Olympic Jazz in Switzerland
What does Olympia have to do with Jazz?
I made that connection when I stayed in Lausanne next to the Olympic Museum at the IOC headquarters and visited the famous Montreux Jazz Festival not far from there.
The pristine location directly at Lake Geneva, the world's best names in Jazz and some Pop, Rock and R&B stars in the middle make up for a fun and diverse event.
Montreux is actually a small town (not unexpected in Switzerland), but with the promenade at the lake and the French alps on the other side, called the "Swiss Riviera", it's quite a gem.
The program of the 14 days of festival are usually published at the end of March here. The festival itself takes place in mid-July every year.
I suggest you choose a major event, a Jazz, R&B, Rock or Pop artist you want to see, and buy a ticket for that. Then you stay for two nights and spend the rest of your time visiting the many other stages out- and indoor with free music acts in a relaxed atmosphere. Have a beer, eat a grilled pork belly sandwich and enjoy.
You could stay overnight in Montreux directly, but I can also recommend a place in the neighbouring city of Lausanne.
Just a 20 minute train ride from Montreux lies Lausanne. Opposite of Évian-les-Bains, French town made famous by Evian spring water, you will find a clean Swiss town (try the "subway" - its cleanliness is ridiculous) with a prestigious university, luxury hotels at the lake, and among them the IOC headquarters with the Olympic Museum.
The museum is actually worth a visit, even if you only have lunch there. The terrace of the restaurant is actually blessed with a fantastic view, just like the whole Olympic park, which is nestled on a little hill leading to the museum entrance on the top.
One of the above mentioned luxury hotels in Lausanne is the Château d'Ouchy, at the lake, just a stroll from the Olympic Museum and a metro station. Its castle-look is deceiving, since it's not actually that old.
The rooms are really nice. Take a look:
It's a SLH boutique hotel with a few rooms and personal service, which I always like better than big hotels.
|Good||Great location, very friendly service, nice rooms with a lot of daylight. Great outdoor pool.|
|Bad||I asked for a newspaper in the cafe and what I got was one sheet of a print-out of headlines from a website. A set of major newspapers is not much to ask for, or is it?|