Monday, June 9, 2008

Lausanne: the sun has come out!

After a week of dreary, cloudy skies, the sun has finally come out! I might, just might, be able to see the tops of the mountains today. Coming from Houston, I imagined perfect summer weather, in the 70s (still ºF, I'll learn to convert soon), but with all the rain, it's been considerable cooler. I've already worn all the jackets and sweaters I've packed.
Otherwise, Lausanne has been great--and it's only going to get better. I spent the week figuring out where to buy food, a metro card, a cell phone, etc. My advice, based on my experience is:

1. Try not to arrive on the weekend, especially a Sunday night! Most everything's closed. If you really need food, look for a COOP Pronto.

2. Get passport photos! You don't know when you'll need them (when buying a monthly metro card...)

3. Tell the Contrôle des Habitants that you'll only be in Switzerland for 3 months. It'll make registering much easier.

I've had the benefit of becoming part of a very hospitable lab; they not only helped me arrange for housing before I arrived, but also provided me with sheets, a small set of dishes, and someone to meet me at the train station. My summer research has not yet begun; I spent the week preparing by learning protocols and reading literature. This will much different from what I have been doing, which I'm excited about.

The transportation system in Lausanne is fantastic--so different from what's standard for public transportation in America. Getting from downtown to the suburb where I live is effortless and quick, only 15 minutes. So although most shops close at 19h, I have a guaranteed transport there.

My only cultural experience here, besides exploring, has been wine tasting in Lutry, a quaint little town on Lake Geneva. Great wine, good company. I recommend it!

I already have a list of things to do here in Lausanne and elsewhere in Switzerland, which will make next blog much more interesting.


Corinne said...


ryanpei said...

Hey Alicia,
So many Rice owls in Switzerland, it's amazing! My name is Ryan, and I'm also from Rice, doing my research in Zurich.
I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a place to
stay in Lausanne overnight. A friend and I are probably going to come from Geneva on
Saturday evening this weekend and spend the night in Lausanne so we can tour around on
Sunday. If you don't know any places yet, that's fine. Hope your research is going well!

ryanpei said...

and my email is, in case you prefer to correspond over email

Dusty said...

Hey Alicia,
I am in LSCB actually, perhaps I will have to come seek you out. Where are you working? I guess you won't be able to recognize me though since I don't have a photo on here yet.

I'll take you up on the landlady offer though if I need it haha.