Lausanne, Switzerland: The first time I visited Lausanne was in 2007. It was my first trip to Switzerland, and I had constructed a kind of fantasy from all the cultural appropriations and images I had seen of the country. Even though I was excited to visit Switzerland, I was nervous that it would not live up to my expectations. How could it? The country I imagined was filled with pristine fields, animated cows, archaic musical celebrations, and more cheese than I could ever eat.
I was not disappointed. Anyone who has been to Lausanne can tell you that it's one of the prettiest cities in Europe, and a fitting introduction to Switzerland. Perched at the edge of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman in French), the city nestles quietly in the rolling hills that climb up from the water's edge. You can visit medieval churches, eat fondue, go swimming (in the summertime), and walk around the entire city in under an hour.
In the seven years since my first visit, Lausanne took on a dreamlike quality, reconstructed and glossed over in my mind. It was one of the best trips I've ever taken (thanks to my mom, who is the best tour guide), and one that I frequently returned to during unhappy or stressful moments. I wasn't sure what it would be like to return after all that time, or if the city would hold the same charm as it did when I was eighteen.
I'm glad that I came back, because I got to see a different side of the city than last time I visited. I stayed with some friends in a house on the mountain, and they showed me all their favorite parts of the city. I made some new friends (and went to an awesome birthday party!), and enjoyed walking around the city alone. Here are some of my favorite photos.