Thursday, 14 February 2008

A day in Geneva

We've been lucky enough to have a visit from Martina, the kid's italian cousin, this week. How nice it is to have family visit...especially someone who is such a great help with the kids. They cant get enough of her!

So we took a trip to Geneva for the day. Hmmm, what to say about Geneva? I liked it but it made me realize how lucky I am to live in Annecy! We did a lot of walking around the centre of town and saw a couple of the most popular sights.

Let's see if I can sum up the day with a few rash generalizations of the type that only someone who has spent a few hours somewhere can make. First of all, where do the Genevois eat for goodness sake? We seemed to spend most of our day in search of food and coffee. We seriously considered afternoon tea at Starbucks and ended up eating at the train station cafeteria where the food, at least, was good. Which brings me to the people. On the basis of 4 or 5 interactions with the Genevois, I'm going to go out on a limb and say they are unfriendly. I also realized that in the last nine months, I've got used to living in a much smaller town. I found Geneva busy and noisy and the traffic noise and fumes a bit overwhelming. Which brings me to the smoking. Ugh, its everywhere. Inside restaurants, of course, but also inside shopping centres which made the little cafe in which we finally found some food, not very appetizing.

There were some things I really liked - the lovely architecture, for one. Although I cant understand why they allow awful advertising signs on the tops of their beautiful buildings (but David says to him, that just makes it Geneva). The chocolate, of course was really yummy and kept us going while we searched for afternoon tea. And, despite the fact that a rather unpleasant woman at a butchers told us we wouldn't find them, we found some pork bratwurst in the supermarket. Hurray! A decent sausage after all these months. If only we'd brought home more than 2 packets.

Now in its defence, I'm sure some of the most wonderful things about Geneva are the things that its not easy to appreciate with little kids. There are wonderful museums, which we didn't get a chance to go into and many great cultural events. So, although I don't think, I'll go back in the short term, maybe it has more to offer when the kids are older. But for now, I'll stick to Annecy.

The famous flower clock (and what would have been a nice family photo if Lily hadnt been in a mood)

The only smiling Lily did all day

The Reformation Wall - in memory of the great figures of Prostestantism

The Jet d'eau

The Nespresso shop - sadly George wasn't there


Milie said...

Hello Penny!
I was in Geneva last Dec. Actually my brother lives in Bellegarde sur Valserine (not that far from you!) and studies/works in Geneva. He's a "frontalier" (living in France but working in Switzeland). We spent a few days there with him and Tom and liked it, its architecture, beautiful shops, very friendly people (we may have been lucky!)... Like you I didn't like the smoke everywhere! I'm no more used to it since I've been in Oz. That was hard to find cafes/brasserie to eat in, and things are expensive!
You're definitely better focusing
on culture there.
Next time you go there, you may be able to meet my brother at the Mamco Museum, he works there on w-e!
Have a sweet w-e Penny ;-0

Penny said...

Hi Milie

I got so used to smoke free eating in Australia, coming here was a bit of a shock, although I expected it. But of course now we have smoke free restaurants and pubs in France - its wonderful. I will definitely head back to Geneva one day when I can appreciate its cultural offerings! Have a great weekend