Thanks to a visit from a college friend (who now lived in Madrid, but only had to take a two-hour EasyJet flight to visit me in Switzerland…yay for living in Europe!) I became much more familiar with the city of Lausanne over the weekend.
It’s funny how tourists often get to see more of the cities they visit than their inhabitants…when you live in a place, you tend to wear down the the same paths to the same places day after day, only discovering the city as a whole over time. But as a tourist, you can see everything all at once, and that’s what I did with my friend last weekend.
My legs still ache from climbing the steep Lausanne hills for hours, but touring around on foot allowed me to piece together the parts of the city I’d already seen into a coherent whole. I now feel like I have a little map of Lausanne in my brain…which is excellent news for me, since my natural sense of direction is non-existent. That is not just self-deprecation – I have been known to get quite lost even in cities I’ve inhabited for years.At any rate, the highlight of our walking tour was the Olympic Museum. Lausanne is actually home to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee, and the Museum and its sculpture garden are designed to preserve and commemorate Olympic history.
My friend and I never made it past the sculpture garden, as it was such a beautiful day and we didn’t feel like parting with the lovely weather and gorgeous view of Lac Léman below.
Enjoy the photos!
The sculpture garden had many different styles of art, each representing some type of Olympic sport. This is obviously men’s soccer, though I can’t tell if he’s attempting some kind of horizontal kick, or pretending to be injured.
The view from the Museum down to Lac Léman.
Abdominal muscles. Not technically a sport, but definitely an art form.
Fencing! My favorite sport, as a former fencer myself. The title of this piece is “Allegory of a Fencer,” but – except for the lack of protective gear/clothing – it looks pretty literal to me!
This was my favorite sculpture of all. I don’t think he represents a sport, but possibly an anonymous spectator?
More of the amazing view…
One final tidbit from our tour day…I feel that any blog about Switzerland can’t ignore one of its most famous products: Rivella. I introduced my friend to it while she was here, and I was inspired to get some for myself.
Rivella is a delicious carbonated drink, 35% of which (I am not making this up) is whey. As in cheese curds and whey. It sounds disgusting but tastes like heaven (there is quite a lot of sugar in it, which might have something to do with it).
Rivella tried to introduce the drink in the U.S. but it was met with complete disinterest by Americans (I guess we tend to prefer our sugar unadulterated). According to the Wikipedia page, it is now popular in the Netherlands. Wherever it catches on, it will always be quintessentially Swiss, and as the label suggests, is best enjoyed with snow-capped mountains in the background.