UK to Sicily Run Day 26: Waking up on the side of the road, I listened to the rain on my tent and the rattle of morning trains carrying commuters into Lausanne. I shook a disgruntled community of insects off my wet tent and packed it away.
I was aiming to reach the town of Vevey on the edge of Lake Geneva, around 45km away. There I planned to meet John, an awesome guy who'd contacted me via Reddit and offered for me to stay with him and his family.
In a small village cafe I indentured my first born child in exchange for the most expensive coffee of my life. I shook off the cobwebs from the day before, and ran downhill into Lausanne, faster than I've been my entire trip. I sang Lionel Richie and cars wound up their windows.
I reached the edge of the lake. Palacial hotels, bustling restaurants and pastel coloured homes of pistachio, pink and orange looked out over the vast lake and the imposing mountains. The streets were filled with runners, cyclists and walkers of all ages. People just seemed healthier, more motivated and more alive.
Running along the edge of the lake I bumped into Jeff, an engineer who'd moved here in the early 2000's with his wife Jude. Jeff invited me to his amazing loft apartment to charge my phone, and we sat on his balcony, drank tea and swapped stories. Both Jeff and Jude were so kind, and it really picked me up from the day before.
Jeff showed me to the steep, terraced vineyards and I ran along them to Grand Place, Vevey. John, a brilliant ultra marathon runner himself, was waiting for me there and we hopped in his car and drove up to his mountainside home. John, his wife Julia, daughter Eloise, son Piers and ginormous chocolate labrador Jasper welcomed the bearded vagrant into their home without the blink of an eye.
John gave me some much needed salt tablets, caffeine bullets and even a extra power bank. I dried my tent and we all ate on the balcony looking out across the Alps. The view looked like a painted back drop. We drank wine and chatted as the sun dropped below the ridge line and a small light flashed on the lake, signaling an approaching storm.
The most dangerous few days of my trip lie ahead of me.
Chateau Chillion - Lac Léman -Switzerland 🇨🇭 The oldest parts of the castle have not been definitively dated, but the first written record of the castle is in 1005. Chillon is amongst the most visited castles in Switzerland and Europe.