Day 21: Lausanne to Rolle

We leave the old city hoping to have a nice gentle walk down to the lake. Being the Jakobsweg and Switzerland, that does not happen. First we climb a hill to see another church (we have noticed this theme throughout the walk – go the most indirect way to see churches or chapels).

On the way to the lake we walk through numerous neighborhoods and parks.

We pass through the Promenade Archeologique, a large public space with many reminders of a significant Roman presence in Lausanne. Today the ruins of the Roman forum, temple and original harbor wall can still be seen (barely, hidden in the grass).

The stroll (march really) along the lake shore, while level, is long and almost entirely on pavement.

We come to the village of Morges, where remains of Neolithic and Bronze ages stilt-houses have been discovered.

Stilt house communities were common along many Swiss lakes in prehistoric times, but archaeologists have noted large gaps in habitation in this area. A likely explanation is that these communities were periodically wiped out by huge lake tsunamis. These were likely caused by enormous rock slides which dislodged vast quantities of river sediment in the upper lake, displacing enough water to create waves up to 15 meters high which could sweep the length of the lake with devastating effect. The most recent example, known as the Tauredunum event occurred in 563 AD when a massive wave broke over the city walls of Geneva, inundating much of the town.

A quick glance over the shoulder as we walk seems like a good idea, right?

But enough of stilt houses and tsunamis. Right off shore a strange ship is anchored. Is it it a replica of an old lake ship or something else (we would try to Google it, but don’t have the energy right now).

After a long walk next to a trouty looking stream in a shady wood, appreciating the time out of the sun, we completely the requisite hike up a steep set of stairs and finally we se that we have entered into the heart of Swiss wine country.

We are in the canton of Vaud, the second largest of the Swiss wine regions, and Morges is known as the capital of Vaud wines. Today many grape varietals are being grown, but the predominate white is still the Chasselas grape (from which Fendant is made), and Pinot Noir remains the most produced red.

And then we have another few mandatory climbs and descents, but the views are great.

This was a very long day, but after settling in to our nights lodging in the town of Rolle, we look for a taste of the local wine.

Swiss wines do not enjoy a wide following outside the country, partly because before the 1990s they were mostly not so great, though the biggest reason for their obscurity is probably the fact that less than 4% of all this wine is exported!

For a good article on the subject check out Swiss Wine – By Sue Style

7 thoughts on “Day 21: Lausanne to Rolle

  1. You guys just spent a week in an area I know fairly well – although my knowledge was garnered mostly through following the famous Tour of Romandie bicycle stage race. The race changes from year to year, but can range from Martigny in the south to slightly beyond Biel to the north. The climbs include both the Alps and the surprisingly challenging Juras. As far as I know, there are no intermediate stops at the Hotel Baron Twann for Egli Filets. The race always concludes in Lusanne.

    Also, I believe that if it had not been cloudy over the southern part of the Lac, Reid could have seen Mt. Blanc easily from the look-out tower. Oh, well. When you guys walk back to Rorschach, maybe it will be clear.

    Having a great time following your adventures.



  2. BTW, please take TWO more days to get to Geneva. No forced march, even though I know you can do it given the remaining distance. (Remember, it could be an ‘ear to far.’) We are enjoying the walk and it looks like there are some gorgeous places to stay along the lake.


  3. P.S. #2. The sailing vessel moored off Morges is the 55-meter La Liberte’ – the only Mediterranean galley on Lake Geneva. It was built by the unemployed and offers cruises to visitors. (From the website of the Hostellerie Le Petit Manoir.)


  4. Hello to you both and to Tyson! Thank you for the nostalgic walking through vineyards and along the lake. We lived in those vineyards and could see both Le Lac and Mont Blanc from our porch. Idyllic indeed. And the whites are very good as you say. Lovely lovely…..waiting for yesterday’s walk!


    1. Hello, Marion. What is your time zone? Your post time indicates that you are somewhere east of Oklahoma!


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