July 13, 2013
Today was kind of a hodge-podge of sightseeing around Geneva. We started off the day with a fabulous continental breakfast. Molly and I finally figured out today why our charming, little hotel is so cheap – it’s technically in the red light district! We find it rather humorous. We’ve felt totally safe during our stay and only realized because we saw a few working girls during the daytime today. I’d still stay here again if I can back to Geneva and would recommend it to anyone else (especially those on a budget). It’s clean, has great wifi, and the staff is excellent.
As many of you could have guessed, I’ve been quite excited to visit the United Nations. We took a streetcar a few blocks down the main street and were able to get a good view of the main building. Unfortunately, we (and dozens of other tourists) couldn’t find anywhere to purchase the tickets for a tour. Molly and I searched the area for a good while, but no one was on duty at the gate we saw, the Refugee Center is closed on weekends, and there weren’t any signs to point tourist groups in the right direction. I was disappointed that we didn’t get to take the tour, but at least I’ve seen it. (We later found out from some hikers/UN workers that the tourist entrance is located on an obscure side entrance that can be found by traveling through a neighboring park. I think they need a COM major to help them make better signs.)
After giving up on seeing the inside of the UN, Molly and I came back to the hotel to get our hiking gear and go off toward Mt. Salève, one of the mountains just outside the city. We took a city bus to the Switzerland/France border and walked towards signs we saw for a cable car. No one checked our passports.
As I’ve mentioned earlier in this blog, I have acrophobia. I was determined to get some good shots of the city as we rode up to the top, but I had a minor vertigo spell halfway up. It wasn’t as bad as it was for that one Jimmy Stewart character, but it was worse than the symptoms I have when I fly. Nevertheless, I was fine when I reached the solid ground of the mountaintop.
We had a lot of fun hiking, watching paragliders, and getting to see Geneva from up above.
We were done hiking by late afternoon and had safely made it back down to France and then to Switzerland. We went back to the hotel to change, and then had planned to walk around shopping. In Marseille most of the stores close at 7:00, but here they close at 6:00!
With nothing to do we wandered around for a bit and ended up at a pizzeria for dinner. We were both so exhausted from our long day that we just came back to the hotel and decided to relax.
We’ll have another morning to hang out in Geneva before our train leaves tomorrow around 12:45pm. We’re heading back to France a bit early because tomorrow is Bastille Day and our friend’s 21st birthday. All things considered, we’ve had fun just going with the flow for a weekend in a new city.