I met some of my classmates at 10:00, and we walked through the EPFL (University of Lausanne) campus to the Metro station. Seven stops later, we exited the cars into the city center station, walked up a few flights of stairs, and started exploring the city for the day. We explored the Kathedrale Notre-Dame, a five-story shopping mall, a store that reminded me of a mini-IKEA, and more.
Lunch - Blackbird Downtown Diner
After shopping for a few hours in smaller groups, we reconvened at 12:45 for lunch at a place called Blackbird Downtown Diner, which we saw listed as one of the best restaurants in Lausanne. It was a very modern cafe, and was very expensive, like everything in Switzerland, due to the banking industry in Geneva and the surrounding cities. I got something that roughly translated to the “Super Chicken Club”, and it was excellent. Most of us got a cold espresso drink for dessert (don’t be fooled by the looks, it was very strong).
Top of Kathedral Notre-Dame
After lunch, we continued to explore the city. We walked the winding and steep cobblestone streets, explored some more shops, and then returned to the Kathedral. This time, we paid a CHF5 fee and climbed over 250 stairs to the very top of the cathedral’s bell tower. The views were absolutely stunning; I spent over an hour at the top observing the city, lake, and mountains.
We descended the cathedral’s stairs, and immediately set out on a quest to find some water. We located a very modern three story McDonald’s, and went inside to use the “Water Closet” and to get some liquids. The restaurant was nothing like the US franchises, but instead served fancy pastries, had seating capacity that could rival a large steakhouse, and was extremely fancy.
Now refreshed, we set out on a new quest for Swiss chocolate. First, we went to the chocolate shop that supposedly had the best chocolate in Lausanne, and some of the best in Switzerland–called Blondel. Apparently, they also had the most expensive chocolate in Lausanne and Switzerland.
We got some delicious free samples, and a few people bought chocolates, but we collectively voted to find a less expensive shop. We walked about 10 minutes up the hill to a shop called Noz. It proved to be less expensive, and just as delicious, in my opinion.
We walked the 10-minute trek back to the city center station, took the Metro back to our hotel, and freshened up for the evening. Around 20:00, we met in the lobby and walked to find some dinner on the lakefront.
Dinner - Le Débarcadère
We ended up at an Italian restaurant called Le Débarcadère, which was a delicious meal to close our trip. I got roasted Australian pheasant in a red wine sauce, which came with a vegetable soup. It was a surreal evening to finish our travels in Europe.