Lausanne, Switzerland ~ Getting into the Olympic Spirit

July 23rd ~ Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne, Switzerland

Having a Swiss Pass has made it so easy for us to move about Switzerland. Today we traveled from Zermatt to Lausanne. I’ll start you off with a few shots taken from our train ride: 

Train ride from Zermatt to Lausanne

Train ride from Zermatt to Lausanne

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Arriving in Lausanne, we pulled and pushed our luggage up a VERY steep hill to get to our hotel. Luckily it was not very far. Our room was not ready, do we checked our bags with a grumpy receptionist and took off to find some lunch and explore the city.

Lausanne

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva

Casual groupings of people enjoying the waterfront

Casual group of people enjoying the waterfront

Located on Lake Geneva, this is a combination of larger city and holiday resort. It is the fourth largest city in Switzerland and home of the International Olympic Committee. It has been called the Olympic Capital since 1994.

Since our time was limited to just one afternoon/evening, and that the Olympics would be starting in Brazil within a couple of weeks, we decided that visiting the Olympic Museum was at the top of our “list of things” to do here.

The Olympic Museum

Entrance fountain at the Olympic Museum (Le Musee Olympique)

At the main entrance, Tim standing under the high jump pole set at the current record. Tim is 6"1"

At the main entrance, Tim standing under the high jump pole set at the current record. Tim is 6″1″

The museum itself is divided into three floors, each with a theme.

Olympic World: Tells the history and origins of the Olympic Games and how Pierre de Coubertin’s dreams became a reality. His desire to unite the world through sporting competitions resulted in the modern-day Olympics.

Pierre

Pierre de Coubertin

The highlights of this section included the first Olympic flag dating from 1913 and the torches from every edition of the Games since 1936.

Here’s a piece of trivia for you! When the Olympics were held in Los Angeles in 1984, Tim got to carry the Olympic torch when it was passing through Irvine on its way to the start of the games.

Route the Olympic torch took across the USA in 1984

Route the Olympic torch took across the USA in 1984

1984 Los Angeles torch is second from the left

1984 Los Angeles torch is second from the left

The Olympic Games: This level focused on the Olympians who set new records, excelled at their individual or team sports, and embodied the values of “excellence, friendship and respect”. There was also a section devoted to the Paralympic and the Youth Olympic Games.

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The Olympic Spirit: Information on the Olympic Village where the participants come together for 15 days to share the Olympic spirit. It shows examples of the training, nutrition, technology and relaxation – all elements required for the athletes to perform at their peak.

Collection of Olympic metals from each year

Collection of Olympic metals from each year

The highlight of this section was the showcase of Olympic medals from 1896 to the present day.

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Tim got his moment on the winner's podium. He will always be a "gold metal" winner in my books!

Tim got his moment on the winner’s podium. He will always be a “gold metal” winner in my books!

Not sure I know the significance of this guy, but he was hanging in the circular stairway inside the museum.

Not sure I know the significance of this guy, but he was hanging in the circular stairway inside the museum.

More Olympics trivia:

The Olympic motto is made up of three Latin words: Citius – Altius – Fortius. These words mean Faster – Higher – Stronger.

There is no specific age limit for taking part in the Olympic Games. Each International Sports Federation determines the rules for its sport.

There are five rings on the Olympic flag. The continents represented are North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia. North and South America are considered one continent for this purpose. The six colors – blue, black, red, yellow, green and white – symbolize the common colors on flags of nations that competed in the first five Olympics.

Brasil won its first gold metal in 1920 in Antwerp in the shooting event. On the way to the Olympics, some of the teams guns and ammunition were stolen. Guilherme Paraense went on to win the individual gold metal, beating out the Americans, who had loaned him the weapons so he could compete.

In order to finance their journey to the Olympics in 1932, the Brazilian team sold coffee on their sea voyage to Los Angeles. They took 50,000 bags of coffee with them. Today they are the worlds top coffee exporters.

After we completed touring the interior of the museum, we walked around the gardens and admired the many statues.

At the entrance to the museum

At the entrance to the museum

Bike riders

Bike riders with Lake Geneva in the background

Headquarters for the IOC (International Olympic Committee)

Headquarters for the IOC (International Olympic Committee)

We also got a chuckle over the numerous groups we have run across all over Switzerland who are already addicted to the latest craze sweeping the world, “Pokemon Go”

Returning to our hotel, we settled it for the evening and enjoyed a snack on our balcony overlooking a quiet residential street.

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Overnight: Hotel Elite, Lausanne

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful to have learned more about the origins of the modern-day Olympics. With Brazil about to host our summer games, I am hopeful that they can be carried off with the true spirit of peace, that each athlete can be celebrated for their individual achievements, and that friendships and respect will be renewed.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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9 Responses to Lausanne, Switzerland ~ Getting into the Olympic Spirit

  1. Fun post. Your train trip has been delightful (but then it wasn’t me hefting that suitcase around!) What was Tim’s Olympic sport?

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  2. Trish Hatcher says:

    looks like a wonderful museum!!!!

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  3. I think I’d like that museum despite the money-grubbing corrupt mess the Olympics have become. I love the Olympics (especially the winter games), and am in awe of the athletes, but the organizing bodies behind them have become so greedy and corrupt that the whole thing may collapse.
    Alison

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  4. Asif says:

    Hi Tim and Joanne,

    I am still following your adventures around the world, Switzerland has always been on my list of go-to places and it has now moved several notches higher. As always love your pictures and write-ups. Don’t ever retire from travelling! 🙂

    BTW curious if you have considered living in a country for 30-60 days before moving on to another one nearby? It’s something I am mulling and I need to look into the pros/cons before I jump in with both feet.

    Asif

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    • Hello Asif,

      We loved, loved, loved Switzerland and so glad to read that you are considering going there. Thank you for your kind encouragement regarding our write-ups and photos. Believe me, it means a great deal to know that someone reads and enjoys them! 🙂

      Funny you should ask about a living in a country for longer period. We did stay in Ireland, England and Scotland for 30 days each in 2014 and found it a good way of getting more of a feel for a particular way of life. We are now contemplating what it would be like to spend 60-90 days in Switzerland in the next year or two. Both of us felt so at home there and could see us living in the Lucerne or one of several gorgeous alpine villages. There are so many pluses ~ clean, orderly, friendly people, great transportation system, healthy food with no chemicals added, and scenery that takes your breath away. The only down side we found was that more people smoke in public places than we are used to, and it is considerably more expensive than the USA, especially for lodging and meals. Getting an Airbnb apartment and doing most of our cooking would help greatly I’m sure.

      Hope you are enjoying your summer. Please give our regards to your family…
      Joanne

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  5. Alice Gratias says:

    Your journey in Switzerland fantastic.. Keep enjoying.
    Alice & Rod

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