It was my first time in Switzerland last week – we went to the French speaking city of Lausanne! It was a long nine hour journey from Passau with three transport changes; train to Munich, bus to Zurich and then train again to Lausanne, but my big family event there was so worth it!
Lausanne is the fourth largest city in Switzerland and it is known as the ‘Olympic Capital’ because the International Olympic Committee is located there. The city itself is resting right on the shores of Lake Geneva, which is the largest freshwater lake in Europe and the scenery was just divine.
It was the strangest thing to be sitting on the train from Zurich to Lausanne and to halfway through have the language of the overhead speakers and train staff suddenly switch from German to French. I kept going to answer people in German, until I realised halfway through and then proceeded to dig into my old high school French repertoire for (very) basic communication.
My Dad kept saying how nice it was to hear French being spoken after hearing German for a week and I interjected (I’ve become really fond of German), but I did have to admit after a while that French was a nice language to listen to.
You know, I thought New Zealand and Japan were pretty expensive countries but Switzerland is a whole other ball game. I heard that some people live and work in Switzerland and go shopping in neighbouring countries because it’s cheaper – and I can see why!
The Lausanne Cathedral is known as one of the most beautiful gothic monuments in Europe and it is famous for its statues that have medieval paintwork still faintly visible on its surfaces.
We took a boat on Lake Geneva from Ouchy over to a cute little village called Cully. The lake scenery really reminded me of Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown (New Zealand) at times.
The hills around Lake Geneva are covered in vineyards; the most famous being the 14km long terraced vineyards of Lavaux which are listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Cully was a little village with winding narrow stone streets with a whole lot of charm – I much prefer seeing the smaller places (which have a lot more character) than big city tourist traps with too many people!
I particularly adored all of the unique window shutters on the houses in Cully, they were just so colourful and detailed! (I wish my windows had them too…)
Although it was noticeably warmer in Lausanne than it was in Germany, Autumn was making her presence known here too. Golden leaves were falling all over the city.
We also went wine tasting while we were in Cully (complete with an outrageous price tag!) but it was a lot of fun, none the less. We’re actually going to be having Christmas in Lausanne with family, so I’ll be back there soon for more!
So, did you like Lausanne?
Is it somewhere you’ve visited or would like to visit?