Geneva was a surprise trip, as I went for work. I spent most of the time in meetings but I made the most of the free time I had to sight-see.
I was delighted to see the famous Jet D’Eau (Jet of Water) as this wasn’t turned on the last time I went. We only had an hour spare, so me and a colleague hopped on a bus and went into the centre to see this famous fountain. After a lovely 10 minutes standing in the sun admiring it, we had to leave again – but it was totally worth it!
One evening we wandered around the old town which is just beautiful, and quite small so you can easily walk around it. It is all cobbled streets and small squares. Lovely for a summers evening. We also saw the obligatory giant chess which seems to be so popular in Swiss cities. Why can’t we have it??
The Jet d’Eau is lit up at night, and you can walk up to it – as near as you dare go, since it sprays a fine mist in whatever direction the breeze is blowing!
On this trip I visited the diplomatic end of town, walking past many sprawling embassies and “permanent missions” from different countries around the world. I saw the famous broken chair statue, which is a memorial to landmine victims and urges states not to use landmines.
I also saw the UN building, adorned by all the flags of the world, but sadly I didn’t have time to go inside for a tour. I have visited the UN in New York, and I’d love to go back to UN Geneva and have a tour.
I visited the Red Cross Museum, which was very interesting, and explains how the Red Cross was formed and the work they do in protecting human dignity, disaster relief, and restoring family links. It was moving to hear the stories of the families separated by wars or disasters, from those separated in World War One to children in Rwanda. It was moving to hear how the Red Cross helps to find loved-ones, and the massive difference it makes to people.
Next door was the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in an old-chateau-looking building. The Red Cross and the UN both work all around the world so it was cool to find out more and be at the centre of it all.
And of course no trip to Geneva would be complete without some yummy food! I only had two evening meals out there so I wasted no time getting into the good stuff; on night one I had Fondu, which was delicious, and came with potatoes, sliced ham and gherkins. On night two I went for the Malakoff which is a local speciality; it is a ball of fried cheese, which sounds particularly horrifying in terms of healthiness, but was served with salad so that makes it ok, right….?? And yes it was very tasty! (But nothing beats Fondu).
next blog: Edinburgh, Scotland
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