8 July 2008

After an early breakfast, we were off again – this time to Lausanne, via Zurich.  Oddly, taking the train north then south again was the quickest route we had calculated between Lugano and Lausanne, due to the numerous transfers required had we travelled through northern Italy.

Zurich

Zurich

By midday, we had arrived in Zurich where we had about 2 hours for lunch and sightseeing.  Zurich is an active, bustling city.  We walked toward the old part of town where my dad was thrilled to find a bagel shop, for despite the great variety of breads we had sampled through Paris and various cities in Switzerland there had been nary a bagel to be found.  The proprietor was a young man, and when my father commented on the lack of bagels, the fellow replied The Swiss are slow to change.

The old town area was as charming as the small neighborhoods in Paris, though we noticed a disproportionate number of Gentleman’s Clubs.  My parents had visited Zurich before, when my mother travelled for business, and both had visited one such club with her boss – the club owners were important investors in their company, in fact.

We had barely walked a couple of blocks and replenished the supply of batteries for our camera when, sadly, it was time to return to the station.

Another long ride south, and we arrived in Lausanne during the early evening hours.   Collecting the luggage we had sent ahead, we called a taxi to take us to the hotel.  The taxi ride was obscenely expensive, but unlike Lugano this driver was conscientious and ran his meter.

Lausanne

Lausanne

After settling into Hotel Regina, we headed out on foot to find one of the restaurants recommended in the Rick Steves’ guide.  We decided upon Le Bleu Lezard, and were not disappointed.  It was not exactly easy to find as the name of the adjacent bar obscures the restaurant sign.  The waitress spoke no English, and there were no English menus available, so I stumbled through in French well enough to translate the dishes for my companions, and made myself well enough understood to order for our party.  My husband and my dad both ordered a steak with a peppercorn sauce, which was fantastic, and I settled upon a beautiful vegetarian plate.

Lausanne is quite hilly, a tangle of short streets and alleys.  We became quite lost for a while but with the assistance of a map provided by our hotel we finally navigated back to our lodgings.

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5 responses

  1. Oh boy rather you than me, the last time I tried to order something in a foreign language to a non english speaker I ended up with 5kgs of ham! Sounds like fun though phew, for some reason these feet refuse to stop itching though the direction is a bit different. I am thinking more along the lines of California and UK for some reason…

  2. Yeah, I was a little stressed about the language issue. Despite what most people told me, we frequently encountered people in Switzerland who did not speak, nor understand, English. Time for me to order those French-language course CD’s and get cracking for the next trip!

    Wouldn’t it be great if you came to California? It’s so pretty here, and people are quite nice.

  3. Hmmm from experience they just don’t like English speaking people – they seemed to remember their English when I spoke Dutch to them lol ah Europeans huh

    “people are quite nice” Quite? Ah I do dream

  4. Yes, most of the people I have met here during these many years of residence are friendly and find folks from overseas intriguing. Perhaps it’s just the part of the state in which I live (northern, and in the suburbs of the San Francisco/Oakland metropolitan area); could be, because of course there are creeps in every state.

    Come visit anytime! I will show you what I know of the area.

  5. Oh, and that’s too bad about people not liking English-speaking people. I know there is a popular aversion to Americans in particular. If all Americans were gun-toting Republican freaks, this would be understandable.

    An interesting thing about Switzerland is that there is mandatory military service (or at least there was as of 10 years ago; my husband has a Swiss friend who informed him about this). The government requires that every young man learn how to shoot a gun, and they are given a gun to keep in their home.

    Of course, Switzerland is not typical. In fact, it is a very unusual place.

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