jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 54 [24 Mar 09] – Geneva

Posted in Geneva by jn82 on March 25, 2009

After a very good couchette sleeper train ride from Rome to Geneva, we got into Geneva on time at 9.25am. After making reservations for the Golden Pass Panoramic train ride from Montreaux to Interlaken (which we will be on in three days time), we headed to the hostel to drop our bags. Usually in every city we are in, the area around the train station is pretty rough with a lot of coloured peopleand homeless people hanging around, but in Geneva, there was nothing of that sort! Just 10m from the train station was a huge Credit Suisse bank branch, which was pretty funny.

The hostel itself is amazing, compared to what we had in Rome and even Naples. It is very modern, clean and spacious. Here we have a twin dorm, so ample privacy and good for rest, which is what we need after Italy. Anyway we dumped our bags, and then headed out to the old city (Vieille Ville) to walk around. Geneva does not have that many large tourist attractions, which is good for us as that means less sightseeing and more time just to see the city itself.

Spotted outside the Four Seasons, a Bugatti Veyron.

This has been an amazing trip thus far, car spotting wise. After catching the Ferrari Enzo in London, and the tons of super cars in Monte Carlo, I was lucky enough to find what is probably the super car of super cars right now, the Bugatti Veyron.

Anyway, after this we headed to the flower clock, which as the name suggests, is just a big clock with a face made of flowers. Throughout the year, the clock face changes as different flowers are planted to form the face. It supposedly keeps perfect times, obviously you will accept nothing less from the city of Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin, to name a few.

The Flower Clock.

Walking through Geneva’s old city is similar to most European old cities, except that is it not. All the buildings here, while old, look extremely well preserved and clean. That is the main thing about Geneva, that everything is so clean, and there are very few questionable people hanging around the streets and appearing as if they could mug you in an instant.

The clean streets of Geneva.

Flags of the UN, Switzerland and Geneva, outside Hôtel de Ville.

We spent most of the afternoon at the Patek Philippe museum, having a look at time pieces from the 17th – 19th century. It was a very interesting afternoon indeed, looking at all these ancient masterpieces.

Outside the museum.

After the museum, we headed to St. Pierre Cathedral. Not very sure what the thing about this place is, but it is one of the main tourist sites of the city. We got there a bit late, so were unable to go to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of the city. The interior appeared like any other European cathedral we have seen so far.

Exterior of St. Pierre Cathedral.

The interior.

Walking back to the hostel from the old city, we saw the Jet d’eau, a water fountain of sorts which sends a steam of water from Lake Geneva 140m high into the sky at a speed of 200 km/h. The technology behind this had been a secret until the Saudi’s managed to acquire it a few years ago. The Jet d’eau is supposed to be continuously operational throughout the day, but it was pretty intermittent today, and we were told that perhaps there might have been a technical fault with it. This is a really weird tourist attraction as all it does is shoot water from the lake really high into the sky!

Jet d’eau.

Dinner was pretty expensive, but always wanting to try the local cuisine, we opted to have some traditional Swiss fare.

Entrée: La Raclette.

Main: Fondue Bourguignonne.

Geneva, what an amazing city!

Today’s pictures here.

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