Lausanne is a good day trip option from Geneva, being less than an hour away by train. The station is downhill from the historic centre, but it is a short ride on the slanted metro uphill towards the main attractions. This ride is covered by the Swiss Travel Pass. 2 stops later ...
Place de la Riponne is a grand square fronted by the Palais de Rumine, which now has several museums within.
The Town Hall was built in the 17th century and still serves the same purpose today.
The Escaliers du Marche is a set of stairs that climbs up the steep slope up to the cathedral. They date from the 13th century although what we see today was built in the early 18th century.
However, the top section was removed due to road construction in 1911 and was restored in 1975.
The cathedral's history goes back to the 12th century but construction took long and it was finally consecrated in 1275. When the Reformation came, many of the decorations were covered up but then restored in the 20th century.
I had my eyes set on the stairs up for a panoramic view of the city. I was not disappointed. Seems few people knew of this place as it was quite empty up top.
Heading back downhill, you start to appreciate the rough geography builders had to conquer to create this city. Pont Charles-Bessieres seems to be a wonderful suicide spot being quite high above the sprawling town below.
Rue de Bourg is the main shopping street, although I wasn't in a spending mood. The architecture was all right but I headed out soon after looking for more.
Eglise St-Francois looks simple on the outside, but I couldn't find an opening to go inside for a look. Disappointed, I headed downhill along Rue St-Francois to find interesting shop signs hanging on the walls.
I headed across the Grand-Pont, the bridge over the River Flon that was built in 1844. The river is gone, covered up by urban development.
Below, this part of town is being rejuvenated. The Flon area used to be a decrepit place for storage and shipping - an industrial wasteland.
Soon, I returned back to the historic centre near where I started my walking tour.
So what's special about this grey building? I needed help from the tourist information centre in the nearby square to find it. The first 2 storeys are remnants from 1340! Subsequent additions took placee in the late 14h century, mid-16th century, and 18th century.
For a better perspective of Lausanne's slanted metro, take a look at the following photos.
The metro continues downhill towards the waterfront, where there is a beautiful promenade for a great sunset view. Head east for a bit and you will reach the Olympic Museum, where your Swiss Travel Pass will grant free entry.
The Olympic Museum was recently renovated and is a great rainy day activity. The collection is extensive with a big souvenir collection showcasing the commercialized aspect of sport, medals, and sporting equipment worn by athletes. From the lakeside entrance, it is a long climb up staircases to the entrance, but I was rewarded by a traditional music performance - must have been a special event.
The first section outlines the Olympic Games' Greek origins.
The modern revival of the Games was led by Pierre de Coubertin.
The flame torches used by various Olympic Games are then displayed. The designs are quite varied with multimedia enhancement on screens below.
The Games have also gotten very commercialized, with lots of little critters that make money for the Olympic machine. Put them together, and you see a huge happy family coming after your wallet.
Dirty shoes, sweaty tops, and the odd underwear or so. There is a huge collection of athelete clothes for you to gaze and smell.
Technology is playing an increasing role in sport. This coat was intended to help Swiss skiiers in 2002 but was quickly abandoned.
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