Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Lausanne, Switzerland || Video || Travel

Christmas was amazing this year, albeit, a wee bit of a different one! Darren and i decided to treat one another with a little trip away to Switzerland between Christmas and New Year, rather than waste it scrapping in the Boxing Day sales, and devouring boxes and boxes of Quality Street on the sofa (on my part anyway). This was a first for the both of us; a perfect way to end Christmas, and ease into the New Year...

...It was an early start for us; after very little sleep, we eagerly gathered our stuff together and nipped off to the airport, leaving the rest of the family to sleep off their Christmas dinners and festive beers. We'd checked in a day or two beforehand, so first stop was - of course - the pub! Nothing says "holiday" quite like a 5am pint of larger and a bacon sandwich to prep you for the flight. 

We had a nice, easy flight across to Geneva (I speak for myself, i was literally K.O'd. on the two hour journey there due to the festivities beforehand), and decided to get the train to our destination, Lausanne, about 40 minutes on the train from the airport. Lausanne was exactly as i pictured; typically European, with distinctive Swiss buildings, and little chalets that hid amongst them. Graffiti scaled the walls of the buildings, adding an urban edge to the beautifully architectured City that looked out on to the Swiss Alps. Our hotel, Agora Swiss Night Hotel, was two minutes from the train station, and was an absolute delight. Very aesthetically pleasing on the outside and inside, with red and white donning the hotel in honour of their nation's flag, and quirky touches, such as faux cow fur rugs and cuckoo clocks in the foyeur.

We both packed with the expectation of a bit of snow, but we were lucky that the snow and ice held off for that week, seeing as though Lausanne is pretty much build on a 45 degree slope. Not a problem for my lean, athletic (yeah, right!) other half. Bit of a problem for myself, who couldn't drag my little legs up the hills without asking "what did i do wrong to deserve this?" every five steps - seriously need to consider the gym again. Suppose you'd be used to it if you walked around the City on a daily basis, and i bet the Swiss don't complain of their finely sculpted glutes. Turns out that Lausanne was a wee bit warmer than the UK on the few days we were away.

Lausanne sits on Lake Geneva that surrounds the Alps. We had a lovely stroll downhill to the lake, stopping off in a little Swiss bakery/sandwich shop. Always one for a macaron or two, i couldn't resist buying a large, salted-caramel macaron to chow down on by the water. Even managed to change Darren's opinion on them - bonus (won't feel guilty about buying them in the UK now)! Lausanne is home to The Olympic Museum, so a few selfies by the lake later, we headed off to take in some Olympic history. I'll be honest, i'm not that crazy about the Olympics, but was completely absorbed in the changes that have taken place throughout the years. After the few hours spent learning a bit about the Olympic Games, we sat out on TOM Cafe balcony, with the most beautiful view of the sunset behind the Alps and over the lake.

It was cold; there was barely a cloud in the sky. You'd be easily mistaken if you thought these photos on the lake were taken in a hotter climate - the sun never stopped beaming, and looked spectacular over the lake. A walk by the marina was idillic, and we headed on to the Roman Ruins Museum (being the keen tourists that we are)! It was a small museum - very, very quiet - but it broke the day up nicely, and i'm always up for sprucing up on my history.

The both of us are quite big foodies, so we were on the look out for some nice places to eat out. We found a restaurant not too far from the train station called Vapiano. It was no Miller and Carter restaurant, but the food was spot on and i loved how sleek and modern the restaurant itself was. Vapiano is a different eat-in experience, whereby you're given a card, order whatever food and drink you fancy on self service, scan the card, and you pay the bill after handing the card back at the front desk. It think it's meant it save on employing more table staff than is needed, although i could be wrong? We loved the concept of ordering food this way regardless, so checked out if there were any Vapianos in the UK. Turns out there's one in Manchester which we'll be visiting on our trip there later on this year. We also had a bit of a hankering for fresh sushi whilst we were there; Palace Sushi Zen (within Lausanne Palace and Spa), was a quality sushi restaurant, with high quality service. We'd never really tried fresh sushi before, so we ordered a set starter and main between the two of us. Switzerland is quite pricey, and it certainly showed when we received our bill. We're talking very near three digits in Swiss Francs for two plates of sushi, but hey, we were on holiday. It's not often we get to doll up and treat ourselves to a wonderfully tasty, fancy meal (albeit, a very small one)!

Lausanne was lovely. Apart from the cost of groceries and basics like water, the lack of English (but i'll let that slide, as that was huge ignorance on our part), and those bloody hills, Lausanne was indeed, a delightful place to visit. I was overwhelmed by how pleasant people were, we didn't have any issues with people being rude to us, and they tried their best to accommodate us when we struggled to communicate with them. "How do you say 'please' in French again???" 

Have you been to Lausanne, or visited Switzerland? I'd love to read some Switzerland travel posts.


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