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Review: Lausanne


Lausanne, Switzerland

A 10 day silence - Lausanne without French

  • By SilverTraveller wendy

    10 reviews


  • Nov 2011
  • Solo

36 people found this review helpful

When I received an email asking if I wanted to house and cat sit in Lausanne, I only knew it was in Switzerland because the request told me so. Switzerland – never been there in all my 64 years, the best excuse to say 'yes' I could think of.

Two weeks later and I am walking off the plane into Geneva. Yes, everything worked like clockwork – easy peasy. A short walk within the terminal and I am buying my train ticket to travel 62 km further down Lake Geneva (Lac Leman). Swift, efficient and comfortable, within no time at all, after speeding past grape vines on one side and the water on the other, I am at my destination. Just as I was told, the taxi rank was easy to find, and my note with the address was enough to have the driver dropping me at the door in a few minutes.

Here I was standing in a narrow street, looking at a solid front door in the most gorgeous traditional Swiss house. Love at first sight. Within moments the two women greeting me had introduced me to the house and the cats and the front door key, without a language in common. They spoke French and Italian but no English, and ……well I am embarrassed to say, any French I ever had was forgotten in the moment.

I was out the door exploring on foot within the hour. This tiny city of less than 130,000 people falls into the Lake, so everywhere is steep, with cobbled laneways and sets of steps everywhere. Walk down and catch a bus up was my motto. Exploring up and down, I saw the marvellous architecture of the different eras, looked into cafes deciding where to have my coffeee, but mostly ending up on the shores of the Lake. There is a walk way for several kilometres along the Lake and I spent hours happily looking out on it. It is very close to the France, and a short ferry trip took me to explore the small village on the other side.

Was November cold? Do you know I can't remember the weather at all – did it rain? It must have been just right. Clearly it is a cultural city with huge bill boards advertising concerts and ballet programs. I walked around the corner one early evening and was blest with an inspiring organ concert in the cathedral. What an experience. I wandered amongst the university students in the near by square and soaked up the atmosphere of the young. Several times a week this same square has a fresh food and antique market. This is enough to have your mouth watering.

Lausanne was a cheap holiday for me, as all I needed to pay for was food, travel costs and the odd meal or coffee out. I love a small people-sized city, that offer lots to explore on foot, close proximity to water with the added bonus of France just a stone throw away.

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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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