Lakeside in Geneva

Geneva June 27-28, 2013
Our grand vacations seem to coincide with a sudden change in our countries leadership.  So surprised to read that K. Rudd is now back in after all the leadership challenge denials. Seems surreal because in 2010, just after we left for our grand vacation to US and Canada , he was just as suddenly ousted from the leadership. Maybe we can forget the 3 years in between and pick up where we left off in 2010?

My legs are feeling smashed after the last two days, so it was good to have 3 hours on the train trip to Geneva to rest and recover.  I do not remember much of Geneva from our previous visit 20 years ago, absolutely nothing looked familiar.

After checking into our hotel we braved the bustling, noisy streets to explore the old town.

Very Parisian looking street scape but with less of something that makes that Paris look. Not sure what it is,   perhaps the roof lines are neater, or the quality of light or the open space between buildings?

We lunched  on  a small island on the lake ( Ille Rousseau) in brilliant sunshine with a very cold breeze coming off the lake.  The streets were busy with very smartly dressed office workers out to lunch. The chestnut tree lined promenade in the Parc de Bastions was a nice change from the noise of the streets.

One of the park walls is formed by an enoromous stone carving  know as the Reformation wall which depicts the regions religious founders  Beze, Calvin, Farel and Knox .

We finished the walk through the old town with an almost obligatory viewing of the giant fountain from the courtyard of the Museum of Art and History.

Next day we  took the bus to an outer suburb, Veyrier and then a cable car up to Mount Saleve. We had to cross the border into France to get to the cable car as the mountain is technically in France. We had planned to walk up to the top but could not find the start of the path. Once we were wizzed to the top we had great aerial views of Geneva and the lake although the view was hazy in the morning light.  A huge quary on the side of the mountain blanketed the town below with a cloud of dust.

 We walked along a trail at the top of the mountain to the sound of sparrows chirping in the forest. We were rewarded with almost clear skies and views out towards Mt Blanc in France.

Afternoon visit to the Palace de Nations, the UN headquarters, was a bit of a flop. But the visit to CERN,  the European Organisation for Nuclear Research was an eye opening experience. While I struggled to understand the physics behind the Large Hedron Colider, the construction of it is an amazing testament to modern science and engineering.