Ah it feels like an age ago now that I had a whole weekend to explore Lake Geneva and everything around it. In fact it was only two weeks ago, and one of my favourite weekend breaks ever. I just loved the easy-going nature of everyone in Switzerland and the changing landscapes of the lakes, the mountains and the city all together as one.
This post is a bit of an essay with a million photos so grab a cup of tea and get comfy, to find out exactly what I got up to.
It all started when we arrived in our castle hotel in Lausanne, about 20 minutes by train from Geneva airport. It was the most beautiful day so we immediately headed outside to enjoy the sunshine and explore the lake.
There’s a gorgeous playground lakeside in Lausanne and it was very busy, with families playing on the giant chess boards, couples eating picnics on the rocks and children eating ice cream. We joined them and got a pre-dinner pudding of sorbet. It was my birthday, so if there’s any day you can have dessert before dinner, surely that’s it? We were happy to just sit and admire the amazing views. I’ve never been somewhere quite like it – with the snow on the mountain tops reflecting with the sun in the lake.
After the sun went down and it started to get a bit chilly, we headed out for some pizza at PZ Pizza. It was super casual, but that’s much more me than a fancy restaurant. And the concept of the place was pretty cool too, you pick your base and all your toppings, a bit like a create your own. We finished the evening wandering through the town centre where a fair was going on. I found the whole thing a little overwhelming though, there was so many people! So we ended up heading back to the hotel for a snuggle and a catch up on MasterChef. Does anyone else do this when they’re away or is it just me?
Saturday was a day for exploring and we headed up to the Alps. The weather was pretty terrible, not rainy but cloudy and foggy – and even the man in the train station thought we were a bit mad to be heading higher into the clouds. After catching two trains, on the third and final one it was just us and the driver! It was a cute little mountainside train and we seemed to be climbing at quite a height. The views over the lake and the mountains were incredible, and as it turned out the best we would see that day.
When we eventually arrived at a tiny train station, the heavens had opened and we were the only people for miles around. We were actually pretty scared when the train left, and we realised we were completely alone on the mountainside for a whole hour until it returned. But we spent the hour exploring, even though we could barely even see the hands in front of our faces! We spotted a log cabin in the distance at one point and it genuinely felt like something out of a horror movie, just waiting for the Abominable Snowman to appear! The picture below shows the boyfriend metres in front of my face and the views we were meant to be seeing. Can you believe how foggy it is?
We gave up as snow began to fall and retired to a tiny cafe – again we were the only people there. We couldn’t see a thing over the hillside but in a way it was pretty magical, especially with the snowfall. We finally decided to catch the train back down, again all alone with the driver and laughing about how little we’d seen. It wasn’t quite what we planned but I think that made it even more memorable.
That evening, for dinner we headed to the best restaurant I think I’ve ever been to. It was called Eat Me, a tapas bar with dishes from all around the world. The menu was split into each continent with dishes listed from that area and you could pick a selection from each. The boyfriend had mini burgers from America and a spicy dish from Asia, and I had a hummus plate from Africa and a pasta dish from Europe. We also selected cocktails from the Caribbean and a chocolate pudding from America. It was such an interesting idea for a restaurant and one I am desperately hoping comes to London soon.
Sunday was a day spent exploring the town of Lausanne, we visited the art gallery (and accidentally didn’t pay, although you’re supposed to!), the cathedral and the Old Town. I even roped the boyfriend into taking some photos of me (which you’ll see in a later post). On Sunday night we almost missed dinner as we didn’t realise everywhere closed in Switzerland so early on a Sunday, but we eventually found a cute little restaurant with posters of American TV shows all over the walls – there was Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and all sorts. I must mention that the metro was an absolute dream in Lausanne, it got us everywhere and we got a free travel card for paying the obligatory City Tax with our hotel room. We didn’t need to catch one taxi and barely needed to walk either.
I’ve been writing forever so I must tell you quickly about Monday. We headed into Geneva city for our final day and it was absolutely beautiful. The lake which runs through the centre of the city is so clear, it reminded me of the Croatian sea. And I couldn’t help but think back to our murky Thames. We didn’t have much time til our flight so we ran round and explored as much of the city as possible, I’d love to go back and find out more. After that, there was time for a quick dash to stock up on Swiss chocolate for all our family and friends, and then time to head home.
Thank you for making it to the bottom of this post, it’s probably my longest ever! Geneva is undoubtedly the most expensive place I’ve ever been, it is eye-poppingly expensive at times. But if you do it as cheaply as possible (we bought croissants and orange juice every day from the supermarket and snuck them into our room for breakfast!) then you can just about manage. And it is truly beautiful, unlike anywhere I’ve ever seen before. I would 100% recommend it for a weekend break.