I love this city!!
(3) great public transportation, walkable city (although quite a number of hills)
(5) friendly people
Lausanne hosts a large university and so it has a friendly vibe than other Swiss cities. It seems like less tourist venture here and find themselves in Geneva instead. Which I like because I feel like I’m getting a much more authentic experience when I’m not surrounded by English speakers or a bus of Asian tourists (they’re everywhere!) But whether you enjoy Lausanne or Geneva more, really depends on your travel style.
Spending the weekend here in Lausanne was wonderful (expect note that everything closes on Sunday’s with the exception of several stores around the main train station).
I explored the main Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne and climbed up the stair tower. This is the fourth or fifth church tower I’ve climbed and maybe the 10th church I’ve seen so far. They’re all so beautiful and the architectural is really something else, but after several churches they start to look very similar… Another thing I enjoyed in Lausanne was the Olympic Museum. I’m really not a sports fan, I enjoy hockey games (if someone buys me a ticket) and watching baseball games are the thing to do during summers in Toronto, but otherwise I really don’t know too much about sports. The Olympic Games are different though, I am glued to the TV and I’m fascinated by everything from the opening to closing ceremony and each competition in between.
Two of three floors in the museum were a permanent exhibit. The first floor showcased the history of the Olympics, back to Ancient Greek times when the Games were held every four years in city of Olympia. Then the museum continued to showcase how the Olympic Games modernized and contribution of key people in this development. The second floor had various gear and clothing different Olympians wore in past Olympic Games. I was inches away from signed skating costumes and Michael Phelps’ swim pants!!
One of the really interesting exhibits showcased different torches used over the years. You could see how each country was represented in the torched they created. The flame itself holds so much symbolic significance and the host country does a great deal to protect the torch once its lit. The flame is a positive symbol and the torch relay represent friendship and peace – making the torch one of the most important symbols of the Olympic games.The day was too beautiful so later that afternoon I went for lake dips in Lake Geneva (Lac Leman). It was perfect! The water warm & clear! I realize now that the two photos I took (below) make it look like there was no one else at the beach, but there were a lot of people around me. I suppose I get lucky and manage to take pictures when people aren’t around! The last thing I want to share during my time in Lausanne was my day trip to Evian, France. Yes, Evian like Evian water! The town is known for being the source of the mineral water that fills the Evian water bottles.
There are two natural sources of the Evian water near the center of town. I got off the boat from Lausanne to Evian and followed the crowed in search for the spring water. I think that’s the real reason people make a day-trip to Evian. Don’t forget to bring Euro as you’re in France! I only carried Swiss-franc with me and couldn’t do anything except drink water.
I (we the tourists) found the source! There was a little bit of a line, a mix of locals and tourists, waiting to fill their water bottles. Some people had several pitchers that they wanted to fill. I was prepared and carry an empty 1.5 L water bottle. The verdict of the Evian water you wonder? Cold and tasted like water!!! But it was good from what I remember!
Conveniently just in front of the Evian water basin was the Evian headquarters. The first floor and entrance area is a place where tourist can walk in and…. purchase Evian water. There was all sorts of Evian branded goods, but there was also a vending machine that only sold Evian water bottles. Who seriously buys a 3 euro water bottle when you can get the real deal for free 20 steps ahead?
I can’t say I would go out of my way to visit Evian (the town), but it is a quaint and historic place worth seeing if you’re in Lausanne and after all you can say you had French’s finest, Alps-approved, mineral filled Evian water.