I recently had the opportunity to visit Lausanne on the banks of Lake Geneva. It was my second visit to Switzerland, the first having been a business trip in January with 5ft of snow. This was a beautiful early spring day, a little hazy, so not the best photos ever.
i took the train from Geneva airport, which was extremely easy. Trains were empty compared to London, and on time. The journey is about 50 mins. You get occasional views of the lake on one side and the mountains on the other, but mostly you just see graffiti. Mind you, rarely do you ever get the best view of a place from a train.
I was surprised by the number of young people and the numbers of smokers. Not sure if those things are connected – hope not. Switzerland have recently introduced a ban on smoking indoors in public places, and people were literally getting off the train with cigarettes in their mouths ready to light as they stepped off.
We stayed at the Hotel Palace & Spa, www.lausanne-palace.com, a lovely hotel set up on the hillside in the shopping district. It is a fashionable meeting place in the evenings, with a number of piano bars of differing styles, one light and open, one dark and “gentlemen club”-like. Occasional live music. It is a way from the lake, either a 10 minute taxi ride or a couple of stops on the tram.
A pre-dinner stroll along the lakeshore is highly recommended. The towering, and whilst we were there, snow-capped, mountains on the opposite side do the lake are the French Alps – particularly Evian of bottled-water fame.