I’m 3/4 done with my internship in Lausanne, so I decided that it would be time for the “Battle of the Cities” blog.
My Favorite Things About Lausanne:
1. French is everywhere. I see it on all the signs, talk to locals, and hear french everywhere. I feel my french improving everyday -- and it’s really awesome to communicate in another language.
2. The weather. It’s colder in Lausanne than in Baltimore in the summer and even though it’s been raining a lot, it’s pretty much early fall weather here all summer.
3. Baltimore is sorely missing the Alps. Everyday, I am amazed by the views of the lake and the mountains. Sometimes, I just sit and stare out of my window at work because it’s just so pretty.
4. Everyone loves chocolate as much as I do. It’s kinda amazing.
5. MOVENPICK ICE CREAM. This ice cream is amazing. My Italian grad student said it even makes her not crave gelato. Just look at it.
6. The fact that it’s in the mountains and near a beach, but also has the feel of a city. The hills are great- to get to any restaurants or places to hang out, you have to climb up hills and it’s doing wonders for my calves. It’s cool that you can walk everywhere and kinda have a urban feel, but take a 5 minute metro ride to the beach or the lake. It’s a 20 minute train ride to go on a hike.
fun fact- the sand is imported.
7. Lausanne is very international. A lot of Lausanne’s population attends/works at either L’Université de Lausanne or L’Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne -- so there are people from all over Europe and the world living in Lausanne. This was really awesome during the Euro Cup because no matter who won, there was a party in the streets! I’ve learned so much about other cultures. For example, in Greece, when someone gets a haircut, you slap them (hard -- apparently I was too gentle) as across the back of their neck and shout some word in Greek that I will not attempt to spell (that means good health). I’m gonna try to bring this back to the USA.
8. Punctuality. The Swiss are very on time -- with everything. There is an app that I downloaded that has the times that the metro will come -- and it’s always on time. It makes my commute very pleasant.
9. Music scene. I really like the fact that Switzerland has a mix of music- some from the US, some from Switzerland, some from Europe, etc. A few weeks ago, we had the Fête de la Musique where they had every type of music from all over the world. I discovered some really cool music. And at the Festival de la Cité- they had really cool live performances of musicians from all over. Here are some of my new favorites:
10. Cuckoo clocks.
My Favorite Things About Baltimore:
1. The street art. Although Lausanne has some pretty cool street art, I really miss the diversity and amount of street art in Baltimore.
2. The size of Baltimore. Lausanne is a relatively small town (110,000 residents) while Baltimore has around 650,000 residents. That probably sounds ridiculous because I come from a town of 8000 residents, but it kinda creeps me out that anytime I leave my apartment, I see someone I know and see a few people who I’ve seen before. I kinda like the anonymity of Baltimore -- and the fact that there are always different people to meet each time you go out.
3. The colorfulness of Baltimore. I miss the buildings and people.
4. The city pride. Because many people are international, there isn’t as much of a pride in the city that you’ll find in Baltimore. People in Baltimore are passionate about the social programs to help improve life for all residents. People in Baltimore will like to tell you stories about where to go and what to see. I really miss that.
5. Fro yo. I miss Freshii’s perfectly tart yogurt, Mr. Yogato’s quirky atmosphere and table of free toppings, and the amazingness of self-serve deliciousness at Afters’.
6. Baltimore’s affordability. Switzerland is not a super cheap country. It’s really made me appreciate the copious amounts of free events (so sad I missed Artscape this year) and discounts for students. They have lots of free events in Baltimore like free observatory (with knowledgeable staff members) access on Friday nights at the Maryland Science Center.
7. Food trucks!! I miss all the food trucks that travel all around Baltimore- and it doesn’t help that I’m friends with/fans of all of them. I can’t wait to get a Iced Gems cupcake when I get back.
8. Yelp Presence!! One of the ways I find out about cool places to go to and eat at in Baltimore is through Yelp- and unfortunately, Yelp doesn’t really exist in Lausanne. I miss reading (and writing) the quirky reviews before deciding where to go out to!! The Yelp in Baltimore is also super social and has events a lot!
9. The city organization. It is really hard to navigate Lausanne. In Baltimore, the north-south streets run basically from downtown to Hopkins and the East-West streets are usually numbered. I can normally find where I am, but in Lausanne, it’s a lot more difficult because the roads are named randomly.
10. The food! Baltimore literally has the best food scene. I miss the crepes and tea at Teavolve, all the food at Dogwood, the honey at Woodberry, the gelato at Vaccaros, the chicken tikka masala at Tamber’s, the sushi at Niwana, etc.
P.S. I found this hat in a random store. Isn’t it amazing (since Baltimore Hills doesn’t exist)?