Romantics Like Byron On Lake Geneva Write Masterpieces, This Dunce Writes This Blog

In the spring of 1816, Lord Byron left England in a self-imposed exile.  His aristocratic excesses, which included huge debts, numerous love affairs and rumors of a scandalous incestuous liaison with his half-sister, made London to hot for him.   He journeyed up the Rhine to Switzerland, ending up in time to summer on Lake Geneva (Lac Leman).

Percy Blythe Shelley, John Polidori, Mary Godwin (who later married Shelley becoming Mary Shelley), and her step-sister Claire Clairmont.  Because my nieces and nephews read this blog, let’s just say they were a bit scandalous.

Wanting to be away from gossipy English tourists, Byron rented Villa Diodati in Cologny on the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman).  Due to the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia,  the weather turned from the typical gorgeous Swiss summer to storm clouds and rain.  It became known as the summer that never was.

They had an intense summer, staying up late talking.  It was also a productive period for them.  Byron finished the third canto of his epic poem “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” at Villa Diodati.

On the way back, they stopped in Ouchy for a night.  Freshly inspired Byron and Shelley (who visited with him), immediately began writing.  Byron worked on  “The Prisoner of Chillon” and Shelley the “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty.”

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How Do You Pronounce Ouchy?

How do you pronounce this?

 

Ouchy is a town on Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) near Lausanne.  It is known for hosting Byron (and Shelley), the Olympic Museum next-door its castle and its beautiful lakefront.

 

Ouchy fontaine

Ouchy fontaine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

When we went with Pitbull, it was gray and freezing cold.  Last year, we were able to enjoy the beautiful waterfront.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ooo-she? Ew-she? He likes to pronounce it like a minor injury, ouch-ee.  I’ve been trying Ew-chi.  After a bit of research, I found out Ouchy is pronounced ūshē‘.  How would you pronounce it?

 

Getting even more advanced, how would the French pronounce this?

 

 

 

Lovely Lausanne

We like living in Geneva, but keep hearing about Lausanne. People have told us that it is more Swiss, there is more nightlife and that it is prettier. There is a better view of the alps on that side of the lake. I had to check it out for you and  set off on a road trip with Andrés, Wildcat, Hokie and another yankee.
The obligatory cow picture

Lausanne was definitely pretty. It had beautiful old buildings, nice parks, plenty of statues and lots of flowers.

 
We went to the climbed the huge hill* from the lake to get to the old town. We stopped by a couple of old churches. It was definitely worth going to the Lausanne Cathedral. The views from there were amazing. If it were Disneyworld, they would have one of those little camera signs telling you it is a good place from which to take a picture.
 
The Lausanne Cathedral
Inside. It was built as a Catholic Cathedral, during the reformation, they took out some of the ornamentation.
The streets of Lausanne were adorable. You could have a wonderful afternoon, just walking around, shopping or having a nice bite.

We hear that Lausanne has more of a night life than in Geneva. They definitely seem to get more live music acts. We are hoping to  head there to see a concert sometime.

Lausanne has the International Olympic Museum. They have a really nice park and the view doesn’t suck. We didn’t go in because the weather was too good.  Since it is someplace I would like to visit again, I’m saving it for a rainy (or merely freezing) day.

The Olympic Flame
Oh yeah. I almost forgot…here’s the view. It’s a bit of all right. That makes it official, we are at the ugly end of the lake.
*If you come, be prepared, Switzerland is not flat.