Lili's Travel Diary #18: My Swiss Adventure


I returned from Paris the night of February 29th. I went to class on March 1st, and then journeyed to Heathrow to spend the night in the airport for my 7AM flight on March 2nd to Switzerland. Yeah, I know, crazy. But you're only young once and I want to explore ALL OF THE PLACES.

Day One: Geneva

Upon landing in Geneva, I grabbed the free ticket to the city center, locked up my bag, and began to explore. Sure, it was super rainy, but that wasn't stopping me. I had only four days and I wanted to make the most of them.

My first stop was Saint Peter's Cathedral. Because it was a rainy day it was relatively quiet, so it made climbing it super easy. These views...so so worth it. Check the picture to the left to see for yourself. It is only 6 Euro to climb, and I recommend doing so. If it was this gorgeous on a dreary day, imagine how beautiful it is when the sun is actually out to play.

After spending a few hours atop this cathedral, I made my way down to explore Geneva proper. I ended up passing the L'horloge fleurie, or The Flower Clock, and had to take a milion touristy photos because I thought it was absolutely
beautiful. I mean, can we have one of these right smack dab in the middle of Central Park? Peep the next picture to your left to see just how beautiful the clock is. It works and everything with proper numbers up and down the sides. My jealousy is real.

I then got to take a nice leisurely stroll along Lake Geneva, which is something I'd recommend doing when staying in any city along its shore. My stroll had a purpose though, and that was to see the large natural fountain/geyser known as Jet D'eau. And, you know, me being me, a million more tourist pictures ensued thanks to a lovely couple who were attempting to picnic across from it in the rain. They weren't the sharpest tools in the shed, but they were very kind. This thing is huge, even if it's ahrd to see against the day's murky backdrop.

At this point I decided to grab a quick bite before going on a longish (40 or so minute) walk across Geneva to see random sights and head to the United Nations building. I have to say, I was really bummed upon getting there to discover that, randomly, it was closed to the public on March 1 and March 2 for undisclosed reasons. I really wanted to tour the UN after all, but I suppose that is meant for another time. I admired the pretty Broken Chair Monument for a bit before heading back into the heart of Geneva.
 

I spent the last of my time in Geneva exploring the Old Town, which is supposed to be very nice. However, I didn't get much exploring in before I was downpoured on and decided to take refuge in the train station because I resembled a dying rat too much. Shortly thereafter I boarded my train to Lausanne where Jenn, a friend who I used to co-blog with at Tynga's Reviews, picked me up and brought me to her friend's house for homemade pizza. Funnily enough, this friend is a friend of one of my module leaders in the UK. Small world, Europe!

Day Two and Three: Lausanne

Lausanne Cathedral
At this point in my vacation I was a bit exhausted. The emotional craziness of Paris was catching up to me as was the lack of sleep the night before. I decided to have some calm days exploring Lausanne while Jenn worked, and then spend the evenings getting to know my friend who was kind enough to house me and let me visit. 

View from the Observation Point
I went into Lausanne and explored the Lausanne Cathedral. It is very pretty and I got some good thinking done in there, but I am at the point in my European travels where all cathedrals look the same to me. The star of this cathedral was the Observation Point just across the street. It was beautiful to just stand there and look out at the small city of Lausanne, peeking out at Lake Geneva in the distance. 

Eventually, I began making my way back into the city center when I stumbled into Palais de Rumine--there is a school library in here, but it also serves as a museum that is free to students. Although everything is in French, with the help of Google translate I learned a lot about Switzerland's history, monetary history, and founding. Plus, it helped that the building was so easy to look at! I think its Florentine architecture.

Palais de Rumine


After spending a considerable amount of time in this museum (they are seriously my weakness, especially when the places I am visiting are experiencing not so great weather conditions) I found myself at Port d'Ouchy. This is pronounced ooh-she and not ow-chee like it looks. Don't make this mistake! Again, just something worth admiring because it is beautiful. In the distance in the below picture you can see French mountains.
Port D'Ouchy



 Finally, Jenn got out of work and I headed back to the apartment to meet her before we indulged in a Swiss delicacy for dinner: fondue. I've never had fondue before, but I can tell you I am now obsessed even though I don't think I'll ever manage to have fondue as good as this again.

 








The next day in Lausanne was spent mainly at The Olympic Museum. I rewarded myself with sleeping in and then spent a solid four or so hours at this museum. I ran into a woman who was visiting her nephew and his young son in Lausanne for five or so days and we kind of manueveured through the museum together. She liked having another American around who just got the whole this is a vacation, but it's a relaxing one because there isn't a ridiculous amount of things to do here and I am okay with that vibe. I did an intense recap of what I learned here for my friend, Carolyn, who has a blog called The Olympics of Blogs. Please, check it out!

After I finished at the museum, I went back to the apartment and actually had an interview. I know, a phone interview on vacation! If you told me that would ever happen in the past, I would have laughed in your face. And after the interview, Jenn made me another famous Swiss food: raclette. It is pretty much potatoes with a special kind of melted cheese on it with sweet onions and gherkins on the side. So, in other words, it was absolutely fantastic. Thank you, Jenn! 

See the lovely raclette set up to the right. You know you want it. I am craving it just looking at this picture!




 Day Four: Montreux 

Jenn had off work this day, so we stocked up on Swiss chocolate and then hopped on a train to enjoy my last day in Switzerland and our first full day together! It was nice since I came to Switzerland really to properly meet someone who I have known for so long, but haven't been able to see before.
We began our day by spending a few hours in the Chateau de Chillon, also known as Chillon Castle. Lots of history, lots of furniture, and even Byron was obsessed with it. It was a great way to learn about Switzerland. It doesn't look large in the picture to the left, but it has a ridiculous amount of history behind it. Seriously interesting to nerds like myself.

After the chateau, we hopped a bus back into central Montreux and grabbed lunch before journeying to Montreux's other famous tourist destination: The Freddie Mercury Statue. And,
you know me at this point, I had to be the ultimate tourist and strike the pose. How could I resist? Don't stop me now, I'm having a good time.

After this, Jenn and I really just spent some time hanging out along the water. I am obsessed with water views and how pretty it is because I am not used to such things in New York City. I just want to enjoy nature while I can with what little time I have left here, so I am making an effort to do so. Eventually it got a bit cold and we grabbed some hot chocolate before I went back to the airport and Jenn went back home. I snapped this beautiful picture of the French mountains across Lake Geneva along the way back to the airport.
#trainpic



In the end, Switzerland was just what I needed without knowing it. It was a calm trip where I had time alone, but also a lot of time getting to know a dear friend. I got to relax on vacation and still feel totally satisfied with how I chose to spend my time there. I acted like a grown up for a bit and did an interview. I got to use a real shower. I stuffed my face with a ton of chocolate and way too much dairy with absolutely no regrets. I just had a lot of fun. But, most importantly, I got to know Jenn. I don't know if I would have visited this part of Switzerland if she wasn't here, but I am happy I did take advantage of the opportunity to meet her and cross a country off my list. Who needs Interlaken thrills when you have friendly chills?

Thank you, Jenn, for this wonderful weekend! <3 I am so happy to say I have finally met you after so many years.

2 comments:

  1. And I'm so happy to have finally met you in person after all these years!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! can cross that off my bucket list <3

      Delete