Amsterdam had lived up to all my expectations but soon it was time to set off once more. This time I took myself and my pink suitcase to Amsterdam Schipol airport en route to Geneva International in Switzerland.
There I met my girlfriends, one Swiss and the other who had arrived about 10mins before from Madrid and much to my fatigued traveller horror, we made a mad dash for the train which would take us to our final destination, Lausanne.
In the dark of night, Lausanne did not get me that excited and when the heavens opened up the next morning, shrouding the city in grey, I was a bit hesitant to fall in love with it. But even with the lake and mountains cloaked in bleakness, the hilly city still managed to show its charm. With the rain not letting up, we were content to have some drinks and then later dinner with friends, leaving more adventurous pursuits for less watery days.
Well...this seemed almost impossible, but we still managed to do a bit of sightseeing, including seeking physical shelter and maybe spiritual refuge as well in the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne, where I did indeed whsiper a prayer for my loved ones, and also leave a prayer request on the request board. You will just have to ask me what I asked for.
|View of rainy Lausanne from the hill on which the cathedral is located|
|Hilly Lausanne - one can get quite the workout here|
|The interior of the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne|
The rain just would not quit but this would not stop us from enjoying first a couple fabulous coffee creations at the Nespresso boutique. For those who love coffee as I do, this was heaven on earth. You got a full explanation of the various Nespresso products, along with customised sampling of the coffee itself. Then, if you were so inclined, you can sit in the Nespresso bar and order from their vast menu of simply divine hot or cold beverages. After a lot of walking up and down the streets of Lausanne, this was my everything.
|The Nespresso Boutique in Lausanne - products and coffee galore|
|All the little coloured pods are Nespresso pods. So much choice!|
I tried first Un Doux Defile de Mocca Latte which was a wonderful twist on the mocha latte, with the kicker being the hazelnut base.
|These were the specialty drinks of the month. I had the last two as shown here.|
|My special Swiss mocha latte|
The real star was the Mojito a la mode Coco - a layered mojito comprised of a regular mojito at the bottom, cold, shaken coffee in the middle and coconut cream. This was epic and the flavours all worked so well together.
|My coffee mojito. Epic!|
But it was our date with Swiss cheese fondue later that evening that made all our rainy day blues go away. We had reservations at the Café du Grütli, which is located on the ground floor of one of the oldest buildings in Lausanne (over 150 years old), with the current owners working their magic with fondue for the past 30 years.
I was a bit apprehensive about fondue as my stomach cannot always handle such richness, especially being lactose intolerant. But how can one come to Switzerland and not try cheese fondue? With our Swiss guide (my friend, Laure) we ordered the cheese fondue and the tomato cheese fondue. The former is eaten by dipping bits of bread into the pot of melted cheeses infused with white wine, while you eat the latter by pouring some of it over potatoes. Both fondues are served straight off the stovetop and are kept warm and more importantly, in their melted state by placing them on spirit burners on the table. The bread is simple, as are the potatoes as it is really a simple, yet traditional dish.
|Our pots of cheese fondue.|
|My tomato and cheese fondue served over boiled potatoes |
and bits of bread to be dipped in the plain cheesefondue, using my dipping fork
Can I just say all apprehension over my frail stomach went out the door after the first bite? When the girl brought out both pots, I was convinced there was no way we would be able to eat it all. An hour later, both pots were empty and the wine was done as well. It was incredible and possibly the highlight of my entire Lausanne experience.
And that's how we defeated the rain that day!