Monday, February 11, 2008

si beau, si cher

view of lake geneva from the cathedral. and, of course, the jet d'eau.

rachel, cristina and me in front of lake geneva...beautiful day!

cathedrale saint-pierre

zee alps...notice the difference in the roofs of the old city right in front and the rest of the city farther away?

Broken Chair statue in front of the UN (photo credit: marni)

snowwww!! on top of the mountain. (photo credit: marni)
amazing view of geneva from the telecharger on the way down the mountain...i'm sure you can see the jet d'eau if you look closely.... (photo credit: rachel)

so, i just got back from geneva yesterday, and it was a really nice trip! All 9 of us left at 13h on Friday from the Lyon train station. As you can imagine, going on a trip with 9 girls is a bit difficult, but imagine when that group of 9 girls does not get on the correct train--rather, the correct CAR of the correct train...evidently our car separated and left us behind at some point. Anyways, around the time we were supposed to be arriving in Geneva (according to our tickets), we began texting each other (since we couldn't sit together) a bit concerned if we were actually on the right train as our station stop was not I finally got an urgent text to get off at the next stop, and so all 9 of us followed this nice French lady who was also going to Geneva. Turns out we were in a town called Annemasse on the border, so we took a bus, walked over the French-Suisse border and then took a tram into the city. This killed our afternoon, but I think we were just happy to be where we were supposed to be. Our hostel wasn't fancy, but it definitely wasn't bad, and it included breakfast so that was AMAZING! No more wandering the streets in search of cheap food like we did in Paris...
Speaking of wandering the streets in search of cheap food, that's exactly what we did Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and lemme tell you--we did not succeed. Rather, we found food that was cheap by Switzerland's standards. I was able to get a plate of fried rice for 11 swiss francs (CHF), which is about 10 USD, and that was a miracle. The norm it seemed for a modest (in size and taste) meal was about 20 CHF---about 18 dollars. Otherwise a nicer meal was getting into the 40's...
Besides that initial shock though, Geneva was beautiful. On Saturday we woke up pretty early and walked around lake Geneva. It was so blue, and just beautiful with the mountains in the background. They have this fountain that's called le jet d'eau that's basically a giant man-made geyser, and it sounds pretty unimpressive, be we realized after going to the tops of mountains, cathedrals, and different parts of Geneva that you can really see it from anywhere! Anyways, we made our way into the old part of Geneva to go to the Cathedrale Saint-Pierre, and it was nice, but what was even better was the view from the tower. Town, lake, mountains, could see everything! After that we went to a restaurant that supposedly had the best vin chaud (hot wine) in all of switzerland. Vin Chaud is popular around here and basically it's hot, spiced wine. We ended up eating there, too, because we saw a sign for "Sandwiches---3.50" which was an absolute miracle to find food for that cheap, and just when we were relieved to finally be getting a deal of food they brought us out our sandwiches which were literally little circles about 3-4 inches in diameter. Incroyable. Anyways after that we made our way to the UN (where the league of nations was supposed to be) and then we went to the museum of the Red Cross, which was really, really interesting. Later on we went to dinner (some had swiss fondue) and then saw an Aussie Irish rock band play at a pub near our hostel. They were...interesting. What was really interesting was that we mets some Croats there, and one of the guys used to live in Texas City near Houston!
Speaking of Texas...the next morning I met a girl in the bathroom of our hostel who was from Brenham, Texas, which is roughly an hour away from College Station, not to mention that she was friends with a guy who is working in the Domican Republic with the organization that Dominican Joe benefits! It's a small, small world. Anyways, to finish off our day we took a bus to the French-Swiss border to a small town of Veyrier and took a telecharger (a gondola?) up to the top of this mountain about a kilometer in the was beautiful!!! You could see all of Geneva and the Rhone valley....It was kind of by chance, too, because we just decided to take this bus to wherever it stopped randomly not knowing where it went...
Needless to say, it was a great trip, and all of us enjoyed the pretty scenery, which was a nice break from the grey skies, bare trees and concrete of Lyon. Hope everyone who's reading this is doing well, too! Enjoy the pics!

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