Thursday, 19 September 2013

The first  weekend in September we went to Lausanne, to visit a young friend who works there. We stayed in Ouchy, on the lakeside, which was busy on Friday evening when we arrived. We spent Saturday visiting La Chaux de Fonds, which is the main centre for Swiss watch making. We last visited La Chaux de Fonds about 20 or so years ago, while staying in a gite in the Franche Comte area, just over the border. The town seemed to be much brighter and more lovely this visit, possibly having benefited from the success of the Swiss watch industry. We paid homage to this by spending some time at the Musee International d' Horologie, which is a fascinating place. The following day we visited a couple of buildings not usually open to the public, but that weekend were, as part of the Swiss/European "Jours de Patrimoinie"or European Heritage days. We visited a concert theatre at Vevey, which is a building site at the moment, as it is undergoing major restauration work, and we had a walk along the lakeside, past the statue of Charlie Chaplin, and also paid a short visit to the Alimentarium, a museum about food, how we taste it, digest it and so on. It has lots of interactive features, and as it was a weekend, there were plenty of families all enjoying finding out stuff about food.
 Then we drove up into the mountains, to visit Leysin, to visit what was an hotel and tuberculosis sanatorium at the end of the nineteenth century and is now the Swiss Hotel Management School. Leysin is also a winter sports resort, and has beautiful south-facing views, which we could only get glimpses of through the clouds which kept drifting about. We drove back down to the lakeside via a more-or-less single track road, which at one point gave us views of Lake Geneva and the valley through which the Rhone river runs. Amazing.

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