We All Came Out To Montreux: A Swiss Photo Essay

Editor’s Note:

Today I’m pleased to feature this fabulous Swiss photo essay by Anastasia Chernykh, My Life’s a Trip’s Ukraine-based Social Media Manager. I’ve not seen much of Switzerland beyond it’s airports, but these gorgeous fall photos and interesting musical and literature factoids now make me want to visit Montreux in person.

- Jen

The sun, the lake and the mountains

I don’t remember exactly when I heard the Smoke On The Water for the first time, but even in my school years I knew there would be something special about this Swiss city. Indeed there is.

Beautifully located on the shores of Lake Geneva, Montreux is one of the most frequented resorts in Switzerland. Due to its mild climate and picturesque location Montreux is often called the capital of the “Swiss Riviera”. Once a small village, lying in the heart of the traditional wine-growing region, Montreux now is surrounded by posh coastal suburbs, which host a trail of famous (and not famous) guests all year-round.

The town stretches along the shores of a large bay and rises to heights covered with woods and vineyards

The flower-bordered lake promenade…

…with nearly 800 varieties of plants & flowers!

One of the main attractions of the city is the building of the hotel Montreux Palace, opened in the early XX century. The Montreux Convention was signed here in 1936, Vladimir Nabokov lived in this hotel with his wife, Vera.

Luxury hotel Montreux Palace, is still not only a landmark in the city, but also one of the most popular hotels on the shores of Lake Geneva

Lord Byron, Hemingway, Victor Hugo, Courbet, Scott Fitzgerald, Charlie Chaplin all are among the famous guests once stayed in this region.  Montreux Jazz Festival, held annually since 1967, brings even more celebrities to this list- B.B King, Miles Davis, James Brown, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Norah Jones, Pharell Wiliams, David Bowie have all stepped in Palace Montreux’ corridors. Along the quay, at the square Place du Marche, there is towering bronze statue of another famous resident of the town— Freddie Mercury.

Memorial to Freddie Mercury, long-time resident of Montreux

Among the city highlights there are special “speaking benches”(and a free app to explore them) located on the promenade and dedicated to famous guests of the city.

Stormy weather & majestic mountains

Even palm trees grow in here

Going back to where we started, Deep Purple wrote their famous song after they witnessed an unfortunate event in Montreux, in December  1971. During a concert by Frank Zappa, held in casino “Montreux”, one fan fired a flare gun into the ceiling and started a fire that destroyed the building. The image of smoke on the water haunted the band members, who saw it from the window of their hotel. I was happy enough to see a nice reminder of the smoke incarnated in the rainy clouds above the lake.

Not exactly the “smoke”, but still impressive

The infamous “gambling house”, 40 years later, fully refurbished

Adorable vintage car near Casino Montreux

It’s a 3 kilometer walk along the lake’s costs leads to the most visited Swiss historical sight, Château de Chillon. You walk through an endless promenade of Montreux to the castle, which appears to grow directly out of the water. But that’s an illusion – Chillon Castle stands on a rocky island, designed to appears unapproachable.

Château de Chillon, the Switzerland’s most visited historic monument

Chillon Castle is a complex consisting of several buildings, each built over various time periods. Lord Byron had a major role in popularizing the castle when in 1816 he described it in detail in his poem “The Prisoner of Chillon,” based on the true account of the capture of Francois Bonivard. The “speaking bench”  dedicated to Byron unfortunately didn’t work during my visit, so I only was able to enjoy the inspiring view of a castle that looks like a fairytale fantasy.

The first of three courtyards of Château

Inside the castle

The view of the courtyard from one of the castle’s towers

The fisherman near Chillon Castle

The sunset view of lake and mountains at the entrance of Chillon Castle

Fijian Dancers at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji: A Photo Essay with GIFs

A group of school aged children performing at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Resort

One of the things I liked most about my recent glamping trip to the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji was that it felt authentically Fijian. There was no chain hotel vibe and Fijian culture was front and center.

A group of dancers from Nukubalavu Village

Two nights a week the property has groups of Fijian dancers perform. One dance troupe is from Nukubalavu village, which is the village where most of the hotel’s staff reside. Many of the dancers are related to the hotel workers which made the performance extra special.

Fijian dancers twirling GIF

Busting a move, Fijian style

The dancers perform a meke– a traditional Fijian dance performance– that is usually done at celebrations and festivals.

Fiji’s answer to Twerking GIF

I liked that the dancers were various age groups and performed in a variety of styles.

I adored this dancer’s traditional outfit and sweet smile

Hips Don’t Lie: Fiji Edition

There are no televisions at the Jean-Michel Resort, but with entertainment like this you definitely do not miss them.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

Lesiaceva Point, Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji

+679 885 0188

info@fijiresort.com

You can read more about my stay at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji on the Glamping.com blog.

 

Check Out The West Hollywood Cocktail Scene (and Photography Tips) in my Guest Post for Andaz Salon

The Saints Day cocktail at Laurel Hardware

I was very excited when my friends at Andaz reached out to me to write a guest post for Andaz Salon, their lifestyle blog. Check out my guest post with tips for Exploring (and Photographing) the West Hollywood Cocktail Scene here.

While I love the drinks at Laurel Hardware, their food is great too. Behold a pizza!

Brunch cocktails at The Church Key

Tequila on display at Tortilla Republic

Rebecca of Rebecca Adler Photography took this photo of me at the Andaz WeHo

Andaz West Hollywood

8401 Sunset Boulevard

West Hollywood, California, USA, 90069

Tel: 1 323 656 1234

Fax: 1 323 650 7024

This post would not be possible without my friends at Andaz and my hand models slash friends: Devony, John, Mike and Sydney

Bula from Fiji!

The view flying to Savusavu in Fiji

I’m thrilled to be on assignment for Glamping.com here at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort.

I haven’t been in Fiji since my honeymoon many years ago so It’s a pleasure returning to this South Pacific island country of which I have fond memories.

My daily posts will be running on the Glamping.com blog so be sure to check it out if you want to learn what it’s like staying in thatched roof hut at one of the world’s first eco-luxury resorts.

– Jen

The musical greeting by the staff at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji

Poolside at the resort

The interior of Garden Bure 18

Jean-Michele Cousteau Resort – Fiji Day 1st

Day 2 at Jean-Michele Cousteau Resort in Fiji

Day 3 at Jean-Michele Cousteau Resort in Fiji

Meet the Dogs of The Monkey Tail Ranch: a Photo Essay

Maybelle, an autism service dog hopeful

I recently visited The Monkey Tail Ranch for their Volunteer Recognition Day and Open House. Located in Hollister, California about an hour south of San Jose, The Monkey Tail Ranch is a 501 organization which trains service dogs, mostly for children with autism.

I met Tim and Elise through K9 Training Concepts where they helped me better train my lab, Scarlet. Not all dogs make the cut to be service dogs, and those that don’t get socialized and trained to be Instadogs, which are family pets. My puppy, Zeppelin, is an Instadog and the perfect addition to our family.

Here’s some video I shot of my two dogs playing at the Monkey Tail Ranch:

Scarlet and Zeppelin playing at Monkey Tail Ranch

Eight week old Maybelle is very well socialized

Perry is almost done with his service dog training and will soon be going home to his forever boy.

Elise working with Zeppelin, my instadog

Boomer the horse was happy to eat carrots from guests at the Monkey Tail Ranch

I think the world of Tim and Elise and work they do with pets and service dogs. If you think an Instadog might be right for your family, check out the Instadog website and the Instadog Facebook page. You can learn more about the Monkey Tail Ranch on their Facebook Page.

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