Switzerland was well worth the aching behind, having sat on an aeroplane for what felt like a day, I was thankful to be greeted with such a warm welcome. Upon arrival we had
a man help my friend with directions on which bus to take to his student housing, and
a warm welcome from my hostess who came to greet me at Lausanne train station. The
kind gestures always seemed to come my way, my neighbour in my apartment offering
me slices of cake upon my first meeting with her.
I was fortunate to live just 10mins away from Lake Leman, and the view
from my apartment verandah was tremendously beautiful. Unexpectedly,
the summer in Switzerland was very, very humid, unlike anything I would
have expected from what I had assumed was a cold country.This sadly meant
having to take myself to swim in the local pool beside the lake, it was a
tough existence. If I didn’t go swimming, my friends and I would have picnics
in the park at Ouchy Olympique, and often treat ourselves with some tasty
ice-creams. The parks had such a friendly atmosphere, with families setting
up portable BBQs and stereos next to the lake. One afternoon, I happened to
see a group of people swing dancing, something that seemed unlikely to occur
out in public in my parks back home, but seemed to sum up the care-free,
relaxed nature of the Swiss French people during the summer holidays.
The people I met in my language course came from all around the world,
Russia, Syria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Argentina, Italy, Ethiopia, England,
and much more. I was fortunate to befriend a couple of guys who had lived
in Lausanne for some time and took me around the city one day as tour guides.
It was great to witness the Notre Dame Cathedral and visit the natural history
museum. Here is a photo of me posing next to the jaw of a whale, a size I couldn’t
quite believe! Then one of my friends shouted us lunch at the Chinese restaurant
where he works. All the while they speaking very good French, and me trying very
hard to understand them, but very good practice nonetheless.
I couldn’t quite get over the sheer beauty of Switzerland, for anywhere you looked
you would see flowers blooming. It occurred in boxes sitting upon windowsills in apartment blocks, at the railway station or along my walk to the university. The
vineyards, near Pully were particularly spectacular, but tobogganing at Oeschinensee surrounded by the snow-capped mountains was one of my favourite experiences.
Ending my trip trying fondue and raclette, particular cheese delicacies of the Swiss, was the best way to complete my overseas adventure. Delectable, and a few kilos heavier but
a very content soul, I sadly returned to the airport, prepared for the aches, but second time not so bad. Perhaps it was a result of the extra padding!