Sunday, 20 August 2017

Visiting Audrey Hepburn, Lake Geneva

This probably has to be my favourite and most special blog post yet. Anyone who truly knows me is more than aware of my adoration for Audrey Hepburn.

On our annual family trip to Zermatt, Switzerland, we usually take four-hours worth of trains to get there. But upon realising hiring a car was not only a shorter journey, but a cheaper one too, we buckled in and saddled up ready for a roadtrip around Lake Geneva to Zermatt. I knew that Audrey's home, La Paisible, was located in Morges on Lake Geneva which just happened to be in the middle of the route. So, I begged my family to take a quick detour for me to see it -it's any Hepburn fan's Mecca after all.

Morges, a town on Lake Geneva not too far from Lausanne, is really rather beautiful. With rustic houses framed with pastel window shutters, a bustling marina and pavement cafés pouring out into the lake, Morges could easily pass as the south of France at a glance.

It's quiet, quaint and charmingly French. You can just imagine Audrey elegantly walking her dogs in one of Givenchy's creations along the Marina in the golden hour of dusk.

Chateau de Morges, a medieval castle and Swiss heritage site.

If you decide to pop to Morges to see where Audrey resided for thirty years, and visit before 17 September, make sure to book a ticket to this incredible exhibition which you can read about here. The exhibition is dedicated to Givenchy's haute couture works and fashion creations he designed for Audrey, looking closely at their relationship and each of their works.

I wish we knew about this exhibition before and had more time as it sounds marvellously inspiring.

We explored a little of Morges by the lake front before driving back into town to see Audrey's home. 

There are absolutely no crowds, no tourists.

You instantly understood why Audrey bought this 18th-century farmhouse as an escape from the cameras and glamour of Hollywood. It was so peaceful - hence why she called it "La Paisible", meaning "the peaceful" in French.

Audrey bought this house with her own money with her first husband, Mel Ferrer, and continued to live in it for next thirty years until her death in 1993.

Now, her son Sean Ferrer lives in the property. There was somebody waiting to pull out of the drive when we visited. If I managed to see her son, it would have been incredible to have paid my respect and shared a word with him for a brief minute about Audrey.

It truly was a spectacle to see. There was nothing garish or grand about it, which one may expect from a star of Hollywood's Golden Age. It was charming, simple and modest just as Audrey would have loved.

It was so beautiful to see and quite frankly, I can't believe I've seen it. To say I'm a fan of Miss Hepburn is an understatement for I love everything there is to know about her. Her elegance, compassion, patience, grace, charm, wit and intelligence is all so inspiring. Not to mention how happy and content she was with life even after enduring the Nazi occupation of Holland during the war (in which Audrey almost died of starvation and disease). Her work for UNICEF is equally memorable and something Audrey would most certainly like to be associated with the most out of her career.

I tried to climb over the gate, just to see if I could grab my hands on that Tiffany's dress but sadly my sister pulled me over before I had the chance.

We then made our way over to Audrey's final resting place in Tolochenaz Cemetery. We were all astonished, my Nan especially, at how beautifully kept it was. And it faced onto the most peaceful fields I've ever seen.

This whole experience was truly moving and as I previously mentioned, I still cannot believe I've seen it all and the place she loved most dear to her heart.

Here are the addresses:
-Tolochenaz cemetry: Chemin des Plantées 3, 1131 Tolochenaz
-Hepburn's former home (1963 - 1993): La Paisible, Route de Lully, Rue du Centre, Tolochenaz

When visiting, remember that this is not a tourist site. Be as respectful as possible!

Happy weekend ❤️

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