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Michael’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 18 Jul 2006

Location: Laussane, Switzerland

MapEntry 49 - Laussane (13th - 14th July)

Deciding to avoid paying too much more for tolls on the roads in France, and making use of the 28 euro pass we'd already purchased for driving in Switzerland, we headed as quickly to the borders of the Switzerland as we could... which wasn't all that quickly, turns out it is a pretty long drive... and a few more oll booths away!

Finally we reach Switzerland, and head for Laussane, as we weren't that interested in going to Geneva. No real reason, but we went there anyway. After tackling the two hostels in (and out of) town, one of which had no room left, the other was overpriced at 40 Francs for a dorm bed. We then headed to a camp-site, and managed to get a two bed cabin for just over 30 euros each.

Well, there wasn't a whole lot to do in the town. Having said that, the camp-site was on a lake with a beach (we all know how beaches are in Europe...) and just behind the IOC headquaters... don't know why I never bothered to get a photo? Clint and I went for a wander around the lake in search of the 'beach' and cam across the most appaling thing we had seen since arriving in Europe. A guy, walking along the path, with his mate, handed his bag across and walked to the waters edge, dropped his pants and hung a shit... ruled out any chance of going for a swim in that lake! It was still warm, but actually started to rain marginally, the first time in a few weeks.

After we cooked a rediculously expensive pasta meal (the packet of frozen vegies cost over $9.00 AUD, should have checked the price of that one before buying it) we jumped in the car and drove into the old town. The town was gorgeous (like most European old towns), and we headed up to the cathedral. It turns out there was some sort of festival going on, and people were all over the streets, eating from food stalls (that were cheaper than out cooked dinner) and drinking beer (that was more expensive than our dinner!). After wandering aound the old town for a while, and listening to a pretty average Swiss band we headed back to the campsite for a night of cards.

In the morning we woke early and ate left over pasta for dinner (at least we got a 2nd meal out of our overpriced vegies) and then headed for the first museum we had been to in ages - The Olympic Museum. It was really good. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the lower floor contains nothing but history of the olympics, and I can now say that I actually held the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch (one of anyway) and many more... They have a gold, silver and bronze medal from each of the winter and summer olympics in the last 100 or so years. It was all really interesting.

Then we headed upstairs to the summer and winter olympic specials. They had so much memorabilia from the olympics, including to name but a few: signed Michael Jordan, Jordan IX shoes (our favourites), signed Cathy Freeman shoes, bikes, gymnastic equipment, raquets, balls, bats, more shoes, weights and a host of other things.

On the other side, the winter olympic section was almost as impressive. They had the 1994 Swiss bobsled from the olympics, luges, skates, skate outfits, luge outfits, skis, skis, skis, hockey sticks and other hockey stuff, and even some curling 'balls'. To top it all off, the video footage they had playing the whole time in different places, with highlights of different olympic events was incredible. They also had a special exhibit on 'fair play' that spawned both floors. We could have spent another hour there (we spent 75 minutes), but the car meter was running out of time!

We headed back to the car, and after getting on the road, not beforehand, we decided that the next destination would be Germany - we weren't sure staright away, but knew it would be Germany! In the end, the next few nights would be spent making our way up through Germany to Frankfurt where Clint was to fly out of....

Next Issue: Entry 50 (half century!) - Germany, 3 cities in 3 nights - Freiberg, Tubingen and Frankfurt.

On another note, I'm up in Bremen now, chillin with Scotty from uni for a few days (say hi if you guys like), and will be heading to Paris in a few days to catch up with cousin Ray (again feel free to say hi to him then).