The SBB train chugged along in the scenic journey from Milan to the Swiss city of Lausanne, passing Domodossola, Brig, and the vineyards of Montreux, before we reached the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman, in French).
Lausanne, a French-speaking city in the canton of Vaud, is blessed with picturesque views of the Alps, the Jura mountains, and Lake Geneva. Its location on sloping terrain ensures the abundance of spectacular vistas from various locations. And the numerous parks in the city made our itinerary a simple one. A weekend of park-hopping.
In the Ouchy neighborhood, the Place du Port has a lively, vibrant atmosphere. The kids’ play area was an instant magnet for Junior. We then strolled along the Quai de Belgique, the Quai d’Ouchy, watched the ferries departing for various towns along the huge lake (including towns across the lake, in France!). Brightly colored tulips marked the onset of spring. From the Tour Haldimand, we spotted the grand Thai Pavilion across the street. Next stop – Parc du Denanton.
Parc du Denanton
In the Parc du Denanton, we ambled along the sloping pathways, peered at the brook running through the park, ran in the grassy patches (no “keep off the grass” signs!!!). The Thai pavilion, glimmering in the bright sunshine, attracted several visitors. Junior found some slides and swings and other play equipment that he absolutely could not resist :D.
Adjoining the Parc du Denanton, is the Olympic Museum. Lausanne, where the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee is located, is known as the Olympic Capital.
Crêt de Montriond
We climbed up this little hill and had it almost entirely to ourselves. I settled on a park bench to simply gaze at the lake and the mountains, B strained his eyes to spot Geneva and Evian, and Junior loaded pebbles into his dumper truck.
Place de Milan
A downhill path from the Crêt de Montriond led us to the Place de Milan. A fountain, play equipment, and La Milanette – what more could we ask for! A few families were out to spend a relaxed Sunday at this park.
Parc de Montbenon
Again, we had the green space almost exclusively to ourselves. Junior was very excited to observe an earthworm and its activities, B got back to his “town-search” attempts, and I found my favorite ‘bench with a view’.
All I needed now was a cup of hot chocolate and a book to read. Park-hopping couldn’t get better than this.