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July 23, 2019

In 2006 UIST (one of the big HCI research conferences) was held in Montreux. I thought the area was gorgeous, and I’ve always wanted to revisit the area. This year for our summer vacation we spent 2 weeks in Europe, and we spent part of that time in Lausanne.

We rented an apartment via Airbnb in Ouchy, the waterfront district. We had a great view from our apartment of the lake and the mountains beyond in France. It was conveniently located, too; the Ouchy metro stop was roughly a block away, there was grocery store two blocks away, the ferry stop was roughly three blocks away, and there were plenty of restaurants around.

Our view

We spent a lot of time exploring along the lake and relaxing, but we also made time to hit some of the sights. We spent a day exploring the old city center, including the cathedral and some old town squares. We had a lengthy and tasty lunch, got in some walking, and did a little shopping.

We also caught a ferry down south of Montreux to explore Castle Chillon. I’d been there during UIST in Montreux (we had a visit to the castle one evening), but we were only able to explore part of the castle then. It was nice to be able to look around it in more detail and to learn more about the castle’s history. Plus the castle was quite cool (all that stone), which was particularly nice since our trip to Switzerland coincided with a big heat wave in Europe (it was near 90 most days we were in Switzerland).

Castle Chillon

The ferry ride was very enjoyable as well. The breeze on the lake kept us cool, and we enjoyed views of Montreux (I saw the hotel I stayed in for UIST), the other towns and cities along the lake, and the Lavaux vineyards (a UNESCO World Heritage site).

A view of Montreux from our ferry

The next day we caught a train to Chexbres (I really enjoy train travel in Europe; they do public transportation so much better than we do in the US) and hiked down through the vineyards to St. Saphorin. It was extremely hot; I’m glad we chose to hike down the hill instead of up! But the views of the lake, the vines, and the mountains beyond were amazing, and St. Saphorin was a picturesque little village right on the lake. We stopped for lunch at the Cafe le Raisin, which was very tasty (the only drawback to visiting Switzerland is that it has a well-deserved reputation for being expensive; lunch for three at a small cafe would routinely cost us US$150-160).

Hiking down through the Lavaux vineyards

Overall the trip to Lausanne was amazing, and I’d love to go back to explore more of the region. But next time I’d like to visit in the fall, to beat some of the summer heat and enjoy the views when the air isn’t so hazy.

From → Travel

One Comment
  1. Lausanne is such a naturally beautiful place and you have captured it perfectly in your photos. Thank you for sharing this with us and keep up the great content!

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