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Review: Lausanne


Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne - Switzerland with a difference

  • By SilverTraveller wendy

    10 reviews


  • Sep 2011
  • Family including children under 16

69 people found this review helpful

When I was asked to house sit in Lausanne in Switzerland, I can't say I knew anything about it at all. Switzerland? Wasn't that all about Alps and snow and very expensive? Never one to miss a new opportunity I quickly send a "Yes" email and book a ticket to Geneva.

The popular perception that things run like clockwork in Switzerland was quite accurate from what I saw – off the plane, walk along a few corridor, and there is the train station. Buy my ticket from an English speaking railway person, the train is where is should be and leaves when it is scheduled. A comfortable hour of gazing out in surprise at the Lake on one side and grape vines on the other. did you know they had a wine industry in Switzerland? Neither did I.

The printed instruction I was sent about getting to the house were simple and worked like a dream. We were set up in a dream traditional house, very close to the old city centre.

Visualise a small managable city, with three steep hills behind and Lake Geneva falling away below. Everywhere is steep, so don't try this one unless you are fit. You can do it by bus, but walking is best.

The medieval city centres is a maze of small alleyways overflowing with cafes and boutiques, often cobbled stoned. I wandered these for hours, finding unexplored bits every time. Around the corner from the house, and down a steep flight of steps was the square, and the morning market – what mouth watering treats awaited me. Looking up , and towering above the square is the Cathedral, Switzerland premier piece of early Gothic architecture. We saw that a concert was on that night, and never ever in my life have I experienced the wonder of that organ music filling every part of that ancient building. All that was asked was a donation as wee were leaving.

As we started our descent from the Cathedral we found ourselves in a small informal square with a bar, full of students and good humour, and we sat and shared the evening with them. This is a university town, so it feels young and vibrant.

A walk down toward the Lake, and then a wander along the water front was fun, and a little Olympics for kids was happening all along the promenade. This is the home of the Olympics, and the museum is set on the slopes looking out across the Lake to the French Savoy Alps.

What else could we do but jump on the boat and travel across – we checked we had passports but they weren't needed. The small town on the French side, is an easy one to stroll around for a few hours, and we enjoyed an alfresco meal at a very reasonable price.

Back In Lausanne, we located our local bus and saved ourselves an exhausting walk back up. As we made our way along the narrow street to the house we glanced back and saw the Savoy Alps appear from the clouds, looking like some backdrop painted for a romantic scene. It is a stunning site.

We left one day to travel up one or two of the hills and found a wonderful temporary exhibition in a park like setting and enjoyed another meal out under the trees. Culture is everywhere in the city, Art Brut Museum (called outsider art it is the work of those suffering psychiatric problems) unique in the world. there is regular opera, ballet and music to attend.

Now I know that Lausanne is a city worth visiting more than once. Last week I received a further request to housesit again, but as I am in my home town of Melbourne Australia suffering a very long hot summer, I had to decline.

69 people found this review helpful

This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 1 Comment(s)

  • Mid-West_Maray
    over 3 years ago
    Lausanne is a beautiful city from your description I am glad it has not changed much since I was there in 1983. I would very much like to do what you do. How do I go about being on the contact list and what website is it?

    Many thanks to you Wendy for your detailed review!