I wanted to go somewhere I had not been to yet in Europe, so my husband-to-be (HTB) and I travelled to Switzerland next. I had completed a loop of Europe on 1997, but had skipped the country as it was in the middle of the loop, and I thought it might be too expensive.
We stayed in a gorgeous high ceilinged apartment on Lake Geneva with my HTB’s friends Ben and Elodie and their young daughter.
Lake Geneva, where the River Seine ends, was definitely the focal point of the city. A walk around the lake revealed a clock made of flowers, an old ship, a beach, many fountains and statues. There was also a white rock used for sea level measurements and real swans swimming on the lake. My favourite part was the Jet d Eau and the rainbow that ran through it when the light hit it at the right angle.
We saw the United Nations Buildings, the Reformation Wall, Place Neuve (Grand Theatre) and Saint Peters Cathedral. We explored Parc des Bastions, Vielle (the old city) and Carouge.
A highlight was an authentic local lunch that we had at cute little Place du Bourge de Four. It really felt like this was where the people of the city hung out. I also enjoyed the area of Grottes with its Gaudi like buildings and lizard statue.
My HTB despaired that he couldn’t change a traveller’s cheque in a city of banks (and never travelled with them again), so I leant him the cash to buy an authentic Swiss army knife. On our last night, our hosts got a babysitter and took us to a fancy expensive restaurant.
Our brief foray into France was up Mt Saleve in a cable car for a view of Geneva and the snow-capped Mount Blanc.
On a day trip we went to the quaint little town of Gruyeres. I had never heard of the cheese before, although I had eaten fondue. This time we had the yummier racolette with potatoes and explored the castle from the baliff’s room to the fantastic art room. From one window we could see the mountains and the castle’s beautifully landscaped gardens; and from another you could see the town of Gruyere and hear cows with their bells ringing as they grazed.