Travel: A weekend in… Lausanne, Switzerland

The Old Town, Lake Geneva and Ouchy

The main shopping district in Lausanne is largely car free, the old town alleys are filled with aromas from the many bakers, deli’s and chocolatiers that frequent them. For serious shoppers, there is also plenty of small clothing boutiques to fish around in too.

lausanne-city-centre

At the end of the M2 line on the shores of Lake Geneva is the beautiful district of Ouchy, once a small fishing village, it’s now a relaxing space popular with strollers, rollerskaters and cyclists. After a glass or two of ‘Les Fleurettes’ a gorgeous local wine, the wide promenade and open spaces make the best place for a sideways wander to soak up the fresh air.

ouchypopup

Just a few minutes from “Bellerive” bus #2 facing the Dent d’Oche on the waters edge is Jetée de la Compagnie, a very cool ‘pop up’ type event space for movies and live music serving delicious salads, tasty marinaded meats and fresh fish from the barbecue. It has a really nice atmosphere with great views over Lake Geneva and is open til 11pm every night.

Jetee_de_la_Compagnie
(pic courtesy of Lucie Dubugnon)

While in Lausanne, another place worth a visit is ‘Ta Cave’, a locally crowdfunded wine-cellar that locals have bought shares in, in exchange for a free glass of wine every day for life. Luckily you don’t have to be an insider trader or Wall St hotshot to get served and the locally produced cheeses, meats and wines on offer are a worthy investment of anyone’s time. It’s a fantastic idea, but somehow I can’t see many UK pubs taking it up anytime soon.

ta cave Lausanne

Cathédrale de Lausanne

cathedral-lausanne

Every night, on the hour between the hours of 10pm and 2am the Nightwatchmen of Lausanne Catherdral announces the time from his viewpoint 200ft above the city. It’s a tradition that stretches back over 600 years originally to prevent fire spreading in the wooden houses, but now serves only to startle drunken revellers on their way home.

rose-window-lausanne

Lausanne Catherdral is considered the most beautiful Gothic Cathedral in Switzerland, but if you look closely you’ll also see a hint of Norman English architecture to its appearance. The incredible Rose stained Zodiac window by Pierre d’Arras is one of many highlights, so to is the south door that after damage in the reformation has been restored several times since. It’s now safely house in high tech glass to preserve it. The Cathedral is situated along the European religious trail Le Chemin De St. Jacques, a route taken by many pilgrims to Lausanne in the 12th Century and still walked by many today.

Next… Good food and Wine in Lausanne and Grandvaux >