Greetings from Chateau d'Oex!
It was a beautiful sunny day here but at the Pilot's meeting we found that surface winds were gusting to 26 so all festivities were canceled today except for helicopter flights and hang gliding. The cancellation of the Twining was a disappointment. On the first Sunday, as a part of the International Balloon Festival, Château-d'Oex organizes the traditional flight in honor of the twinned towns of Bristol (UK), Sint-Niklass (Belgium), Romorantin (Loire, France) and Château-d'Oex. The symbolizes the friendship between the neighboring countries.
The Western Spirit Team decided to travel to Gruyères Castle to see this incredible landmark. Nineteen counts are accounted for in the period between the 11th and 16th century. The last of them, Michel, had been in financial trouble almost all his life only to end in bankruptcy in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom between them. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg. In 1849 the castle was put up for sale and sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who stayed at the castle during summer time and restored it with the help of their painter friends.
The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the collection.
We also toured the H. R. Giger Museum. He won the Acadamy Award for the best visual effects for the Alien series. His art is quite interesting to say the least.
We returned to the chalet and accepted an invitation from our past crew member Roland who is an old school mate of Pieree's and grew up in Chateau d'Oex. He then accept our invitation to share Robin's spaghetti and meatballs. It was great to see him again.
Tomorrow looks like a great day for flying. Hopefully we will have great photos and stories then. (more photos to follow)