Monday, October 11, 2010

Geneva, Switzerland-Sep 10-12

Here is where I started my two week journey from Geneva, Switzerland, through the French Alps into Italy and through Italy until flying home from Rome. I took over 2500 pictures and Max took just as many I'm sure. So trying to choose only a few will be difficult to say the least. I saw and did so many wonderful things I don't hardly know where to start. Over the next few blogs I will try and post about those places which for me, made the most impact.
Standing next to the Rhone River looking across to the North side of Geneva. Geneva is the 2nd largest city in Switzerland and is the most international, which 40% of its population not being native Swiss. We saw this with the many areas of town we walked through, the restaurants and shops we visited. Swizterland actually has 4 native languages depending on where you are in the country. Geneva is primarily a French speaking area. But I also noticed a lot of mediterranian speaking people as well.

The Rhone River seemed to be the center of the town. In the background is the L'lle, the remains of a 13th century fortress built on an island in the middle of the Rhone.

There were small riverside cafes to be found all up and down the river.

We had no city guides or brochures, we just got up each morning and took off walking, discovering Geneva along the way. This is the back side of St. Pierre's Cathedral, a protestant church. Geneva declared itself to be protestant and proclaimed the city to be a republic. John Calvin, an early protestant leader, was based in Geneva.

The front of the church. Next door to the church was a reformation museum.

A side view of the church.


We saw many flat iron buildings such as this in the old town.

Plaine de Plainpalais is the local flea market and circus.

I am standing in the center square of Place de Neuve. On one side is the Grand Theater, one side is Bastions Park, and behind me is part of Old Town.

We walked up the hill and entered old town through this portal. This is the original town of Geneva and this was one of the entrances through the old city walls. Now the area has been renovated and are apartments, shops and restaurants.

After wandering through the area we headed down this street which brought us back out to the main area of town by the river. You really get an idea of how old these building are when you realize most American cars wouldn't even fit through here.

Of course in Swizterland, you have to get chocolate. This was from a chocolate shop or a chocolateria. But later in our wanderings we found a local grocery store/department store where you could buy hundreds of brands of swiss chocolate for half the price. As a note, I loved their grocery store, it had fresh cheeses, fresh pizzas, fresh meats and deli, fresh breads. For dinner we shopped and went out for a picnic.

Geneva claims to be the founder of the United Nations because the Palais des Nations or League of Nations was founded here in 1936. The United Nations made Geneva its European Home in 1966.

Along the waterfront were these lifesize globes. Each one was different with a different theme.

We were given a free transit pass from our hotel so one day we boarded one of the local electric commuter trains and spent some time viewing city through the windows. We could stop and get off and on, even changing trains or taking the bus, as we wished. But mostly we walked. I know we didn't see everything the tourist brochures probably advised, but I suspect we saw a lot that most tourists could not even imagine.

1 comment:

Barbara and Ron said...

Wonderful post. I would love to see Geneva. How did you choose where to visit and how did you travel between them?