A quick jaunt to Lake Geneva this weekend resulted in a very pleasant surprise. I’ve been lucky and visited many places around the world, but there are still so many corners of the world yet to see, and it turns out Switzerland was one of them
I flew From Bournemouth airport and the whole process was really simple, in less than 90 minutes I had landed in Geneva. The public transport in Geneva is amazing, it is clean, and simple to decipher, with ticket machines that are easy to use and translated in To English.
We were staying outside of Geneva, just along the lake in a city called Lausanne. The train journey offered is glimpses of the mountains and the lakes, it was a comfortable journey and took about 40 minutes.
We needed to take the Metro to our hotel, and again it was super easy, the line we were on was just a straight connection so we just had to worry about which direction to go in.
The best place to visit the Lake is a short metro ride along to Ouchy (I think this was pronounced ‘oh-she’, but the English pronounciation of Ouchy was much more fun).
Ouchy is a port / marina with beautiful views of the alps and the lake. It is a bustling area with a few restaurants, a little park and plaza, and some ferries.
We took the ferry over To Evian (France) which is about a half hour journey, and well worth doing. Keep your passport on you as we were informed spot checks are possible, and also take Euros or a debit card to spend on the other side as they don’t accept Swiss Francs.
There is lots to explore when you get to Evian, we just spent a couple of hours, but that was enough to grab a glass of wine, browse a few shops and check out the source of the evian spring (below) and head back To Switzerland.
Evian is a charming town with hilly streets and a relaxed vibe.
We were told to take a ride on the Funiculaire (free) which is a kind of team that takes you a short way up the mountain, but it doesn’t open til 29th April.
In the afternoon we visited Lausanne and wandered up to a park for a great view of the lake (it is a pretty steep walk though so we ached a bit afterwards), sat next to the cathedral and had some afternoon sun and a glass of wine, and meandered through the streets to catch a glimpse of shops, local life and beautiful history.
We only had a short time In Switzerland, but it has charmed me and I want to return, the people were all very friendly, the air is clear and fresh, and the pace is slow enough to feel relaxed, even in a big city. Prices are a little in the high side probably en par with London, but metro travel is free for tourists so you save a bit there.
There was nothing I didn’t like about this place, and I imagine it is a place that changes with the seasons. I reckon that is as good excuse as any to come back.