Posted by: lindsaygoes | June 9, 2010

Tales from Geneva

Boat on Lake Geneva

Boat on Lake Geneva

So I won’t tell you too much about the conference, because it involved lectures (which were pretty good to be honest) and then me trying to get on one of the computers to use the free internet in the breaks and then trying to find good free stuff. One stand had ice-cream!

After the final day of the conference I ended up going out for dinner with a few Finnish vets. I think it was the most expensive meal I’ve had since I’ve been travelling round, so Geneva certainly lived up to its costly reputation. I did get fish from Lake Geneva and some delicious chips though and it was a massive meal, which I couldn’t finish. Then the waiter told me I couldn’t leave until I’d finished it. Has that ever happened to anyone else?

The next day I walked to the UN and went to the Botanical Gardens before it opened, and then realised the UN didn’t seem to be opening so I went to the Red Cross museum which was really interesting and well set up. Then I went into the old town but ended up lying under a tree in the park by the Reformation Wall because it was quite hot and humid. A cool spot to listen to music and people watch! After that I got a boat around part of Lake Geneva at which point it cooled down and got kind of windy. I’d ended up skipping lunch and after the boat ride I was pretty hungry so I ended up going to McDonalds. After being amused by some guy telling some other guy that his pants were too low (ok, it was in French but there was pointing, and I’m pretty sure I got the gist of it) I got the equivalent of a quarter pounder meal and thought I’d done ok ordering it until they told me it was 25 CHF (about €18). If I’d wanted to pay that much I would have gone to a proper restaurant, but it turns out they thought I wanted two meals. I wasn’t that hungry!

The next day I headed back to the UN only to discover that there was a separate (terribly signed) entrance for tours round the side. I went through the security process (line up for half an hour, show your passport, get a badge printed up with a terrible photo on it -not sure if that’s a souvenir I want to keep) and then finally had a tour. After that I decided to go to Saleve, which involved catching a bus, walking through these back streets with loads of construction on and then catching a cable car up to Saleve and across the French border. It was pretty quiet, only three people (including me) on the cable car and then a nice area to walk in. Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy so not the best views, but still quite good to get out of town. Then I had to go back to the hostel and pack my bags. It made me sad. Not because of leaving Geneva, but because I knew I would have to carry them the next day.

So, the next day involved me catching five trains through three countries carrying about half my body weight in luggage (that’s not an exaggeration). I think I might have had people laughing at me although I did get a bit of sympathy as well. It was a little annoying when I was getting off the Eurostar to find that someone had moved my bag to the top shelf (don’t ask me how!) and then I had to get it down. But I made it and now I’ve got a few days to take it easy before going to Scotland which should also be lots of fun!

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