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Friday, 18 April 2008

Neuchátel and Chaumont. switzerland

Lakes And Mountains
Top Travel destinations
24.04.2006 - 30.04.2006
Neuchátel is barely 15 kms from Biel, driving was easy and we did not lose the view of mountain ranges on one side and the lakes on the other. The population is about 34,000 and the town is sitting comfortably between the mountains and the lakes, which, as is mentioned by people there, promoted Alexander Dumas to describe it as a "Toy Town carved out of butter". I do not know if it was Dumas pere, the great French historian and writer of classics "Count of Monte Cristo" and "Three Musketeers" etc., or it was Dumas fils, who wrote "Lady of Camelias" and "La Traviata", on whose theme the world famous Opera by Giuseppe Verdi was written. I could not find out about this in the town. But to us Neuchátel also reminded us of Sibenik and Split in Dalmatia (Croatia)region which is dotted with islands and a national park with waterfalls, snowy peaks of mountains and esmerald lakes,its main streets full of shops and cafes.It is one of the Top Travel destinations in Switzerland.

The lingua franca in Nauchátel is French, its architecture is French and many of its mid 17-18th century buildings are painted yellow. As are many buildings painted in Andalusia (Spain) and in some Mediterranean towns and sea side villages in Italy. The ambiance is also Gallic, the place was full of street life, crowded pavement cafes and restaurants serving good tasty food and fine French and Swiss wine. The day being hot, we sat down on the terrace of a corner cafe, had toasted sandwiches and a chilled Chateaubriand (Réserve) from Beaujolais. Then we went and had Crépe Suzette (Pan cakes to common folks) with banana and marmalade. As we would eat in Montmartre in Paris. Trés Chic.

In the after- noon I wanted to visit the Museum of Art, which I was told, has a fine collection of Mechanical Figurines. But I do not now remember, how or why, we chose to visit the mountainous town of Chaumont, which is set amongst the high peaks on an elevated area of Bernese Alps. From there we had a fantastic view of the three lakes of Switzerland, Lake Nauchátel, Murten and Lake Biel. The harbor was full of boats coming and going and the snowy edge of Bernese Alps hovering over it. A very enchanting sight it was. No dooubt I consider Neuchátel one of the Top Travel destinations.

Posted by IsleHopper 18.04.2008
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