Day 2, Cully-Lausanne
Leaving Cully, my neighbors suggested we try Le Café de la Poste in Lutry, our next destination while sailing around Lake Geneva. There is no wind today. Just a vast blue sky reflected in the lake, and it doesn’t take a clever phone app to tell us it’s going to be a hot and sunny day. Following the coast from Cully is a parade of lakefront property dream houses. Diverse architecture, private boat garages and infinite views across what is called the Big Lake, the widest part of the body. The latest craze on the lake are paddle-boards, which stand out of the water’s surface like stick figures balancing awkwardly on the uneasy surface. Lutry isn’t far, and it’s iconic concrete diving platform backed by tall green poplar trees can be spotted in the distance. I hadn’t jumped from that diving board since I was a kid and the sight of it brought back memories I had to relive.
Lutry has an old port and a new large one to host the wealth gathered in this suburb of Lausanne, home to many of the rich and discreet. We dock at an orange buoy next to another mastodon sailboat. Two women are showering off shampoo on the metal platform near their motorized floating homes. Me and my brother are yearning to be kids again and dive off the three meter concrete slab – as it were, we were the only adults reliving our childhood challenges. Teens were doing back flips and little five year old kids plopped into the clear green waters like ducklings learning to fly.
A few dives later we settle for lunch at the recommended restaurant. They offer lake specialties such as Perch Fillets, Fera Filet and lake crayfish. I was tempted by the crayfish which I’d seen on a TV program about how they’d invaded the lake. They looked like miniature Maine Lobsters.
Our boat was docked steps away which I could see from the restaurant and we splashed out quietly. There was not a whisper of wind, so we ventured out for a swell swimming location before continuing to Lausanne. It was nearly five in the afternoon, and the sun was still clinched high in the sky, and between Switzerland and France we swam one last time for the day.
The marina in Lausanne is at the old fishing village of Ouchy. Today you can’t tell they were once separate towns as Lausanne urbanity cascades down the hills right to the shore and stops at Chateau d’Ouchy as if it were an exclamation point. The harbor is large enough to accommodate the big cruiser steam ships and many private crafts. There are several visitor spots in the bay of Ouchy, as well as in the well protected harbor. We decide to stay in the harbor, and as we enter, we hear the sound of music playing. Country Music!
We sit on the big plaza facing the marina, beer in hand watching line dancers following each other in-step like parading soldiers. The dancers are 90% women, mostly middle aged and older. Everyone is dressed in cowboy outfits resembling old 50s movies, even in this heat, when I see a familiar face. Our mom’s cousin, whom we’d not seen in years. He said he would not have recognized me, and that I’d really aged. Yes, I’m balding and in my fifties, and now I shave my balding head. I certainly recognized the old cousin and his mess of artificial hair implants sitting on his skull like a nest. We catch up on each others lives for a brief moment, down a couple of beers and I restrain myself from from commenting on his less than aesthetic physical allure before Stephan and Jelena check into their hotel.
I have another beer with the cousin and retire to my cabin to change – I’ve been clad in T-shirt and bathing suit for the past two days. I lounge in my boat in modest luxury harbor seating with a vodka in hand and my outdated iPad recalling the days past. The corny country music plays on in the background, it’s still hot, the sun has set past over the boat masts which resemble a field of metallic corn stalks. I’m pretty hungry, as is my brother and Jelena, and we meet to have some fare at this mock country fair. We are in Europe and the culinary offering is not at all Country Western. Kebabs, pizza, sausages and crêpes are on the menu. There are no burgers, steak or chili. We gobble pizza and kebab and decide to retire early as we are all pretty worn down from the days good fortune of fun in the sun.