Day 49 – Walking the Via Francigena – Cheseaux-sur-Lausanne To Lausanne, Switzerland – Arriving In Lausanne, A Fabulous City On Lake Geneva

Day 49 – Walking the Via Francigena – Cheseaux-sur-Lausanne To Lausanne, Switzerland – Arriving In Lausanne, A Fabulous City On Lake Geneva

It was a misty morning when we started walking towards Lausanne.
The weather forecast had called for a dry day, so we were not dressed up for the light morning rain.
The walk was short, only a few hours, and we planned to stop along the way, in order not to arrive at our hotel too soon.

We skipped breakfast at the hotel, preferring to stop along the way at a bakery cafe, instead of paying a full breakfast price for only bread and jam.
We did find a bakery cafe in a town north of Lausanne, and had a fresh and tasty breakfast.

Lausanne spread out before us as we entered the city from above.
It is a very pretty city with a vast lake at its southern edge.

It is also a very hilly city, with old streets that climb steeply or descend very deeply down towards the lake.
Everyone speaks French, although this being Switzerland, nearly everyone also speaks some English.

We walked the streets, taking notes of places we wanted to visit after we checked in and left our backpacks in the room.

We chose to stay at the Lausanne Palace, a fabulous luxury hotel with a spa.
The friendly woman at the front desk upgraded our room to a junior suite.
She took us to our room and showed us around.
She pointed to the full minibar and mentioned that it is all free and will be refilled for us every day.
The living room was set up with fruit and sparkling water on the table, and the bathroom was equipped with glistening marble walls and a stained glass ceiling in a flowery pattern.
The floor to ceiling view was a panorama of the city.

I did not want to leave the comfort of our luxurious room.
I wanted to bathe, put on the fluffy bathrobe and sink into the high quality sheets and watch TV.
I wanted to forget my aching teeth, my aching back and feet, to lose myself in reading a good book…. oh, how I miss laying around on the sofa with a good book for hours….

But we left to visit the old cathedral and walked the streets of the city both old and new.
There is stunning architecture in Lausanne, and architectural details to admire.
Big stone lions and angels decorate the top of buildings, and there are lots of interesting shops to stroll through.

There are even three Starbucks coffee shops in town, and we joined the crowd of people lounging in the many cafes and outdoor restaurants.
The weather, as promised, turned sunny and beautiful.

In a city full of fabulous food, we ended up having a very mediocre Moroccan meal.
Our attempt was to eat healthy vegetarian food, but it tasted like food made by a cook without a touch.
The restaurant looked promising with nice moroccan decor, but the food was not great, and as everywhere in Switzerland, it was pricy.

By early evening I had had enough walking, and we returned to the hotel.
We changed into our robes and went downstairs to enjoy the hotel spa.
The women’s hot bath, Hammam and sauna felt superb to a tired pilgrim like myself.
I breathed in the healing hot air and meditated for as long as I could.

The daily routine of a pilgrimage is rigorous.
Every morning you’ve got to be ready early and all packed, in order to start walking so that you can cover the allotted daily kilometers before sunset.
You have to walk, whether it is raining or windy or cold, hot or too sunny.
The path is often demanding, with steep hills to climb and slippery forest paths to descend.

You cannot take too many breaks, even if there are places to stop for a drink or to eat, because you simply cannot afford to stop for too long.

You have to control how much you drink because you simply cannot take with you an unlimited supply of water.
So we drink only when we really feel thirsty and even then, only a few mouthfuls.

This means that even though we do not think about it during the day, we are always fatigued and a little hungry and thirsty, unless we are walking through a city.

This is why I felt I needed the pampering of staying in a great hotel and resting in the hotel spa.
I feel so very blessed to be able to relax here in luxury for a few nights.

I often think about the idea of staying in luxury places while walking a pilgrimage.
Am I doing something wrong by staying in luxury when it is available, instead of staying in humble places?
Why do I feel so guilty for enjoying my own money?
Why do I feel so guilty for spending my money on myself instead of giving it to others and helping those in need?….

Why is it that we think we can fix the world by throwing money at each problem?
We really do make the “golden calf” (a biblical symbol for money) our God.
We believe money can solve most problems in the world, which of course it cannot.

I once talked to a friend, who like me, chose not to have children in this lifetime.
She told me that she thinks she wouldn’t have been a good mother anyway.
She said that as a career woman, she would have probably tried to throw money at most problems, in order to make them go away.

And it is true.
If there is a tsunami, a disaster or an earthquake, there is always a global call for money, to raise funds to help the victims.
And we all help even though money cannot bring back the lost loved ones, nor really advance spiritually any of us, from looking at the world through the physical eyes, which show us only dream worlds and no reality at all.

I remember talking with a wise friend once.
I told her about my guilt feelings and she told me:

“It all stems from your wrong way of thinking.
Just like you don’t think that you should not enjoy good health because other people are sick or in hospitals, so it is with people who are struggling financially.
It is the same thing, even if you cannot see it.
In other words,” she told me, “Who are you helping by being sick or struggling yourself?
Enjoy your good health, enjoy your life and enjoy your money!”

Wishing you a light filled mind,

Today’s Stats:
Daily Steps – 21,870 Steps
6 hours of walking
Active walking time – 4 hours
Daily Kilometers – 16 Km
Total Kilometers walked from Canterbury UK – 1066 km

Lausanne Palace, Switzerland
A fabulous luxury hotel with a divine spa, great breakfasts, and wonderful rooms.

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