Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 3 - Lausanne & Geneva, Switzerland

Today we decided to explore Lausanne & Geneva. So after eating a scrumptious Swiss breakfast once again we headed to the Montreux train station.

Lausanne is the second largest city on lake Geneva. It is only 15 minutes by train from Montreux. We decided to spend only a few hours here before heading to Geneva. The main attractions were the Olympic Museum and the Cathedral in the old town. Lausanne is a very charming city, a great mix of old town and newer parts of the city.

We loved visiting the Olympic museum. As someone who grew up watching the Olympics this was a very interesting place. The Museum provides an overview of the history of the Olympic games, from the first 1896 summer games in Athens through to the present day. It was great to see costumes, and gears of great athletes on display. The 1st medal all the way to the latest ones were all on display. If you love sports or any part of Olympics this is a must visit.

The next pit stop was the Notre-Dame Cathedral in the old town. The impressive cathedral is surrounded by beautiful, car-free roads. We just sat in there for a few minutes absorbing all its beauty. Definitely calmed us down.

I am sure there is lots more to do in Lausanne but we decided to head off to Geneva next. So we hopped back on the train and left for Geneva. I loved the train rides in Switzerland. Something very calming about them. The scenery outside is gorgeous, there is always something beautiful to spot.  I use to put on my headphone and get lost in the songs of "Dum maro dum". Dream away, the speed of the train contrasted well with the sweet slow melody of the love songs.  Very dreamy and romantic.  I just loved every minute of it. 

The train soon came to a stop and we were in Geneva. As we stepped out of the train station we realized this was just another big city. Cars bustling all over, lots of people and everything looked like usual. We headed straight for the tourist information office to get a map and suggestions on places to see. Like everybody else we visited the Jet d’eau – visible from afar, the 140-metre-high water jet is the ‘landmark’ of Geneva. The beautiful flower clock is right around the corner from the fountain.  The parks around the fountain are prefect for lounging around or having picnics. We also walked through the old town to go to St. Pierre Cathedral – the north tower of the three-naved basilica offers up a unique vista over the city and lake. I loved walking through the old part of the town. I find walking through the narrow lanes and discovering old buildings very charming and exciting. 

After visiting the cathedral on our way back, we decided to give our tired legs some rest and bought 2 scoops of the famous move n pick ice cream.  We sat around enjoying the ice cream and just doing nothing. Simply staring at the passers by, observing things and not worrying about anything. Since After walking for almost 4-5 hours since morning we were a bit tired and decided to skip the international part of the town. So we did not see the Palace of the United Nations. It really is on the other end of the city. There are plenty of things to do in Geneva, in fact there is much to see and explore in Geneva that you can easily spend an entire day sightseeing and shopping.

Honestly we were not very impressed with the city. I guess it is like any other big city. Truly cosmopolitan in every sense. The fountain did catch our attention though :)

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