Lausanne: Or, Parlez Vous Anglais?

5:00 am: My alarm on my phone goes of. It’s the kind of alarm that slowly gets louder, and thusly refuses to be ignored. I roll over, and eventually budge from my warm bed. I have to be outside at 5:30 to meet Hillary. We board our train sleepily, tickets in hand, and Hillary immediately breaks out school work, while I pull out The Feminine Mystique.

After a 5 hour train ride in which we ate part of a chocolate rabbit, we got off the train ravenous and went to the first place that could offer affordable (ish) food. McDonald’s was the only one that satisfied our needs…I feel so horrible saying that I ate there. Alas, we did.

After nomming on notoriously unhealthy goods, we got on a bus and got to The Collection de  l’Art Brut, a museum inaugurated in 1976, which features art of the mentally ill, the criminal, and the unprofessional. The artists were self-taught, and often secretive. Some of the art was just plain unbelievable, made from dots of ink, or scribbles of India ink, or crayons displaying a woman’s fantasy of running away with Wilhelm II. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take photographs, but I’ll scan in some postcards I got there. We spent over two hours on the four floors of the 18th century mansion turned museum, wandering and probably with mouths agape.

We found our way to Ouchy, the part of Lausanne that is right on the lake. There was a market displaying old encyclopedias, Disney puzzles, and French, German and English paper backs. A couple of books were gilded leather and would have graced my collection- but my light wallet and already full bookshelves brought me to the conclusion that they weren’t necessary.

We ate at a lake-side diner with grumpy employees and delicious (but not cheap) food. Hillary got a burger, while I got a croque monsieur, which was perfect.

Everywhere we had tulips greeting the sun and a breeze making me wish I hadn’t worn a skirt. People laid in the grass and rode by on bikes, and everybody was outside.

I don’t know if it’s because tulips are just the happiest and most colorful of flowers, or if it’s because I’m Dutch, but tulips are just the absolute best living flora ever. Especially whilst surrounded by other complementary flowers which only enhance the scenery and delightful smells.






Lausanne was awesome- sunny, diverse, green, lots of random parks, and although we didn’t get to it, there is a magnificent 13th century Gothic church there. I’ve been to Lausanne once before, and this church is…well, there are no words. It’s the epitome of a Gothic church, which is the only way I can describe it- the perfect pointed arches, the glass rosette, the wonderful vaulted ceilings- everything!

We didn’t get crepes, which is what everybody told us to get,  but I didn’t feel too bad. We ate sour candy (er- I did) on the train back and spoke with a wonderful woman and her young daughter on our double decker train back. She thought we weren’t going to make our train, she had that I’m a mother, so if you were to not make the last train back to your homes, I might have offered to help you out because you’re both somebody’s daughters expression, and made sure before we left that we would make our train to Lugano.

That is the marvelous thing about travelling. You get lucky or you meet kind people who you know would help you out. They may not even know your name, and they may not even speak your language, but they will help you out. My faith in humanity has only been enhanced by travelling, rather than destroyed. We live in a marvelous place, with good people- sometimes we just focus on the bad people and negative things more.



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