Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Geneva for the Holidays

Our friends Eileen and Kristina moved to Geneva, Switzerland during 2017. When they did, they said we should visit them sometime. So we did - over the holidays. We flew out on Christmas Day, landing the next day in Geneva. A quick train and tram ride later, we were in Geneva and exploring.

Never did find out what a "Master of Complications" is, but I remain very curious.

These funky trees were everywhere.

All we saw of the city had a wonderful old world charm.

Geneva sits at the end of a lake, which is home to a great many swans.

And home to our friends, whom we so enjoyed seeing - and exploring with!

We ate so well while there, mostly thanks to our friends' wonderful cooking and the produce we were able to acquire at the farmers' market in the square across from their flat. But apparently the only food I thought worth a photograph was the Star Wars cereal I had for breakfast most days.  😖

One of our favorite experiences was walking around Geneva and Carouge at night. This is Carouge, which is in the canton of Geneva and where our friends live.

We also ventured into the oldest section of Geneva, where we found art.

A gothic cathedral.

More art. This, at the top of a stairway, is a mosaic made from thousands of tiny tiles.

The moon over the cathedral.

As we moved into the newer section of the city, we found funky blue lights in a plaza.

And the buildings long the lake all lit for the season.

This is the lane where our friends live. Simply charming.

We visited the United Natons headquarters. Outside is the Broken Chair, symbolizing a call to all nations to ban landmines.

The grounds at the UN were impressive.

On a rather dreary day we took a ferry ride across the lake, near the Jet D'eau.

We traveled around town on the trams, which ran smoothly, quickly, and on time.

In Carouge, chocolate shops are ubiquitous.

The churches, like this one across from our friends' flat, are lovely.

And the trees look like were drawn by Dr. Seuss.

We took a day trip to Lausanne, which as easily accessible by train.

It is a beautiful town, and I would gladly go back.

This heron certainly seemed content living there!

We went to the Olympic Museum.

We had lunch in the museum cafe, which provided grand views out over Lake Geneva..

This sculpture adorned a section of the museum lobby.

And the grounds were graced by statues.

While Eileen and Kathy toured the museum, and Kristina soaked up the sun, I went for a stroll along the lake, marveling at the views I had of the Alps.

Along the way, I took my favorite selfie of all time.

And I happened across a small temple dedicated to a Thai princess.

And I took in the wonderful late day light.

And we all got a good chuckle over the name of a local creperie.

Another day trip found us taking a bus to the end of the line and then walking into France, where we road the teleferique up the side of a small mountain.

From the top, we enjoyed a terrific view of Geneva, and we could even see the Jet D'eau!

After hiking up a bit further, we were treated to grand views of Mont Blanc.

And, of course, we came upon a Buddhist temple.

And more views of the mountains.

During the bus ride back, I noticed that there was a separate Jedi seating section. Those Swiss!

Back in Carouge, home of Seussian trees.

And chocolate.

Our final day trip, again by train, was to a small skiing village called St. Cergue.

We walked to a small ski area.

Kathy and Eileen tried the famed cheese fondue (50 Swiss francs worth!) while Kristina and I watched in horror.

Then Kathy and Eileen, fueled by fondue, went snow shoeing while Kristina and I relaxed in a local cafe.

The view from the ski lodge was wonderful.

As were the views from the train on our return trip to Geneva.

Kathy and I even went out on New Year's Eve, discovering a Geneva lit up and festive.

Rain began to fall just before midnight, but we watched the fireworks from relative shelter, then took the tram back to our friends' flat for our final night in Geneva. We flew back New Year's Day.