Friday, 17 April 2009

We will see us in Geneva

Genf, it is

Geneva [1] had us for Easter this year and it was a beautiful break with the weather being fine, sunny and clement. I was meeting up with my good friend of 25 years for a long weekend.

The journey to Geneva was a long train ride from Amsterdam to Basel on the German Deutsche Bahn ICE [2] trains and then a change to the Swiss railways ICN [3] train to Geneva.

The journey which should have been just under 3 hours took almost 5 hours because someone now realizing he was not Superman had jumped in front of a train – I saw a covering and possibly some entrails – I averted my gaze before I took too much in as I let out a guttural urgh!

The trains, the views

One thing I have always liked about train journeys is that it takes you through places neither cars nor planes venture as you view nature sculpted by God or man through forests, overlooking rivers, viewing mountains and hills, not to forget the lakes – and Switzerland [4] has quite a few.

From Basel to Geneva, I took quite a few pictures from train we probably traveled the whole length of Lake Neuchâtel which was as picturesque as you will find on a sunny day, it just went on and on.

For a country were 4 languages are spoken, it is important not to be lost in the Babel of city names, because Geneva is Genf in German, but I had to be careful to realize that Lausanne was definitely not Lucerne in another language and Fribourg in Switzerland is not Freiburg in Germany.

Geneva, I like

For an international city, Geneva is both interesting and almost boring, there is a lot to see about nature, in which case, it is the Lake Geneva, the International Red Cross Museum was closed for the Easter period and one can be fascinated by the United Nations buildings.

Strangely, when we enquired of the hotel reception at Hotel Rotary Geneva, none had much to say for Geneva, we were advised to go to Nyon or Veyrier.

We walked out into town, visited by the lake, avoided the spray of the great fountain [5] and hopped on the mini train ride that talked about features around the lake until we got to the Flower Clock [6] in the English Garden which apparently has the longest second-hand in the world.

Then we went out to the Veyrier border with France and up the cable car to The Salève [7] where the views are breathtaking and paragliders seek their thrills, it was interesting to note that depending on the wind paragliders do not necessarily go down, there was one a good 200 metres above his starting point at one time.

A trip in Lausanne on Sunday was fun, we might not be back in Switzerland soon, but I share the memories of my visit in this slideshow – Enjoy!

Slideshow – Geneva – April 2009 - Flickr

Sources

[1] Geneva - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[2] Intercity-Express - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[3] SBB-CFF-FFS RABDe 500 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[4] The map of Switzerland

[5] Geneva Tourism - Discovering Geneva - Water Fountain

[6] Geneva Tourism - Discovering Geneva - Flower Clock

[7] Geneva Tourism - Excursion by Cable Car

Note: We will see us is a typical German-speakers’ error in English which means I will meet you.

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