Happy New Year people ! I hope your 2016 has come off to a good start and you'll make use of the 366 days that we have this year. I kept laughing at how people would post the picture about there being 365 pages and I thought "what happened to the other day ??"
Anyway ! Travel time ...I've been itching to get away. Spending Christmas with family and friends at home was amazing but I was ready to go out and do the one thing I am passionate about - travelling. And so I booked a day trip to Geneva. Yes crazy me, second week of a new year and I'm off to a new place. But I love that about myself, the spontaneity when it comes to travel. I took a super early flight - landed at 9am and I was ready to go out and explore. At the airport, they provide you with a complimentary ticket to the city centre, which I think you should utilise, but it's only valid for 80 min.But if you're into sightseeing all day long like myself then it won't be for you so I bought a day pass. It gives you access to the buses, trains and the boat rides (ferry type I think) and it costs 10CHF. The weather apps told me that it was going to be raining the whole day, honestly I almost cried, but then I remembered that when I went to Amsterdam with Yas that was the same forecast, and it only rained for less than an hour. Train ride to the city centre took about 7 min. For some weird reason I thought it would take longer and so I wasn't prepared when the train stopped and I was in Geneva town centre. When I got out of the station, I was in awe. Like I don't think I've ever seen snow covered mountains. No, in fact, I've never seen them so I was standing there, and I could not stop smiling. There was something in the air, something so different and exciting and I was looking forward to spending the day here. So I did what I always do when I get to a new place - start exploring.
Their streets as you can see are really wide, and although they are French, they drive better than Parisians and faster. I ended up with blurs in my pictures when I was least expecting it. But that's given me ideas of venturing more with my photography. When I crossed the road, I realised I was looking at Lake Geneva. And. She.Is. Beautiful. Looking at it on a map now, and how central it is to Geneva. It's just beautiful. And when I thought the view could not be topped , my expectations were exceeded. I first heard it, before I saw it. Jet d'eau. Geneva's largest water fountain and one of the most famous landmark. Apparently it pumps out 500l of water per second to an altitude of 140m. Like that's pretty impressive stuff. But - it was a bit windy and raining so taking a picture of it was not that easy.
Then it a small hailstorm started. I was glad it was quick because the "shelter" I was in, was 100% not sufficient. But after the rain, the sun came out and I got a bit more time to explore this area before I ventured to the city centre.
The best part about not using a map when you go to a new city, is that you get to immense yourself into all sorts of alleyways and you get some pretty awesome views. Such as these.
Culturally, the Monument to the Reformation Wall was the highlight of my day. One of the girls on the tram explained it to her friend as the wall of the forefathers. To be honest ,I loved the positioning of it. The last picture above is where the wall faces is the University of Geneva. So it's like the forefathers are watching over the next generation, and this wall is built into the old city walls. So although the city might be becoming modern, their heritage is the backbone of who they are. And that's what I love most about travelling. Discovering monuments such as these and seeing how them being there have shaped the way that the people in that city live and do life. It became very humid, like it was preparing to rain and I thought that was a perfect moment to navigate their tram system and get myself to the United Nations. You can't go to Geneva and not see the UN. If you've been to London and can navigate the tube system - then every other transport system in the world is a piece of cake - that's what I believe. And since I live and work in London, navigating in Geneva was pretty easy. Within a few minutes I got to Nation, which is where the United Nations HQ is. I was happy that it rained whilst I was on the tram and it stopped when I got there.
The sun came out to play for a little while so I thought I would venture a bit more around this area. I ended up in Jardin Botanique which I believe will be beautiful in the spring when all the flowers have bloomed, but the buildings of their greenhouses were pretty cool.
When I came out of the garden, I noticed that you could see the Lake from there, so I had to go and see what it looked like from this side of town. And I wasn't disappointed at all. I think I stood here for the longest time yet just letting the peacefulness of the city just surround me. It was the best experience I've had whilst travelling
I headed back into town to look for a place to just rest and maybe have something to eat. That's the one thing that I struggle with, eating and drinking properly whilst I'm away from my normal routine. The food here is expensive. Actually, scratch that, everything is expensive. It's Geneva. So in the end I settled for the normal - Starbucks. But they had a different menu - so it didn't seem so bad afterwards. For the next hour, it rained so much that I was grateful I had decided to call it quits at that point. But catching up with family at home, and the clock ticking to my flight back, I knew I had to brace the rain at some point. After all I live in London, I'm used to the rain. Speaking of clocks, there's one clock that I hadn't seen.
The flower clock. How awesome is that ! Geneva at night is magical. I'm glad my flight was later at night because I got to see this beautiful city begin to light up.
I have to come back to Geneva. For one reason - I didn't have chocolate. And I was in Switzerland. Just seems like an injustice.
I honestly loved being in Geneva. When I was in Bordeaux I was going through a lot, so I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have wanted to. But this time things are different. Time has healed and it's the beginning of a new year, a new chapter and you know what, I'm ready for all that God has in store for me.
Next planned trip, Vienna. But you never know, you might see something else before that.
Till next time x