LAUSANNE TO VILLENEUVE
Lausanne, the fourth largest city in Switzerland, is located on the Lake of Geneva (Lac Léman) & surrounded on three sides by vineyards. It is a university town and the home of the main campus of EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) considered by many as Europe’s version of Boston’s MIT. If you like sports you’ll know that Lausanne is the seat of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, dreamt of establishing someday a museum dedicated to the universal values of sport & the diversity of Olympism. The reality of that dream is the state-of-the-art Olympic Museum on the waterfront area of Ouchy. (oo-she: nothing to do with pain).
One of the highlights of any visit to the region are the vineyards of Lavaux which overlook the Lake of Geneva. We described them in some detail in the “Swiss Wines” Spotlight. For a memorable experience consider taking one of the tourist trains which run through the terraced vineyards. If you are a hiker, a tour along the trails from Lutry to Saint-Saphorin is a must. In the beautiful village of Saint-Saphorin you can reward yourself with some local delicacies and of course a glass or two of its fine wine.
Continuing on your route you’ll reach Vevey, the birthplace of Henri Nestlé, the founder of the world’s largest food & beverage company. The NEST Museum opened last year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the company’s founding. If you are a fan of the silent-film era, you’ll know that “The Little Tramp”, Charlie Chaplin, moved to Vevey and made it his home in 1952. A statue of the super star overlooks the lake. He’s actually peering at the world’s largest fork. Yes, a twenty six high, by four foot wide stainless steel fork has been embedded in the lake at a stone’s throw from the Alimentarium Museum.
From Vevey you can reach Montreux -well known for its Jazz Festival- by train, bus, boat, or by foot on an easy 4 ½ mile walk. The city’s flower-lined lakeside promenadewith its palm trees is especially beautiful in the summer months. Most visitors to Montreux have one goal in mind, a visit to Switzerland’s most famous castle: The Château de Chillon. To conclude your visit take the boat to the attractive & unspoiled town of Villeneuve for a nice lunch.
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