What did Charlie Chaplin and Freddie Mercury have in common? Both famous, yes! Both gay, no! However, both did live on the Montreux Riveriera near Lausanne in Switzerland. This corner of paradise has stunning natural beauty with UNESCO World Heritage vineyard terraces looking across crystal clear Lake Geneva and crowned by snow capped alps. What's not to love?
Zürich is Switzerland's largest and gayest city and, with its 380 000 inhabitants speaking Swiss German, it is no wonder the gay scene offers a good number of small bars, saunas and cruise clubs. In June each year the Pride Festival is held and in Spring the Pink Apple Festival shows gay and lesbian films from all over the world and awards a prize to a young director. The city also elected a lesbian mayor, Corrine Mauch in 2009.
It is 10:32am and at 10.38 our train is due for departure from Gare Part Dieu, Lyon, heading to Lausanne, Switzerland. As yet we have not been assigned a platform. Waiting, waiting, waiting.............platform B lights up on the screen. With a huge adrenalin rush we join the throng of people, who are also waiting for the platform allocation, to race through the busy, crowded station with bags chasing at everyone's heels.