Yesterday we spent a second night at the Aire at Maisod. Officially it is supposed to be a 24hr maximum stay but we were not the only ones ‘over-staying’. At this time of year everyone seems a bit more relaxed about the rules. We spent the day relaxing after the drive down and giving the kayak it’s maiden voyage, it was a three stage process, stage one, Andy by himself, stage two, Andy & I, stage three was all three of us. I would say it was a success on all trips as we managed to stay in the kayak at all times, although the final trip was a short 10 minutes around the bay just to get Finn used to it.
Today we left Maisod and France behind and are now in Switzerland overlooking Lake Geneva, not far from the city of Lausanne. The journey here was our first taste of the steep climbs and descents that we need to get used to again, plus a good heavy rain shower just to make it interesting. The picture below is a map of a part of the route we drove.
We crossed the border into Switzerland without having to stop or show passports and headed to Switzerland’s fourth largest city Lausanne. To make it easy we decided to park down by the lake and walk up to have a meander through the old town. This was a good plan except the only spaces we found were free for 3 hours, fantastic, but you had to put a parking disc in your window to show your arrival time (available from all good swisspost offices) which didn’t really help us. Anyway with a Blue Peter mentality and a piece of A4 paper we drew a clock face and added our arrival time. In our defence, ma lord, there was an Austrian campervan that had done the same thing. We decided we might give the parking attendant a laugh while he gave us a ticket. Anyway I am pleased to announce we did not receive a ticket, although I wouldn’t promote making your own parking disc.
Lausanne is beautiful for a big city. The Cathedrale de Notre Dame which is supposed to be one of the finest gothic cathedrals in Switzerland is free to wander around. We walked from the Cathedral via the Escaliers du Matche, a timber-canopied staircase with a tiled roof down to the old square and then wiggled through the back street down to the lake and back along the promenade to the van. Finn had a paddle in the Lake and we only just made it back before another heavy downpour. We seem to be in a weather pattern of very hot sunny weather and then 2/3 good downpours/thunderstorms a day to clear everything.
Weather – hot and sunny with occasional thunderstorms
Miles Driven – 86
Miles Walked – 7.2
Overnight – Parking area for Mont Pelerin 3137ft above sea level 46.487534 6.829654. Steep climb up to the parking area, needed to change from automatic to manual so we could stay in first gear!