Danny Yee >> Travelogues >> Switzerland

Geneva to Lausanne

Friday 6th August

After saying goodbye to Mark and Carol and Nathaniel, I picked up my pack — much heavier than it had been on the walk, since it now had my laptop in it and chargers for that and the camera — and headed off.

The Red Cross and Crescent museum has some interesting displays, but nothing controversial and no real surprises.

From there I walked down to the train station, past the Palais des Nations, some giant modern art (in the form of a 12 metre high wooden chair with a broken-off leg, which apparently symbolises opposition to land mines) and the headquarters of the ITU. At the station I picked up a European to Swiss power adaptor — I had foolishly assumed Switzerland used standard European power sockets — bought a snack from a patisserie, and hopped onto a train to Lausanne.

outside the Red Cross Museum
Berset's Broken Chair

Waiting for my hotel check-in time, in Lausanne I just walked the streets for a while. Central Lausanne is spread over three hills, so the streets are often steep, but they are mostly pedestrianised and pleasant to walk. Following Carol's advice, I had lunch in the Manor restaurant, which was on a rooftop with views of Jura (though obscured by anti-pigeon netting: grilled chicken breast with potatoes for 13 francs.

At the hotel the friendly woman at reception let me in early, so I dumped my stuff and headed off again. The Lausanne History Museum has lots of good stuff, though the explanations were in French with other languages on printed sheets, which had letters that didn't appear on the displays... The cathedral is impressive, though spare in Swiss Protestant fashion. The bell tower offers nice views and is the first one I've been up where one can actually touch the bells -- there's a warning at the bottom about when they are struck! (The cathedral also had a very secular exhibition on world religions and spirituality, showing just how far the Reformed Evangelical Church of Vaud has come since Calvin's time.) I walked through the old town and climbed up through some woods to a gallery (with an exhibition on Edmund Hopper I didn't go into).

some Lausanne locals
Lausanne cathedral
the cathedral bell

Dinner was a kebab (8 francs) with half a litre of sparkling apple juice (4 francs), followed later by an icecream cone (3.5 francs). Little did I know how much more expensive eating out was going to get in later days...

Saturday 8th August

I got up early, swilled some instant coffee, packed up, and went to the cathedral to enjoy the early morning views. A market was setting up in the Place du Riponne, and I got some pastries and a couple of pieces of fruit from there before catching the metro (free with the card the hotel had given me) down to the port at Ouchy.

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