Lausanne … is a medium sized city which sits at the northern most point of Lake Geneva. The city is the host to the International Olympic Committee and two major universities. It is also the transportation hub of Vaud, and a gateway to the alpine Canton of the Valais, home to some of the best known ski slopes in the world.
After my fiasco with trying to couchsurf in Geneva and having no luck getting responses from folks in Bern and Zurich, I was pleasantly surprised when Reza got back to my last minute request saying that I could stay with him on Thursday night in Lausanne. After hiking all day in Vevey with my college professor, I got on the train for the short hop to Lausanne in the evening. Reza was already waiting for me at the train station so we went back to his place to drop off my things before heading out to check out some clubs but quickly called it a night as I was tired and there was not much happening on Thursday night.
The next morning Reza joined me for a walk around the old parts of the city. It was interesting to see a mix of very different architectural styles everywhere. In many places there will be a half a dozen buildings next to each other with a completely different look. Reza also mentioned that Lausanne reminded him of San Francisco and I could see where he was coming from - it was very hilly. The climb from the train station up to the main street was a pretty steep grade indeed. Apparently, people ski down that street in winter - not surprising as I did not see how anyone would be able to walk down when it is slippery
Another interesting factoid is that Lausanne is the smallest city that has an underground subway line. It is indeed very basic with trains composed of just a couple of cars, but nevertheless, it is a subway. I got to experience it firsthand when I decided to go to the hospital to get the remaining shots I needed for my trip. I was hoping to get those done in Ukraine to save some money, but as I was sick, I could not do it then and I did not want to wait to get it done in Frankfurt right before I have to get on a 12 hour flight to South Africa. The shots themselves turned out to be somewhat cheaper than in the US, but the consultation charge was a hefty one even though I went in knowing what I needed to be done, they still somehow charged me for 40 some minutes of nurse time.
After getting injected with all kinds of nastiness, I walked down to the lake to stroll along the shore and find the Olympic museum. It has been cloudy all day so I could not see the other side of the lake, making it feel like I was standing at the ocean shore instead. Eventually I did find the museum and had a bit of time to check it out before heading back up to the train station to say good bye to Reza as he was leaving to go to Vienna for the weekend. Earlier he graciously offered me to stay another night at his place, while he was gone, since I was not able to find a host in Bern or Zurich. It worked out great as I was able to head back and book my trip to Bern and Interlaken the next day.
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