Lausanne, SwitzerlandOn a recent trip to Geneva, I had a few hours free on a Sunday afternoon, so I hopped on one of the frequent trains (love, love, love efficient Swiss public transport) to nearby Lausanne.

Lausanne is about fifty-three kilometers north-east of Geneva, along the banks of Lake Geneva. During the summer months, there are boats leaving Geneva for frequent voyages to destinations along the lake, including Lausanne.

Lausanne, SwitzerlandLausanne is an adorable, idyllic little town, all fairy tale spires, steep cobblestone streets (bring good walking shoes!), and gorgeous views down to the lake and the mountains surrounding the town.

When I arrived, I raced from the train station and up the steep slopes to the cathedral bell tower, which is supposed to provide gorgeous views over the lake and the mountains beyond.

Lausanne, SwitzerlandUnfortunately, I arrived just as they were closing to visitors, so I missed my chance to enjoy the spectacular views. Next time.

Nevertheless, even if you arrive too late to climb the bell tower, the Notre-Dame Cathedral  is worth a visit. The cathedral was built between 1170 and 1235. The 13th century rose windows are impressive, and almost all original.

St Pierre, Lausanne, SwitzerlandI did enjoy wandering the steep streets of this pretty city. Lausanne is also home to the International Olympic Committee, and houses an interesting  Olympic Museum, currently closed for renovations and is scheduled to open at the end of 2013.

Enjoy your time in charming Lausanne, which must be even more beautiful in the spring and summer. Lausanne would probably also be a good base for exploring other lakeside towns. Next time I’m going to make it in time for that view from the cathedral’s bell tower.

Lausanne, SwitzerlandLausanne, Switzerland