#ParadigmaTravels: Chexbres, Lausanne and Geneva, Switzerland
Here we are, my last travel blog post about Switzerland. I still have outfit photos and my recommendation posts of course but I might have to rush those considering it’s summer right now. ANYWAY! Before all of that, allow me to share with you what the gang and I did during our last two days in Switzerland.
The night after out Thun and Bern adventure, we made our way to Chexbres which is a municipality in the Swiss canton Vaud, located in the district of Lavaux-Oron. Chexbres is a wine-growing village and enjoys a good selection of local vintages. Which is why for dinner we enjoyed a nice meal beside a winery. But more on that in my next post I promise!
If you know me well enough, you’d know all about my obsession with cheese. For as long as I could remember, I always had a soft spot for these. As I got older, my knowledge on cheese has grown (my love for it as well) so to be in a country known for it’s delicious cheese, you can say I was in heaven. Imagine eating cheese from breakfast everyday!
After breakfast and packing up again, we made a quick stop at Écal. It is a university of art and design based in Renens which is an urban area in Lausanne, Switzerland. Another school I was absolutely impressed with. I was and still am still in awe by the energy and creativity that flowed through the schools halls.
From showing us how they compact wood to virtual reality, such a creative place indeed.
They even print their own chips here! This is so that they can modify and create certain electronics.
This was probably my favorite part of the first tour of Écal, The Montreux Jazz Heritage Lab. This is a smaller version of the one they have in the Montreux Cafe of course. Here you can sit down, relax and bask in the music of your favorite artists. Laur and I were the most excited I must say. We immidiately played clips of concerts of Earth Wind & Fire as well as Phoenix, but since we were on a tour we couldn’t stay behind and listen so sadly our experience was cut short.
One of the classrooms, there was a beautiful husky inside but the owner had to take her outside before I got the opportunity to snap a photo of it in the room. I find it amazing how dogs are allowed practically anywhere and everywhere in Switzerland! How I wish I could say the same thing about the Philippines. One day perhaps?
After the first bit of our tour, we moved to EPFL to view one of the exhibits they had of Pierre Soulages while we were there. He is particularly known for his use of the reflections of the black color, which he calls black-light or outrenoir. Having produced some 1,550 paintings, whose titles are all composed of the word painting followed by the mention of format, he is one of the principal representatives of informal painting .
There was a portion of the exhibit where we had to grab flashlights and look at art through pieces of plastic. This part really blew my mind. Can you imagine, you cannot see what is written up until you flash light on it. I wonder how this was done?
After the exhibit we walked over to the school. EPFL or The École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne is a research institute/university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specialises in physical sciences and engineering. The youngest student there is 16 years old and there is actually one Filipino studying there!
We then visited the Rolex Learning Center, it is not only a campus hub but it is also a massive library. Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, partners of the Tokyo-based design firm SANAA, were selected as the lead architects in EPFL’s international competition back in 2004. The construction took place between 2007 and 2009. It cost a whopping 110 million Swiss francs and was funded by the Swiss government as well as by private sponsors (Rolex, Logitech, Bouygues Construction, Crédit Suisse, Nestlé, Novartis and SICPA).
The main library, contains 500,000 printed works and is one of the largest scientific collections in Europe. Around the area there are teaching areas including ten bubbles for seminars, group work and other meetings and a Language and Multimedia Centre and associated administration offices. There are also no walls because they wanted the flow of knowledge to be continuous. There are no sharp corners around this place and many things are computer and machine operated. Like, their blinds automatically go up and down based off of the computer gathered information about the weather.
They even placed cute colored beanbag chairs around for students to use while studying or resting. Legit, they sleep on these without worrying about anything.
Chilling inside one of the auditoriums with the Switzerland Gang!
When we finished, we went back to Écal (this time from the front entrance) and finished our campus tour. The school is beautiful! I swear, going to school wouldn’t be a problem if it looked and felt like this campus.
We got to check out the workshops and some classrooms. So much state of the art machines in one building!
Some clothing technology students doing their thing! Look at all the pegs posted around the room.
They have studios around the campus which you can rent along with lights and other equipment. Imagine, being able to shoot outfit photos and flat lays with all that? Ugh, life would be so much easier I tell you!
We ended up checking out the luxury brand design class room where they make visual merchandising pieces as well as products for high end brands like Retro Super Sunglasses, Vacheron Constantin and Hermès, just to name a few. Since they tie up with brands, if the students design or concept is chosen it’s either the product or the display it made into something that can be sold or placed in a store window!
Some art by the entrance of the school.
Check out that cafeteria!
After a long day of campus tours, it was time to hop back in the van and start our hour and a half long journey to our last city in Switzerland, beautiful Geneva! I swear it felt like I was walking around the streets of Paris while we were there. Such a gorgeous looking place I tell you.
We then grabbed dinner then headed towards our hotel. Lucky me, I got upgraded to a suite on our last night! But it wasn’t going to end so soon since the gang and I thought that it would be an awesome idea to enjoy some drinks to cap off the amazing Switzerland trip we just had.
David and I found this cool window display and had to just pose in front of it! We visited a few places but because it was a Thursday, places weren’t as full. We even got to make friends with a cute dog inside a bar. I was shocked that dogs are allowed in a bunch of establishments, including bars! Don’t worry, her person was close by and constantly checking up on her. The dog looked very comfortable in the bar so I wasn’t worried at all. Also the music wasn’t so loud so she was even able to sleep!
After a fun night out, we went back to the hotel and passed out. Sad part was we had to wake up a bit earlier than usual to finish up packing if we wanted to take advantage of the free time we were given in the morning. Laur had to work and so did the others so David and I were the only ones who left our suites (yes, to think it was just the both of us who got upgraded lol) and made our way into Geneva!
David and I reeeeeally wanted to see the Geneva Fountain so we walked about 25 minutes from the hotel to get this shot and take advantage of the beautiful park beside it. The weather was perfect, it was nice and cold but not to the point that we were shaking while shooting. Btw, on the way here we bumped into a reader as well as her mom and sister! It was a pretty awesome serendipitous moment. It’ll be a part of my vlog so wait up for that!
A shot of me shooting the photo before this one. David and I took turns shooting each other that morning, so we got a lot done! Btw, who would think that my first ever cherry blossom experience would be at Switzerland and not Japan!
Told you, we had a mini shoot around the park (which I wish we all got to chill at). I wish we got to stay in Geneva longer. I must say, it was a very short but sweet trip, that’s for sure!
Seeing dogs everywhere sure made me miss Ollie the entire trip. How I wish I could easily travel with him..
Leaving a mark on one of the restaurants!
After lunch, we picked up our luggage at the hotel and loaded up before heading to our last stop before leaving Switzerland. Btw, I was so impressed with our driver. Our van was smaller this time around and he got to make everything fit in the trunk!
Our last stop was at a chocolatier called Stettler, the perfect way to end a Switzerland trip!
My mouth was watering the moment we set foot inside that place. I mean, come on.. Look at that!
We were given a quick crash course on chocolate and we were even taught how to make our own chocolate bars, bottles hot chocolate, marshmallow spread and more! We even got to taste test everything while doing each thing. Heavenly.
I did such a good job here that I was even offered a job! I guess I know what I’ll be doing if blogging doesn’t work out for me in the future! So, if I go missing one day you’ll know where to find me.
We all tried piping the marshmallow spread mix into these chocolate balls but doing so was harder than it looked.
We got to sneak in some spoonfuls while working! My favorite part!
The chef gave us some chocolates to try while working! Yummy! I was so happy after this whole experience. It was definitely a great way to cap off the trip.
That’s the chef who taught us everything we needed to know. After eating and snapping photos it was time to head to the airport. When we got there we filled up our bags with our goodies and checked in. It was a very traumatic flight home (if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know what I’m talking about) but glad we all got home safe and sound.
Thank you to the Swiss Embassy for this amazing experience! It was my second time in Switzerland and it was truly a very memorable trip. I cannot wait to go back to visit new places and revisit old ones as well. Also, happy 60th anniversary of Swiss-Philippine Bilateral Relations!