jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 55 [25 Mar 09] – Geneva

Posted in Geneva by jn82 on March 25, 2009

Woke up pretty late today and only set out at lunch time. This is the first day of semi-rest, with the second and full day of rest being tomorrow. Pretty simple itinerary today, just to see the International Red Cross Museum and the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The good thing about visiting Geneva is that tourists get a free public transport pass which is valid on all busses, trams and even trains! We caught the tram to Musee International de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge (International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum), and paid the 5€ reduced entry fee to go in. The permernant exhibition gives you the history of the organisation from the time of its founding to modern day, as well as the role of the Red Cross during war time and peace time. I had not read up on the organisation prior to this, so everything in the exhibition was new and pretty interesting. It is the Red Cross which was responsible for the original Geneva Convention being drafted, and the work that the organisation does is very admirable as they do not discriminate between political beliefs, race or religion.

The original Geneva Convention.

14 medals and the first Nobel Peace Prize belonging to Jean Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross.

World War I POW records.

Freaky exhibit at the entrance.

The next stop of the day was to UNOG, The United Nations Office at Geneva. The security check took some time, but it did result in me getting a pretty cool visitor pass to keep.

UNOG Visitor Pass.

An interesting thing I found out today about the UN is that they have their own postal service (and stamps), what for I have no idea.

UN post box.

Typical UN conference room.

Assembly Hall, the largest room in Palais des Nations.

The Council Chamber, unchanged since the 1930s when it was used by the League of Nations.

The UNOG tour provided us with the history and the purpose of the UN, and brought us to many of the rooms where conference were held and delegates met and voted on issues concerning the international community.

Outside the UNOG.

It was a pretty different day today, spent at these international organisations, which are non-traditional tourist sites. But I guess the most logical place for these organisations to have their headquarters (or one of their HQs) would be in one of the world’s most international cities.

On another note, food is insanely expensive here. Walking into the mini-mart opposite the hostel before lunch, I found one packet of normal instant noodles which cost 5.50 CHF (around S$7)!! This is as normal an instant noodle packet as you will ever find, and it was not even a Nissin or Maggi. You cannot have a decent meal here for under 15 CHF (~S$20), and even a McDonalds quarter pounder meal will set you back around 12 CHF (~S$16)!! Ridiculous. As a sign of protest, for dinner I cooked in the hostel. I had two packets of Nissin instant noodles, some corn and fishballs purchased from a Viet and Thai shop nearby for around 5 CHF (~S$7). This is a meal I have had many a time during uni days, and will probably do so tomorrow for lunch and/or dinner as well. Other than that, I am looking forward to a day of rest tomorrow where I will do almost nothing!

Today’s pictures here.

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