Destination: Geneva, Switzerland

Hello, folks!

Now, even though I am currently on my February holidays right now, I felt like disappearing off of the face of the earth (or at least, WordPress) for two weeks wasn’t being very fair to all of you, especially those who enjoy reading my blog (and for that, a big thank you).

…plus, I am behind on my recent five-day mini-break to Switzerland, and so decided to make a five-part series of posts for each day, each destination while in the famously-neutral country (it really is!). 😛

So here’s the deal: I will be posting a total of five posts on Switzerland, every other day (starting today, so Monday, Wednesday, Friday, then Tuesday and Thursday during the following week). Might sound a bit confusing right now, but in any case keep a look out for them in the upcoming two weeks, while I am still traveling! The posts will be scheduled, of course, but that shouldn’t stop you from reading them, if you so desire!

Without further ado, let’s begin with our first stop: Geneva, Switzerland! 😀

After work on Wednesday, I headed to catch three buses to Paris (as usual), and arrived there around 22h30. However, there happened to be a strike that day (oh, the French and their strikes!), and so Gare de Bercy (where I was supposed to be dropped off) was not accessible, and so the bus I took dropped us off at a different spot. Thing was, I needed to be at Gare de Bercy, in order to catch my overnight bus to Geneva! But because of the strike, things got messed up, and all international buses were moved to a different location in Paris. The driver was kind enough to bring me over to the changed meeting point, where I caught the bus to Geneva.

Left Paris at midnight, and spent the next seven hours traveling to Geneva. Made a rest stop at three in the morning, and crossed the Swiss border around six am (had to show my passport, but that was about it). Arrived in Geneva a bit past seven am where I, tired and a hot mess, was relieved to be off the bus. Accidentally forgot to take my umbrella (nooo…), but fortunately, weather was really good for the majority of the time that I was in Switzerland; it was only when I was in Zurich that it actually rained. Interestingly enough, it was not cold at all in Switzerland; I had expected snow, but that wasn’t even the case! I would say that the cities were warmer than those in France, especially in Normandy!

Any case, I headed over to Geneva’s train station to recuperate with 1) Wifi and 2) a place to exchange currency (Switzerland’s not on the euro, but rather the franc). Bought an (overpriced) breakfast at the station’s café (just to use their outlets for my phone, which barely even charged, anyway), and around 8h00 decided to head out to explore the city.

Bought a tram ticket to get to the Palace of Nations (aka the United Nations headquarters), and went over. I arrived too early, since the place wouldn’t be opened until 10h00. So I decided to take a look at the International Red Cross Museum (located nearby), then headed back to the city center to explore some more.

Flags at the Palace of Nations.
Flags at the Palace of Nations.
Broken chair sculpture (in front of the Palace of Nations).
Broken chair sculpture (in front of the Palace of Nations).

Checked out the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices, an old hydro power plant building that is now an opera house today. Architecturally, it is quite appealing:

Bâtiment des Forces Motrices.
Bâtiment des Forces Motrices.

Wandered over to Place de Bourg-Four, where there is the St. Pierre Cathedral nearby; it is known to be the church of John Calvin, who was a leader in the Protestant Reformation back in the sixteenth century. Besides the cathedral itself, you also get a rather nice view of the city’s rooftops:

St. Pierre Cathedral.
St. Pierre Cathedral.
From the top of St. Pierre Cathedral.
From the top of St. Pierre Cathedral.

Next, I went down to the quai of Lake Geneva, where I wanted to see the Jet d’Eau, a fountain on the lake that is a famous tourist attraction. Basically, it sprays a bunch of water into the air- but it’s still quite a spectacular sight. Unfortunately, I think the Jet d’Eau is turned off during the winter, because I didn’t see it when walking along the lake’s shores (even waiting for it). Oh well…at least the lake looked pretty:

On Lake Geneva.

Afterwards, I decided to head back to the Palace of Nations, to see if I could get in and visit the place. I arrived back around 14h00, when it re-opened after lunch break. However, when I got to the front of the line, I realized that the only way to explore the inside was on a guided tour, which would last about ninety minutes. Unfortunately, I had no time to do the entire tour, as I had to be back at the train station for my BlaBlaCar ride to pick me up for my next destination. I ended up forgoing the visit to the Palace of Nations- a bit disappointed, but not a super big deal. Perhaps I’ll visit another time when I have more time to do so.

Went back to the train station, and at 15h30 took my BlaBlaCar ride from Geneva- and that was about it! Basically, I was in Geneva for the day; staying overnight wasn’t necessary, as personally, I didn’t find much to do in the city. Geneva itself is a very international place (since it does serve as one of the U.N. headquaters), and so I got more of a busy, urban life, rather than the architecturally-beautiful structures from the other Swiss cities that I visited afterwards.

Any case, my Swiss adventures were off to a good start. More to come in the next couple of days, so stay tuned!

— The Finicky Cynic

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