It seems fitting - although accidental! - to be writing this very Olympic-centric post on the day of the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics. We were supposed to have more time than we ended up having in Lausanne, but we got booted off our overbooked flight from Madrid the night before and didn't arrive in Switzerland until much later than expected.
We had to condense and cut our itinerary a bit, and in the end, what we decided to keep was the Olympic Museum (plus our evening of walking around and such, as you'll see). After dropping off our bags at our Airbnb, we walked towards Lake Geneva, where the museum and park sit alongside the water. I thought we might need about two hours at the Olympic Museum, but we were there for four hours, and we felt a bit rushed (we arrived just before 2pm and left when they closed at 6pm). Another hour would have really been appreciated so we could have taken our time, as we had to really skim through some exhibits at the end in order to, at least, see everything briefly.
D - On the other side of Lake Geneva from where we were, the Swiss Alps stand majestically on the horizon. Unfortunately, it was a bit foggy and overcast when we were there so we couldn't really see them too well while at the museum. We did see them from our Airbnb the next morning though and they were spectacular!
Lausanne is the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee, so it only makes sense that it's also home to a museum dedicated to all things Olympics. It doesn't necessarily follow, though, that the museum would be a world-class, high-tech, interactive, engaging place for all ages. We viewed actual medals given out at past Olympics from 1896 to the present day, outrageous costumes worn at Opening Ceremonies throughout the years, Olympic torches from all of the past games, Olympic athletes' uniforms and equipment, and even got a glimpse of some of what's to come in the next few weeks in Pyeongchang.
One of my favorite parts was the section on the Olympic village, which detailed what athletes pack, the different elements that make up Olympic villages, dining halls, and more - they even had some interactive agility, balance, and mental tests that we tried out...and after we went through them, I think it's safe to say that the US Olympic team isn't missing out on too much with us sticking to the couch. Okay, enough from me, the bottom line is, I can't say enough good things about the Olympic Museum.
D - I might've performed better on the tests (think Wii style) if there weren't so many people around watching me. You try running in place at full speed with a crowd of observers around. If those Olympic athletes think they're under pressure to perform they should try visiting the museum!
When we left the museum it was dark out and time for dinner. We walked towards the center of town for nourishment and Christmas cheer, hoping to find both at once, but after scouring the Christmas markets of Lausanne twice over, we found them a bit lacking in the food department, and rather heavy on the drinks.
D - Not to mention everything was super pricey. Welcome to Switzerland.
I was disappointed but knew that this was only our first Christmas market of the season. Since it was Switzerland, land of cheese and chocolate, we settled on a hollowed out baguette with melted cheese poured into the center...which almost immediately spilled all over my glove and jacket sleeve. I wasn't thrilled by this development but thankfully our Airbnb hosts were around and chatty when we got back and we spent a really nice remainder of the evening with them, talking about Spain, travel, Switzerland, and life as expats (which all four of us are).
D - Shannon really downplayed the whole cheese crisis but it was actually kind of a big deal. She only took one bite before I saw some of the delicious molten hot cheese about to drip on her hand. Being the hero that I am, I quickly angled her hand in the other direction to slow down the flow of the cheese and unknowingly poured a bunch more on her. It was devastating. I mean, I really wanted that cheese! Shannon is pictured below holding the hoagie in question, mere moments from when my entire world would be horrifically shattered and my foundations shaken to the very core. I really wanted that cheese...
It was a shame that we didn't get a chance to spend much time along Lake Geneva in Lausanne, or wander around the old part of town during the daylight, or see the inside of the cathedral, but sometimes travel mishaps happen. Last year we took 24 flights - it was inevitable that something would go wrong eventually, and unfortunately, it happened at a time when it cut into our travels (as opposed to on our way home). We did get to see what I think would have been the highlight of our time in Lausanne (the Olympic Museum), no matter how long we were able to spend in the city, so I feel satisfied with our trip, and we also had really interesting and nice Airbnb hosts, which in our opinion, always adds to the fun of a trip. Now, onto Montreux!