I’ve neglected this little space for a while, but I’ve got so much I still want to write about! I figured I better share the last of my two Switzerland posts before it gets too sunny, as there’s snow and winter hats in them! We do know how to pick the coldest destinations to go to. I think it’s a winter thing, planning holidays for the winter helps you get through the dark and cold days.
Last summer, we’d booked to spend a long weekend in Lausanne so we could see the Divine Comedy play, and knowing full well how expensive Switzerland was, put some money aside and booked a cheap air bnb. We stayed in the perfect location, just around the corner from the train station, about a 25 minute walk to the lake and about 10-15 minutes up the hill to the nightlife and restaurants. The perfect base. I had the worst cold I think I’ve ever encountered on this trip, so we took it slow and took time to rest half way through the day. Lausanne is perfectly formatted so that you can walk everywhere, but get ready, there are a LOT of steps and steep hills. We did a lot of walking as even though it was cold, the rain stayed away so we took advantage of the clear weather.
Lausanne (Ouchy more specifically) along the waterfront is home to an Olympic Park and a huge Olympic museum which houses more than 10,000 artifacts. It seems a bit strange that this is here, but the International Olympic committee headquarters are located not too far from the area in Vidy, so it makes more sense to celebrate all things Olympics.
In a small park along the waterfront in Denantou Park is a golden temple. Adam had read about it, and it was donated by the king of Thailand in appreciation for the time he spent studying in Lausanne. He has since passed away so there are pretty tributes inside the pavilion.
You can’t go on a trip to Switzerland without having a traditional Swiss fondue. We had a look online at the best places, and the consensus seemed to be tied between Pinte Bison (claiming to be one of the oldest fondue restaurants in town) and Cafe du Grutli. As Pinte Bison was closest we tried it first, but it is very small and popular and was completely full. So with hungry bellies we headed another ten minutes to Cafe du Grutli. I’m so glad we ended up here as the service was great, our waiter was entertaining, and the fondue incredible! There is a busy upstairs area, and a low key downstairs area. As there were a few larger parties they sat us downstairs, and it was so cosy and quiet. Perfect for stuffing a pot full of molten cheese in your mouth.
We visited a few museums, we actually got a pass that let us visit a couple different ones as they weren’t huge. The first one we went in was MUDAC (Museum of contemporary design) located near the cathedral on the top of the hill. It’s small but nice to go around. These geo characters killed me, we couldn’t stop laughing and I want one on my wall so bad. Especially that far right blue one with the beady eyes and cheeky grin. The history museum next door was shut so we couldn’t go in which was a shame. So we headed into the church instead.
We also went and had a look in the Musée de l’Elysée, a photography museum housed in a mansion. The exhibit that was on was all about mountain photography, and the history of people trekking up mountains with insanely heavy and bulky camera equipment to get the shot. It was really interesting and some of the photos were absolutely incredible. You got a couple days to use your museum pass, so you didn’t need to visit everyone in one day.
We passed by Blackbird, a cafe that does breakfasts on a trip up to the cathedral, so we made it our mission to head back the next morning for pancakes and a breakfast burrito. It did not disapoint, I’d whole heartedly recommend it! As was the case everywhere, it gills up quite quickly, so you might need to wait for a table. People in Lausanne apparently love to eat out as everywhere was always packed!
One of my favourite things while we were walking around the city was finding these electric boxes that had been painted. They were great! You’d find them on random side streets, so I looked out for them whenever we went. Here are a few of the best ones I found, the matches and matchsticks being my all time favourite.
Would I go back to Lausanne? Yes, most definitely. I’d love to go in the summertime though and spend some more time along the lake. You can also take a ferry to France! As it’s just on the other side of the lake. You can start the day with croissants in France and end it with fondue in Switzerland. I know I’m not the only one who plans holidays around food.