Further Round the Lake

Trip Start Apr 08, 2007
Trip End Dec 22, 2007

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Lausanne - 13th - 16th July

We're at Lausanne, on the north shore of Lake Geneva, in one of the more lively camping grounds we've been to. From our camp it's just a short walk to the lake, where there is a beach. It's only a small beach (3 metres of sand) by Australian standards and unfortunately the water had a lot of weed floating in it making swimming pretty average. The surrounding landscape was spectacular with massive snow capped mountains in the distance. Behind the beach was large parklands filled with people, having BBQ's, playing football, Frisbee (that was us...again) and enjoying the summer temps that had finally arrived.

At night our campsite comes alive, but we wished it would die again. We were "rocked" by a terrible covers band lead by a very bad sounding Joe Cocker impersonator that went on till midnight. Painful. The next night was Karaoke night....AAARRRGGGHH!!!!

We've been hitting the tourist trail pretty hard here by day too. We visited a couple of towns further round the lake. We timed our arrival in Vevey with market day. How coincidental. The fresh fruit and vegies, flowers and souvenir shops were doing a good trade, as the place was packed. We left them to it and lost ourselves in the maze of cobblestone alleyways for a few hours. We came across three old fellas playing these massive traditional horns, they were pretty good too.

Then we took off for Montreux, where the annual Jazz and Blues festival was in full swing. We got there a bit early in the day for any acts to be on, but judging by the amount of people around the festival was packing them in. We strolled the waterfront markets and main street then went looking for some solitude in the mountains.

The road from Montreux into the hills is the usual twisty turny narrow, hairpinned road we have come to expect from these landscapes, but this time we faced the new obstacle of psycho downhill cyclists that scream down towards you round blind corners. We stopped for a picnic by the side of the road high above Montreux overlooking Lake Geneva and the surrounding countryside with the distant sound of cowbells. Switzerland at it's best! We then drove further up the mountain to a panoramic restaurant and lookout and found that there was numerous hiking trails snaking out in all directions. We took one that followed an alpine stream up a giant gully for about an hour and a half before retracing our footsteps back to the car. As we drove down through Montreux it became obvious that the Jazz and Blue festival was a very large event as police had closed roads and parking attendants directed us out of the main centre of town.

The "entertainment" thankfully is only on Friday and Saturday nights at the campground so we were spared any more nights lying in bed hoping this one might be the last song. After a good nights sleep were up early for a quick visit to Lausanne's main street and cathedral, before packing up and heading to Lucerne, a couple of hours up the road.

More soon...
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