While reading Barbara Rogers’ article about Lausanne, I had a flashback to a trip my mother and I took about nine years ago. We flew into and out of Paris; in between we traveled by train with stops in Brussels, Strasbourg, Basel and Lausanne. It was my second or third time in each destination, but each stop was a first for my mother, who grew up listening to stories my grandmother shared about traveling around Europe and around the world with my grandfather, who was a wool trader. My mother enjoyed experiencing the places she had long imagined, and I enjoyed sharing my own experiences with her.
We could have indulged in a 5-star spa experience at any stop along our journey, but I had my heart set on finding les bains I had visited previously. I couldn’t recall the name or exact location, but a representative at a local tourism office helped me find it based on my description. Les Bains de Lavey isn’t a swishy-luxe place, but the outdoor thermal pool with jet beds and waterfalls and massage currents — not to mention the steam cabin and ice bath — is nirvana for weary travelers. My mother was skeptical, but she agreed to go along for the ride, and we had a blast.
When I think of Lausanne, I think of sipping wine on a terrace overlooking Lake Geneva, and I think of strolling the lakefront in nearby Vevey, savoring the juxtaposition of brilliant purple and yellow pansies lining the walkway and snowcapped mountain peaks in the distance. But I also think of giggling with my mother as we dipped, dunked, swirled and renewed ourselves in Switzerland’s warmest thermal waters.
In this issue, Tim Leffel shares his own family experience exploring Hanoi with his wife and daughter. Megan Rowe seeks adventure in Iceland, and Ron Bernthal offers a day-trip itinerary for discovering the best of Helsinki. Irvina Lew explores Cape Town nightlife, J.D. Brown cruises the Greek Islands, and Ellen Clark maps out business strategy in Tel Aviv. Plus, we reveal the winners of the coveted GT Tested Awards.
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