A TALE OF TWO SATURDAYS

April 14, 2001

The day before Easter, Dave and I planned one adventure and then had another. We went down to Ouchy (the lakeside resort portion of Lausanne) with the intention of renting bicycles for an excursion to Montreux. Alas, the Swiss apparently don't like the cold any more than I do, and most of the businesses specializing in outdoor activities are not yet open for the season. One shop that rented roller blades and bicycles had posted its hours as beginning at 1:00pm, so we made a tentative plan to spend the morning exploring the Saturday market at the Place de la Riponne.

This market was varied and well-attended, with stalls carrying everything from cheese, fish and an astonishing variety of fresh mushrooms to beads, used books and heavy jackets. We didn't buy anything, but we thoroughly enjoyed looking. In the middle of our browsing we were distracted by the sound of music and foot-stomping; we went to a neighboring area (by Lausanne standards, which is to say 20-30 feet up) and found an exhibition of dancing, punctuated by a virtuoso performance by a rope-skipping club. We watched until we were distracted by our own shivering, and went home to change into warmer clothes, less suited to bicycling.

When we returned, we were disappointed to see that the dancing had ended and the market was winding down. Undeterred, though, we treated ourselves to lunch at a local creperie and considered the possibility of exploring Lausanne on all-day Metro passes. Fate disarranged our plans favorably once more, however; on our way to the metro station we saw a public area being prepared for gymnastic exhibitions. We ended up remaining there for most of the afternoon, watching gymnastic routines, modern dance pieces, and a set of performers who spun and gyrated in large metal wheels - not to mention an encore performance by the rope-skipping club.

The following Saturday was much less eventful, though adventurous in its own way. Our postponed plan of bicycling was again defeated by the weather (intermittent snow!!!), so we fell back to last week's backup plan and bought Metro passes. We discovered some stunningly boring parts of Lausanne, but we also discovered the Olympic Museum, which features a lovely outdoor garden filled with artwork that ranges from the awe-inspiring to the whimsical. My favorite piece in the latter category was a sculpture of a man in a raincoat holding an umbrella whose shaft was a narrow pipe and whose canopy was the water spraying from the top. It was entitled, simply, "Pluie" (Rain).

That's all for now! Tune in whenever for the next exciting installment! And send me mail -- Dave's out of town until mid-May.... :(

Till next time,
-- Lyn

Copyright 2001 Lyn Pierce