many runs were not open or lifts were not open yet.

Allors... to Porte du Soleil! As recommended by friends and also by the concierge team. They suggested Morgins specifically via Train+Train+Bus. The train ride was great and the second portion was quite vertical-y compared to the first standard train ride. Good times. "We put the fun in Funicular!"







Once we got most of the way there, we switched to a bus and it was very funny try to use my rail pass and then finding out we needed to pay. I thoroughly confused the bus driver in this small town area that did not feel particularly touristy. The total was 15.20 CHF and I didn't have enough change and he definitely didn't take the Eurail pass. "...uhh... carte?" "uhhh.... *gives the driver the Montreux bus pass*" Finally I got closer to something that would actually work, "uhhh... 100 CHF note?!" To which he calmly but casually said to himself, "Poo-tahn" (sware word) because he had to figure out if he had a pile of change for me (which he did, but it was hilarious that I gave him $100 on the bus for a short ride to a ski hill). That's all I had on me! haha.

Anyway after the eventful bus ticket purchase it was a 20 min drive up the winding hills to Morgins. Brr chilly!! It was very cold on arrival up there and while beautiful, we were definitely glad we loaded up on gloves, hats, scarves etc. and were well prepared. Upon arrival at the bus stop we met a nice older Irish lady, "Ohh!!! You're on your honeymoon?!!!!" She was very pleased to hear that and then said she was going to check out the church and invited us to go along with her. :) We politely declined and headed to the tourist info instead. There was only one obvious way up the mountain via the Ski Lift. There was also a "Walkers Pass" which was only slightly cheaper but it was insanely cold so we opted for the Ski Lift.  We asked the lady at the booth if you could just buy a one-way ticket and decide later if you want to walk down, she said that you COULD but in a hilarious way that was certainly supposed to mean "There's literally no way you're gonna want to walk down this thing." We laughed about it later when we found out the mountain was straight upwards for 10 min on the chair lift and a walk would have taken many hours. Turns out Michal hadn't been on many chair lifts before, silly love!! So we got onto the chair lift safely and really enjoyed the amazing views. "I got you an Alp"!





The ride up was very chill (and chilly!) and so we passed the time by joking around about a bazillion things. Re-watching this now, this is super hilarious. We are a buddy-comedy duo :)



We got to the top and enjoyed all the epic views, and took a short walk nicely in the snow up there. (Merrells FTW!) It was very bright sun and the mountain ranges were AWESOME. It was verrrry Swiss up there and just nice to experience the Alps in all their glory. Since so many runs were closed and it was pretty chilly, it was also not that insanely busy so we got to enjoy the scenery and the chalet without having to fight for a seat.

On that note, time to eat again! Poulet and Fries?! We actually found a plate of Spaghetti Bolognaise (100% Boeuf!) and I was SO in for that. This plus a 40 cent bread plus a local Beer from Morgins called "Mountain Thirst Quencher" and we were all set. Awesome warm chalet lunch and just enjoying a day of fresh air and the magical outdoors.













Awesome Spaghetti Bolognaise!

After lunch we headed back outside to take a few more photos and then took the ski lift back down to the village. The ski lift back down had amazing views and it was cool to see the tiny little village houses from there.








Brr, it's getting chillier!!
We wandered for a little bit in town, went to any shops that were open (and had heating blasting!). I got some Cailler chocolate called Rayon. We went into a ski shop that had some truly amazing deals on waterproof ski pants and jackets and stuff, I almost bought a super fancy down Gore-Tex jacket because it was on an insane sale. But I went a little less crazy... but still bought something :) I picked up a super nice new Toque by Da Kine and the name of the toque was "Gordon"!!! Thought that was hilarious and awesome. There were some amazing 50% and 75% off deals but I really didn't have room in the luggage to buy giant snowboarding pants. That Burton Gore-Tex and Goose Down jacket sure was awesome though.... It was 700 CHF, 70% off...  something like 212 CHF, something like $220 USD. Sweet deal. Almost bought it. :)





A cafe opened up across from the ski shop and Michal got a chocolate hazelnut drink and I got, of course, a "Vin Chaud", also known as a "Gluhwein!" That was a nice warm break from the frigid outdoor weather and we soon got back on the bus to get to the train station. It was a beautiful drive back to Troistorrents with the same bus driver as earlier.  "uhh... can we use Eurail?"?! Of course I asked another silly question on the way home since it was pricier than expected on the way up, I was wondering if we could use the Eurail pass for the bus too. Nope! :)

We got back to the station and, of course, it was freezing there too. We laughed at a crazy vending machine that had a lot of unexpected stuff in it, and not too long after we (and everyone else dropped off by the bus) got onto the train going back to Aigle and then on to Montreux. The vending machine at the station was particularly interesting... it had a SALE in it?!?! A couple of the chocolate bars were on sale for some reason (no idea how they organized that temporarily) and there was a price for 2 of them instead of 1. Technology! How odd.

Anyway we were happy to get out of the cold and onto the train, and it was most definitely nap time after that.


Glorious views on the bus ride from Morgins back to Troistorrents


Back at the hotel and showing off my Da Kine "Gordon" hat!
We headed to the Lounge area for some tea and a snack before dinner. I was particularly excited about something called "Daytime Passion giggle water". From their menu, Giggle Waters are "A slang word used for drinks in jazz bars during Prohibition, these refreshing drink suggestions are made using homemade syrups and lengthened with soda water, available both hard and soft." I got this one basically invented for me which was Homemade passionfruit and Earl Grey syrup - Soda water. Friggin' incroyable!

Indoors at the lounge
"Daytime Passion" Giggle Water -- Passionfruit, Earl Grey, syrup and soda water?!?!? YEP.


We had a nice tea time there "by the fire" and then went back upstairs to pack our stuff for the next morning. Yay, new fruit! They had refilled our fruit plate every day including today, which was great and gave us some stuff to take on the train the next morning. That and the turndown Cailler Frigor chocolate was pretty awesome. But didn't feel toooooo epic.... ugh. Maybe too much overindulgence. So we had a small nap again and I felt much better an hour later.

And off to Funky Claude's one more time! Initially it was so busy and there were no seats available, but the staff was SO accommodating. At first they led us over to one remaining seat at the bar, "Madame can sit, Monsieur can stand?" "Sure!" Approximately 2 seconds later, a table opened up and the host came back, "I have a table for you." Amazing. "Please take care of Santana's guitar" the waiter said as our booth had one of Santana's guitars behind it. So cool. There were lots of fun dancing people and our awesome live band again. This place is the best.



We polished off a nice chicken burger and fries, and I got the Smoky Old Fashioned again... so tasty. We were sad that it was our last night there, but what an AMAZING place!!! Probably one of the most welcoming, amazing, and awesome hotels I've ever been to. What a pleasure it was to stay there and it added so very much to our trip. Truly an amazing spot. So, so good. We already discussed when we should return again. :)

And this just about wrapped our time in Switzerland, the first stop of our epic honeymoon. We went to bed for the final night in Montreux, ready to get up in the morning and head to Paris by train.