So long, farewell Zurich. It’s off to Lausanne we go!
A two-hour train ride from Zurich Main Station deposited us off in the picturesque town of Lausanne. Instant love. It might have had something to do with the fact that Lausanne greeted us with clear, sunny skies and warm air, while Zurich had been a bit grumpy in the weather department, but still … there was something instantly different and charming about Lausanne. We met our friendly tour guide who took us on a tour of the town. We traveled on the brand new underground metro (Lausanne is the smallest city in the world to have a full metro system) then continued our above-ground walk to drink in the sights, like the Cathedral Notre-Dame of Lausanne and the winding, traffic-free cobblestone streets of Rue de Bourg.
Everywhere I turned, the streets were quaint, beautiful, poetic even. There’s such an obvious respect for history and beauty here. Like so many things here in Europe, the streets look like they’ve been taken straight out of a fairy tale book. It’s breathtaking. As in … it literally took my breath away. And then I turned a corner and this (below) came into view and I felt the tears spring instantly to my eyes.
That’s Lake Geneva with the majestic French Alps standing guard in the background. The feeling is hard to describe. But it was exquisite in a way that only nature’s work can be exquisite. I felt humbled. Grateful. Peaceful. And I had an overwhelming desire to share this moment with the people I love. For me, this is what travel is all about. To see the world in all its natural, defiant grandeur. Thank you, Lausanne, for handing me this moment and a memory I will never forget.
I checked into the Angleterre & Residence (Place du Port 11, 1006 Lausanne, Switzerland, Tel: 021 613 34 34). It’s pure luxury. Not only are the rooms lovely (and my hair dryer is even better than the one I left at home!), but the hotel’s location is ideal. Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, with views of the Alps, and just a short walk from the centre of Lausanne, the hotel is an ideal place for visitors to stay. Walk across the street to stroll the boardwalk along the lake — and get an ice cream while you’re at it! And be sure to take the five-minute walk to the nearby Olympic Museum. It’s got lots you’ll find interesting, as it provides a retrospective of the games over the decades. But apparently it will soon be closed for two years while it undergoes a renovation, hopefully to make room for even more Olympic treasures. My favourite display was that of the various Olympic torches that have carried the flame for each of the games. There was one space left on the display for the torch from the Vancouver 2010 games. I wish I’d seen it there, the torch that brought the flame from around the world to my home country.
It’s been a short stay so far but already Lausanne has captured my heart. I look forward to seeing more.