For the forth part of the swiss-cities-series I am going to present to you a city situated in the west of Switzerland (which has been very much underrepresented in this series so far).
The city of Lausanne is the capital of Vaud, a French-speaking canton of Switzerland. What makes Lausanne special is its extraordinary location: On the one side it lies directly at the shores of Lake Geneva, on the other it lies at a hillside. When arriving at the train station of Lausanne, this was the first thing I noticed: from the station to the old town (vieille ville) of Lausanne, I had to walk up a rather steep alley.
At first, the weather seemed to be critical, however, I was lucky enough to enjoy a wonderfully sunny afternoon after a minor shower in the morning. I started the exploration of the city with the aforementioned walk up the hill through the historic city centre. What stroke me as especially beautiful were the many old and lordly mansions all over the town. Nowadays they are occupied by stores and coffee shops. I especially loved the florists that put their flower arrangements right onto the street in front of their shops.
One of the most impressive sights was the Reformed Church of Saint-Laurent with its clock tower above the entrance. I had lunch at a restaurant nearby from where I could look down on the square before the church and over parts of the city.
The most noteworthy store I stumbled over was the one from the brand ‘pull&bear’. I had never come across one before, as they are quite rare in Switzerland. The interior design was marvelous and their collection entailed a lot of beautiful pieces.
What I simply had to try while being in Lausanne was the ‘métro’, a partly over ground, partly underground urban train from the top of the hill down to the lake. There is one station quite far up the hill, another one right opposite the train station and a few more in the direction of the lake.
First I took the métro to the botanical garden I had heard of and craved to visit. It was seated on a small hill next to a public park with Ping-Pong-tables and a playground. The garden was in full bloom, especially the blossoms of the cherry trees and magnolias were delightful. The view from the top of the hill was great – I could see the lake on the one side and all of Lausanne on the other.
The métro took me to my next destination: Lausanne-Ouchy, the part of the city that lies directly at the lake. It’s also the part of Lausanne that is known as the Olympic capital (mind the sign above the train station building). I took a long walk alongside the promenade, passing a merry-go-round and a hotel looking rather like a castle. One of the big cruising ships entered the port with a loud honk.
The people sitting on the wall between the promenade and the water relaxed, laughed, listened to music – they all seemed to enjoy the sun and the blue sky. On the other side of the lake I could admire the snow-covered French alps.
I can only recommend Lausanne for a visit! There would have been a lot more to be seen or done, so I for my part will make sure to come back soon. 🙂
Has anyone of you ever been to Lausanne? Or somewhere in the area? Let me know!