Geneva – Thoughts and photos

I just wanted to add some of my own thoughts and photos to Claire’s post about Geneva.

Geneva was a really beautiful city.  Even if it out prices you to the point where all you can do is walk around, as long as you are in good company I guarantee that you will have a good time.  It was alternately pouring rain and sunny while we were there, prompting me to buy an umbrella from our hostel…one of the many rain-proof items that I have to acquire while I’m here.  Why didn’t anybody tell me that Switzerland had such temperamental fall weather?

We stayed at the City Hostel in Geneva which was nice but small.  My only complaint is that after advertising that they had a full kitchen on each floor, there was no coffee pot!  We got lucky and found an old, handle-less one on another floor, but I loath to buy coffee from their Nestle machine or from Starbucks (German lesson: ein Tall ist sechs francs, fünfzig rappen).

We spent time wandering thought the old city and also looking for the green space.  While Europeans my drive less than North Americans, their smaller streets mean that they fill their space just as efficiently and you end up feeling like you are walking on the side of a highway where ever you go.

Claire in the mega-chess park near the UniversityClaire in the Megachess part of the park.  Not for the faint of heart!

Claire in the market. Claire in the Hungy? cheese and sausage market.  Yum!

Being attracted to useless information of all kinds (there must be a term for that), Claire and I were drawn to the Natural History Museum, where we spent time in the minerals and rare animals sections.  One of the most shocking exhibits was the Darwin one, where they so accurately captured the chain of evolution.  However, the labeling was poor and I couldn’t tell which was the final product and which was the proposed “missing link”.  See if you can.

Peak of Evolution?

On Saturday night we sought out traditional Swiss fondue and managed to find the best place in town.  Right on the lake…actually almost in the lake…with a laid back atmosphere and inexpensive (20 CHF/Stück) pots of pure melted cheese and wine.  Does it get any better?

 Seth with the huge pot of fondue Seth with his pot of fondue.  Actually we shared the pot, but I really wanted my own.

Finally, we spent time roaming around the Botanical Gardens and lake wall.  The Sunday was beautiful and the lake was alive with activity.  Nature was frolicking and the local jets of water were spraying almost totally vertical. A calm, sunny day.

Swan Swan on the lake.

Claire and the “Water Jet” Beautiful Claire and the creatively named “Jet d’eau”.

Just out of curiosity I visited the Wikipedia site for the Jet and found that they run it with a set of two pumps consuming an impressive megawatt of electricity.  Yes, after doing some easy research, I found that – for our viewing pleasure – the city of Geneva spews water and a justifiable ton and a half of carbon into the atmosphere every day!  Sorry Hermione, I did buy those high efficiency bulbs, but I’m afraid that just admiring this monster for a few seconds undid years worth of my carbon savings (for those reading this – go to to carbon-sponsor Hermione on her cycle from London to Morocco and lets see if we can undo some of this.  Her target sponsorship is 15 tonnes and last I saw she had exceeded that goal – lets see if we can smash it!).

For now it’s back to the work week.  Wow, it’s already half over again – that’s 2 of 35 weeks gone!

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