Huh, this was my longest ‘trip’, away from my home. I was working in Geneva for 6 month. Actually it was an internship for my Masters’ Degree. And actually I didn’t live in Geneva, because on the other side of the border the rental was half the price. I lived in St-Genis-Pouilly, but there is not too much things to see there (just the people who works in Geneva, but want a cheaper accomodation), so there will not be post about it (sorry).
Don’t be surprised! This is the city of extremely expensive cars, and watch commercials. Seriously, at my working place, the parking area looked like a collection of fancy cars. In one day, I saw more fancy cars, than all along in my life before. I also saw that much watch commercials, that it was enough for my whole life. I’m against such things, but I really started to want a new watch in the end. Crazy.
Little bit of history
In ancient times, it was inhabited by a celtic strain. Romans (Julius Caesar) also passed by during the gallic campaign. In 6th century it became part of the Frank Empire. In middle ages the bishop was the head of the city. Reformation lead to the independence of the city in 1536. In the beginning of 19th century it was part of France for 16 years, before it joined Switzerland. After this, it is understandable that its the french part of Switzerland. During the World Wars, it was more protected because of the independence of Switzerland, and a lot of international organizations placed here their seat (United Nations, WHO, World Trade Organization etc). Geneva is the second most populated city in Switzerland, ~45% of it is foreigner. It is situated on the bank of the Geneva-lake.
What to see
If you have a friend, who were in Geneva, then I’m sure, you already saw picture about the Jet d’Eau. That is the huge fountain in the Geneva Lake. If you can, you have to have a diving in Geneva Lake. It’s full of bikes, and trash.
To Mont Saleve you can hike up (not difficult), or you can go up by the funicular (for pussies). From here you can get the best view of the city.
One of my favorite museums was Fondation Martin Bodmer. They have a lot of original, old books, and other things that costs a fortune.
I lived there from September till February, but in spring time, the Parc La Grange is amazingly nice, and full of flowers.
In Museum d’Histoire Naturelle I saw the craziest thing in my life (still shocked). I wouldn’t believe if I wouldn’t have seen it with my own eyes. Wait, I still hardly believe. They had a two-headed turtle. Or turtles… Do I need to use plural in this case? Yes, it was real, and it was alive. And it really had 2 heads, which moved separately. (What a crisis, if one head wants to go to one direction, the other wants to go to the other direction…) If nothing else, this worth to go to Geneva.
Cathédrale Saint-Pierre Geneve is another main point for a sight seeing, in the Old Town region. If you are there, make a walk in Parc des Bastions. Something extarordinary was for me the Reformation Wall in the Parc.
Victoria Hall worth to go for a concert.
My other favorite museum was Patek Philippe Museum. Yes, its full of too too disgusting watches, where they used too much gold, diamond, and shinny, expensive materials, but they have a lot of lovely ones too.
Jardin Anglais worth a walk too, at least because of the Flower Clock (in warm part of the year).
Place des Nations is fascinating. One of my fav sculpture is here, the Broken Chair (my favorite is the Knotted Gun, I saw it in Stockholm). And if you are there, you will see the flags of the United Nations.
But my favorite park was Parc de La Perle du Lac. Usually it’s full of life. In warm, everyone comes here, just lying on the sun next to the lake. A bit higher up you can find Parc de l’Ariana, with Musee Ariana. Nice place 😉
If you are interested in physics, you definitely need to go to the CERN. They have guided tours, you can apply on the webpage (http://visit.cern/tours/guided-tours). Unfortunately now the collider is working, so you cannot visit the detectors, but when I was there they had a shut down 😉
Other visited places in Switzerland: Zürich, Bern, Friburg, Lausanne, Leukerbad, Montreux, Neuchatel, Grotte de Vallorbe
tick Geneva on the left side
Wish list: Aletsch, Peak Dufour