Who would have thought that it can be so hot in Switzerland! I just spent three days in Lausanne on the shore of lovely Lake Geneva and if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought I was somewhere in Africa. It was incredibly hot, so after a lot of the obligatory sightseeing on foot, climbing up and down Lausanne’s steep streets and three hills in tropical temperatures, I was more than glad to spend some time on the water.
An absolute highlight was the sunset cruise which lasts 2 ½ hours and includes a sit down dinner if you wish. The cruises leave from Ouchy, easily reached by METRO2, getting off at the last stop Ouchy Qlympique.
From there it’s just a short walk to the lake front and the piers where all the cruises and ferries leave. For an overview of what’s on offer, please consult: http://www.cgn.ch/en-gb/
My particular boat was a reconstructed Belle Époque paddle steamer with three decks. You can actually watch the huge wheel churn up the water.
I had a dinner reservation, so I sat in the lower deck and enjoyed a nice three course meal. But then, I left and went to the upper decks where the atmosphere was a lot more lively. You can buy food and drinks from several bars and then sit on benches or deck chairs and let the world drift by.
The cruise passes Vevey and Montreux with a very good view of the respective waterfronts. You also can admire the historical vineyards which line the shore and the mountains on the return journey. There are stops in Vevey and Montreux, which gave me the idea to return earlier the next day for a trip to Vevey, because I wanted to visit the Charlie Chaplin museum.
If you sit on the upper deck, and are on your own as I was, you make friends quickly. As the cruise progressed and music was playing, everybody talked to everybody else, shared a glass of wine and started to dance as the sun slowly set.
It’s also a quite romantic thing to do for couples.
A great evening was had with stunning views, a cool breeze and great albeit temporary company.