Meeting our friends in the hotel lobby this morning, we decided that a meander through Lausanne was in store. We took a short walking tour up to the main cathedral and visited the interior. We were pleased to be there as the organist showed up for a rehearsal! The cathedral is impressive, with the most beautiful stained glass that I have seen since my trip to Chartres. Each window has real depth, as if it were a painting. Savoring the rich blues, deep reds and greens and bright yellows, we slowly made our way through the church with the organ as our sound track. Upon our exit, we happened to walk down a wooden medieval staircase and pop into a cafe for a mid-morning pick-me-up. Today was a great day to tuck into little cafes and shops because the weather was cold(ish), overcast and drizzles were expected. We are also a group who is more interested in a relaxed/flexible itinerary, since I haven’t seen Allison since 2013, and Jenni since 2007! Needless to say, lots of conversations to have and things to catch up on. After another meandering city walk and a light lunch at a patisserie, we dropped off hubby at the hotel to work and the gals had a few hours of shopping together in the city center.
After our ladies shopping event, we went back to the hotel to regroup. Hubby gets lots of points for discovering the fact that Audrey Hepburn, my favorite actress, is buried a mere 12 kilometers from Lausanne! Obviously, we decided that a little trip to Tolochenaz was mandatory. This is a trip we made by car and we’d recommend using a car for this excursion as it is not easy to find using the train. Ms. Hepburn is buried in a peaceful, tiny and very well-kept cemetery in the country. After viewing her grave, we made our way to the teeny tiny “city center” and the Piazza Audrey Hepburn and had a few mandatory photo-ops with her bust. Audrey, you continue to be an inspiration for both your artistic talent and the activist that you lived on to become. May you rest in peace.
We decided that it would be a perfect time to take a drive near Lake Geneva to the little town of Morges, just a tiny detour on the way back to Lausanne. The promenade next to the lake was beautifully manicured with lovely flower beds, featuring my favorite tulips in all different colors. What a lovely place to take a refreshing evening walk! As we made our way to the little town center, we discovered a pedestrian zone going through the main shopping street cute enough to be the inspiration for a perfect little animated Disney village. We enjoyed the walking and people watching, as well as window shopping, before heading back to Lausanne to find some dinner.
One thing that you can find in abundance in Switzerland is pizza, so went on our way to Chez Mario, which was recommended to us. We viewed the traditional pizza oven as we were greeted with a resounding “Buona Sera,” which confused me thoroughly. I’ve been trying to adapt to speaking French for the last day, which is difficult to switch to after Italian. What usually happens is that I’ll remember what the right vocabulary is several sentences too late. So, when we were first spoken to in Italian, I wasn’t sure how to respond. What ensued was a conversation half in French and half in Italian. Amazing, and even more amazing that our waitress put up with it and also spoke in both languages to appease me! We thoroughly enjoyed Chez Mario and would recommend it to anyone looking for an amiable, chic pizza joint.
Drew and I chose to have a night cap at the Vintage Wine Bar, where he enjoyed a Bordeaux, and I enjoyed an excellent Malbec Superiore (2011) from Argentina. We’d recommend this place for a relaxing atmosphere at the end of the day. As with all food and beverage places in Switzerland, we’ve found that prices are much higher than Italy, so you’ll need to plan accordingly when you arrive.
Overall, Lausanne is a fresh and chic European city, with lots to offer in the surrounding towns and villages and is worth your perusal if you ever have the chance.