Lausanne and going cuckoo

Lausanne is reasonably pleasant old town, but didn’t see much out of the ordinary.

As I mentioned everything in Switzerland is expensive, and prices of things do get quite ouchy.

In fact…

That’s name of the southern district of Lausanne, which needs a different (light rail) train to get down to this coastal part.

Theres some great shops to take a look around here.  This place sells all kinds of things Swiss!

Cuckoo clocks!  lots of them!

Shame that they had to tell me off for taking pictures after this one.   Lots of wonderful souvenirs for sale here.

There is also this strange pink castle like hotel too!! (illuminated that colour, not painted)

The boat provides a way to pop over to France, of course, via passing through the building next to it, means you need to have a passport as you are going from a non-EU to a EU nation.

Lastly, off to Geneva…

Vevey antique markets

The block to the right is just around the corner from the youth hostel I stayed at, during the week this car park is full, but on an early thursday mornings, there are some nice markets here.

With France as a neighbour on the other side of the water with an equally impressive set of snow covered alps, this is a rather pleasant place to take a wander around the seafront.

The next day the flea market is here with a lot of distinctly Swiss looking bits and pieces, ie: these cow bells.

As well as antiques here, you can see the vans in the distance are from a farmer’s type market of local food producers.   Its good to know, despite Vevey being the ancestral home of food producing empire overlords Nestle, there is a still space to fit in some local chap selling cheese out of his van! 🙂

Montreux and all that jazz

On the trains again, this time the more common or garden type ones, although with little bits of brief snowy scenery to watch, as I headed to Vevey.

After booking into the hostel there, I took a day visit to Montreux, a city world famous for its Jazz festivals.  Now I am on the French part of Switzerland overlooking lake Geneva, sharing the water with France.  Here  this town has a few other interesting visitors who made this place a favourite….

Close to this wooden building there is a tribute to a rock entertainer Freddie Mercury closeby…

Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar, an island off of Tanzania, and has a mixture of Indian and Persian background.   I think he has one of the best voices of any male singer ever.    Perhaps Kevin Max from US Christian rock band DC Talk has some resemblance in his vocals, but no one has ever manage to really come close to this unique legend.

Its now 20 years since Freddie’s death from AIDS and it so happens, that he liked to come and visit Montreux often, which the Swiss has their own Freddy Mercury day.

Here this was a reminder of what an amazing entertainer Freddy was.   I think it would of been great to see overlooking the water and eat cheese fondue with the whole of Queen when they came here to record some of their albums.

I read whilst I was here in a French newspaper that another British artist, George Michael was dangerously ill, who seems unable to give up drugs and getting into trouble with the law for serious driving offences.   I hope George manages to seek the right help and not get lost in destructive lifestyle that has affected so many musicians.

Next: lake side flea market…