Friday, June 28, 2013


From the alps, we continued on our journey to our last stop in Switzerland, Geneva. From Wengen, it took approximately 4 hours. We traveled from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen, Lauterbrunnen to Interlocken, lunch at Interlocken, Interlocken to Bern, Bern to Geneva. It was pretty interesting seeing the switchover from German to French. The real transition was in Bern (Switzerland's capital). From there, the train announcements started in French instead of German. The countryside changed as well. We started seeing vineyards around lake Geneva. It was very pretty, but I didn't snap any photos on the commuter train.

One of the focal points of Geneva is a huge fountain on the water that divides the left and right banks. It was truly stunning.

In Geneva, we stayed at my favorite hotel of the whole trip. I am kicking myself for not taking a photo of our room. It was also the only 5 star we stayed in, so I guess that makes sense. The room had blue silk walls and gorgeous wall coverings, the bathtub and shower were both amazing, the bed was comfy, and our room was quiet. The breakfast was also excellent.

To get over to the other bank, which is where most of downtown was, the hotel gave us transport passes to ride the water taxis. The first night, we walked across the bridge to dinner, took a water taxi back, and then walked along the bank. People were actually just hanging out and drinking by the bank. I guess that is a thing there. It reminded me of jazz in the garden in DC, except a lot less policed.

Our second day there, we walked over to explore some of the historic sites. I wish we had had a little more time in Geneva to go to some of the museums because they seemed pretty interesting, but we did see the major things.

John Calvin, the famous protestant reformer, came to Geneva to help reformers. This church, St. Peter's, made the switch from Catholicism to Protestantism.

Gorgeous colors in the chapel.

Sundial clock.

Geneva opera house

This park was directly across from the opera house and probably our most enjoyable part of the Geneva trip.

They had around 5 or 6 of these chess and checkers sets on the pavement. J and I watched 2 guys (not pictured) play chess for close to an hour. We were not the only ones watching. It was quite the spectator sport. And it was so entertaining. The 2 guys really seemed to care about learning from each other, and would back up several plays if one of them made a stupid move (like putting the queen in jeopardy). It was very fun to watch their interactions and how they played. Around lunchtime, almost all of the boards were being used.

Also in the park was the monument to the reformers (Reformation Wall). The Mayflower protestants were also recognized.

The 4 men in the center are William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox.

Reformation wall was really cool and we spent some time just walking around and reading the text (some of it was in English). You can really see the scale in this photo. And the day was nearly perfect weather.

I think this is one of the universities.

After walking around a bit, we headed back to get some lunch. There were lots of swans in the water.

After lunch, I was not feeling well and decided to take a nap (or try to take a nap, it didn't actually happen). J went out and shopped a bit. I was still not doing well with the whole sleeping thing and was feeling really crummy at this point in the trip. After texting my mom for a bit, she suggested finding a clinic and seeing a doctor. So, I went down to the reception desk and asked about seeing a doctor. They personally walked me to the doctor's office, spoke French to the office to explain the problem and get me an appointment. It was really touching how much they did for me, and I was really grateful. Anyway, the doctor gave me some anti-anxiety medication and some sleeping pills, which solved the sleeping issue (thankfully) for the rest of the trip. A thank you to those people who were praying for me. I really appreciated it.

The next morning, we made a quick trip up to the UN just to see it (we didn't go in). There was a large chair in front of it.

Ghandi on the path around the UN.

I think this was a ceramic museum.

The red cross museum (we didn't have time to go in).

Outside of the red cross museum.

Protesters outside the UN.

The dog was worn out from protesting. I don't know what was up with the witch's broom.

These photos are slightly out of order, but these are the ones I took from J. This is inside our hotel.

Pictures taken from a pier when we went walking after dinner the first night.

On the water taxi. This guy was wearing a suit jacket with swimming trunks.

All in all, we really enjoyed Geneva. It was very much an international city. We heard many languages spoken and people from all over the globe were there. It would have been fun to spend a little more time there and enjoy some of the museums, but we had a wedding to get to. So, on Friday, a week after arriving in Zurich, we rented a car to drive to central France...

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