Like many of you, we didn’t know what to expect from this year. And yet, in spite of the uncertainty, we took some massive risks to leave our secure jobs behind and invest ourselves fully in this space. The Lausanne Guide will be 10 years old next year, but it’s only since April that we’ve made it our day job.
Looking back, 2021 will always be the year that we left the safety of the harbor and flung ourselves, out on the raging waters of startup life—in the middle of a pandemic (!). Though we may not be the wisest of planners, we’re surrounded by the most incredible, generous, and supportive community and contributors who rallied behind us to help us find our footing on new and unstable ground.
There have – of course – been a few moments of panic, but when we look back at this year, we are so.damn.proud. Not only did we survive, we met some fabulous people along the way and told some beautiful stories about what it means to live in Lausanne. We’ve rounded up 10 articles from the year that show a few of our favorite moments. We hope you’ll enjoy a trot down memory lane as much as we do!
This city and the people who live here continue – even after all these years – to be a tremendous source of fascination and inspiration for us. Meeting you at our events or randomly in town; telling your stories on the site; answering your questions on Instagram—what a gift it is to be a part of your experience of life in Lausanne. We’re looking forward to living and growing alongside you in 2022!
Sarah and Tanya
The Woman at the Top of the Tower
You don’t get more local than Cassandre Berdoz. Born, raised, and educated in the literal shadow of the Lausanne Cathedral, the 27-year-old Lausannoise became an overnight and international media fixture when it was announced that she would be the city’s first ever female night watchman. She’d assumed that 24Heures would be interested in the story, but to see her name in print from Paris to Jakarta to Tokyo, was a bit of “shock” she confessed while recounting the frenzy of the last few months.
If Those Waves Could Talk: Treasure Hunting in the Léman
The morning we met Jean MacDougall for a walk along the Lutry shoreline was one of those springtime false starts: the cherry blossoms had distributed their cotton candy confetti across the lush verdant lawns leading to the lakefront, and the snow line gently retreated up the mountains. But, in the same breath, rain threatened. The skies were heavy and gray, the wind whipped around us with a bite as if to remind us to stay on our guard – winter still hung over our heads in the peaks above.
The Origin of an Olive: How One Sicilian Family Works to Export the Freshest Possible Oil to Switzerland
With age, the family patriarch Salvatore has mostly left his olive picking days behind. But this younger generation – namely his grandson, Sergio – has stepped up to the helm. After years of an international career that enticed him away from the sloped hillside of his native land, Sergio felt the call to return to the family business, determined not only to keep their grove productive, but also to share the magic and powerful health benefits of fresh organic, cold-pressed oil with his adopted home in Switzerland.
Thus, Ólixir was born.
A Summer Evening to Remember
We spent the week watching the weather radars, an emotional rollercoaster that had our faces basking in the sun one minute and running for cover the next. And on the evening of our picnic it was no different; we had what seemed like all four seasons in the span of a few hours and felt that panic in our gut—similar to the one we had experienced when we first opened the event to the public and wondered if such a niche gathering would resonate with people. Would it work out? Would this event live up to not only everyone’s expectations but also to our own?
It did. And it was so good.
Hotels & Destinations That Will Make You Want to Stay in Switzerland This Year
In 2020, travel restrictions required us to rediscover destinations within Switzerland. What we found was gorgeous design, unparalleled natural landscapes, charming boutique hotels, and breathtaking historic properties. In 2021, we might just travel locally again.
Sole Savaz: the Soul of Sneaker Culture in Lausanne
Anyone paying an inkling of attention to pop culture is aware that sneakers represent more than footwear, but it wasn’t until the mudac hosted an exhibit in 2019 looking at the influence of sneakers on high fashion that we began to understand the outsized power of “the culture.”
Socially Distanced Splendor in Lavaux
Along with the sickness and sadness Covid-19 has wrought, it’s also inflicted social distance and separation. Luckily for Lausanners, not only can we enjoy a Covid-safe wander in an incredible landscape right on our doorstep, but we can also enjoy a few glasses of local chasselas while we’re at it. A wine walk from Bossière to Chenaux is a great way to discover incredible scenery, support local winemakers and avoid crowds.
Cold Water Swimming: When Joy & Pain Collide
The first time I tried it, I wondered if I was in the midst of some sort of breakdown. It wasn’t unusual to cry multiple times a week and I was experiencing a fatigue that went deep—an “in my bones” tiredness that seemed to spread exponentially each week. I knew the whole spiel: that the power to change things resided within me, that I had control over my thoughts and my well-being, that positive thinking could do a world of wonders for us all in the midst of such hardship. My friend Jill had done it a few times and she invited me to come along one brisk morning in early November. Why the hell not, I thought. Let’s give this whole “cold-water swimming” a go.
Lausanne Covid Diaries: Love in the Time of Corona
When we first started hearing about romantic relationships beginning during the pandemic, our initial response was “but how?!” We could barely keep our existing relationships afloat, so naturally it was difficult to imagine sowing the seeds of a brand new one. But here were these stories popping up in our circles; stories of connection, awkward yet intentional strides toward finding love and companionship. And we couldn’t resist. We needed to know more. So, we reached out and interviewed numerous people, all of whom had found a partner during the pandemic.
Out Cold: A Night Spent in an Igloo
Did you know there was such thing as an igloo saw? As in, a tool specifically commissioned to cut snow blocks for building? It’s a bit like an exaggerated bread knife (just not quite as sharp). I didn’t know of its existence until it was strapped to the backpack in front of me as we set off on our intrepid adventure.
Our mission: build and sleep in an igloo somewhere up the mountain ahead of us.
Takes deep breath; tries not to panic.