Up and Down in Lausanne – My Impressions of this Vertical City

I am just back from three fine days exploring Lausanne, my favorite city in Switzerland (along with Zürich, Bern, Lucerne, Basel... Oh, never mind!)

Merci beaucoup to the Lausanne tourism office for hosting our little group of travel and culture writers from Switzerland. You have only yourselves to blame if we all move to your fair city next week – in spite of your hills!

I guess walking up and down and up and down is to be expected in Switzerland, but Lausanne is not even in the Alps! And yet, it seems you are almost always changing elevation with each step as you go around the town.

 

This Paris style covered passage is one of the few flat places in the city.

Lausanne Covered Passage

 

Mostly, the streets are inclined to be inclined.

Lausanne Switzerland

 

As you would expect, the cathedral is up a little closer to heaven... and hell!

Lausanne Switzerland

 

Down by the lake, there is also some flat space. Just enough for the occasional giant chessboard and the Chateau d’Ouchy, now a hotel and restaurant.

Lausanne Switzerland

 

Nearby, the newly re-imagined Olympic Museum is a dazzling series of displays on three floors.

Lausanne Switzerland

 

And the quite cool quartier of Flon is rather horizontally oriented!

Lausanne Switzerland
Lausanne Switzerland
Lausanne Switzerland
Lausanne Switzerland
Lausanne Switzerlandv
Lausanne Switzerland
Lausanne Switzerland

 

Lausanne is also the jumping-off point for other remarkable places in Canton Vaud. The wine village of Grandvaux is maybe 20 minutes away by train. It is home to several winemakers, including Domaine Croix Duplex, owned for three generations by the Vogel family. This is their office.

Lausanne Grandvaux Winery

 
Lausanne Grandvaux Winery

There, we were offered a wine tasting by Madame Maude Vogel.

 
 
 
 
 

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Then, we enjoyed a nice lunch at L’Auberge de la Gare, right across the street.

Lausanne Grandvaux Winery

 

Another short train ride to the town of Renens to gawk at two modern architectural wonders on the campus of one of Switzerland's (and the world's) most respected universities, L'Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland

We also peeked into the university's library and study area, the Rolex Learning Center. I kept wishing I had a skateboard...

EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland

 

Then, we got a peek at the new SwissTech Convention Center! These colored bands are not just beautiful; they also generate solar power using dyes and a process that mimics photosynthesis! This system was designed by an EPFL professor:

EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland

 

Finally, after a day of exploring, we returned to our Lausanne home, L'Hôtel de la Paix, to relax and contemplate the city.

Lausanne Switzerland

 

More Information

- Visiting the Olympic Museum
- Visiting Domaine Croix Duplex winery at Grandvaux
- Touring the campus of L'Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
- Hotel recommendation: L’Hôtel de la Paix

Bill Harby

An award-winning freelance writer, editor and photographer based in Neuchâtel and Volcano, Hawai‘i, Bill is frequently called upon to be "funny." His stories have garnered him a select coterie of loyal readers and legions of others who couldn't care less. For more of Bill’s work: www.billharby.com