For our second day in Montreux, we decided to take the train one stop down to the town of Vevey. Here, we stopped by The Fork sculpture, visited Alimentarium, a museum about food, visited the Swiss Camera Museum, a museum, you guessed it, all about cameras, and then took a partially lake-side walk back to Montreux. This itinerary was a mixed bag of things I wholeheartedly recommend (The Fork), strongly recommend (The Camera Museum), don’t recommend but think could be ok if the temporary exhibit is interesting (Alimentarium), and don’t recommend at all (walking back to Montreux). Read on to find out how our trip went and why I am making the recommendations that I am.Detail Summary
|Alimentarium (and The Fork sculpture)
Quai Perdonnet 25, Vevey
Swiss Camera Museum
Grande Place 99, Vevey
Both in Canton Vaud, Switzerland
|Zürich HB -> Vevey – 2 hrs 33 mins
Montreux -> Vevey – 9 mins
|Zürich -> Vevey – 2hrs 16 Mins
|Alimentarium Self-guided Tour:
Adult – 13.50 CHF
Children (6-15) – 4 CHF
Children (0 – 5) – Free
Swiss Camera Museum
Adult – 9 CHF
Children (0 – 18) – Free
Note: For both museums, discount available with Montreux Riviera Card. Guided tours also available.
Swiss Camera Museum
Montreux Riviera – Area Tourism Board Site
Montreux Riviera Card – How to get this discount card and what discounts are available with it
The Fork is one of my favorite sculptures in Switzerland and it is found here, stuck in the lake right in front of the Alimentarium. It is a perfect bit of surreal whimsy and I can’t help but smile every time I see it. My opinion? Whatever you do in Vevey, do not miss The Fork. It is free to see and bound to bring you joy.
After our stop at The Fork, we headed to Alimentarium.
Visiting Alimentarium – The Food Museum
Directly across from The Fork is Alimentarium. Like Château de Chillon, you can get a discount on entrance tickets with the Montreux Riviera Card. After purchasing our tickets at the counter, we headed through the gift shop and to the exhibits on the upper floors.
The Alimentarium is entirely dedicated to food. Food is a very broad topic and this museum tries to hit all the major themes – the history of food, how food is produced, how and why some foods are eaten, and how our bodies process the foods we eat. There are a lot of interactive exhibits that provide information on these topics, some more interesting than others. The exhibits felt a bit scattershot and there was often just way too much text to read, so it wasn’t as engaging as I hoped it would be. When the displays were focused, it was very clear this was a Nestle sponsored museum (the history and production of Nescafe coffee for example.) I did, however, like seeing an ancient piece of cake (third picture below) that was found in an Egyptian tomb.
The top floor of the museum included an interactive game where you needed to jump up and down to get the food through the projected digestive system on the floor and there was a giant intestine you could walk through. Also on this floor was the temporary exhibit, which at the time of our visit, was about how vegetarianism and veganism are discussed in society. You could give a thumbs up or a thumbs down to veganism, but we weren’t able to tell if the votes were tallied anywhere. And no one felt the poster on substituting cottage cheese for meat was persuasive.
Overall, this was just an ok museum and the topic of veganism is also not that interesting. For that reason, this museum isn’t going on my recommended list. Still, I think it may be worth checking out depending on the temporary exhibit, I would suggest looking at the website before deciding.
After spending about an hour and half at Alimentarium, we took a break for lunch and then went to the Camera Museum.
Visiting the Camera Museum
Like the Alimentarium, you can get a discount on your entrance fee with the Montreux Riviera Card. After we purchased out tickets, the attendant warned us that all of the display text is in French only and then asked if we wanted English audio guides, which we accepted. While not every display has an audio track to accompany it, with the audio guide, we were still able to learn enough about each display to stay interested.
As we walked through the museum, we walked through the history of photography starting with the very earliest cameras on the first floor and ending with modern day phone cameras on the top floor. It was fascinating to see the evolution of the camera so neatly laid out. The display on camera phones was also interesting. There is such an obvious line in how camera phones were designed before and after the first iPhone.
We also enjoyed the displays on unusual cameras, like the spy cameras made to look like cigarette packages, lighters and canes in picture one below and the display on wearable cameras like the camera watch in picture two below.
I was surprised to learn that some of the first areal photographs were taken using pigeons and that this fact was exciting enough to merit two separate displays in the museum.
After we finished walking through the museum, the museum attendant asked if we were interested in booking some time in their dark room to develop some film and to make some prints. She said it would take about 45 minutes, but we would need to come back in a few hours as the current time slot was booked. My older son asked if was possible to develop the roll of black and white film he had in his pocket. The attendant thought that might be possible, so we booked time for him and my husband to come back later to do that. After we walked to Montreux (more on that below), my husband and son returned to the museum for their time slot.
The dark room time is a new offering from the museum and not all of the kinks are worked out, but my son said the museum staff were so helpful and kind. As you can see, he was able to develop the roll of film he had with him and able to make a contact print of all of the negatives. He said it was a really great experience and he highly recommends it.
Walk Back to Montreux
Since we had a few hours until the darkroom appointment, we decided to walk back to Montreux rather than take the train. The walk between Montreux and Château de Chillon along the lake had been so lovey our expectations were set high. Sadly, we were disappointed with this walk. Although there is a trail between Vevey and Montreux, it does not go along the lake shore the entire way. There are lot of huge gated private residences here and you are forced to walk along the main road without a view of anything for what felt like more than half the walk. I am certain that there are prettier and better ways to spend your time than this.
The Fork in Summer
I’m going to close this post with a picture of The Fork in summer as it really is one of my favorite sculptures.