Jamie and I went to Switzerland for the weekend! Mainly it was me tagging along on a work trip he had, but since it fell over a weekend we had a great time there! We had never been to Europe before! (Well, Jamie had once – this was his second or third time to Geneva within a year because his company’s head office is there). But other than that, we hadn’t. When we were living in the U.S. we always said we wanted to go, but thought it was too far. Well, when you have done the 30 hour trip from Africa to the U.S., no where is too far – 11 hours to Europe? That’s nothing! It’s equidistant from South Africa to Europe as it is from the U.S. to Europe, so we are meeting Jamie’s parents there in August as kind of a halfway point. Anyway, my point is, just go! If you have been contemplating going to Europe, but are nervous about the flight, just do it. It really isn’t that bad and most of them are overnight flights anyway. My mom and my aunt are on one right meow that is headed to London then down here! They will be here tomorrow morning!
Back to Geneva: we both know people who currently live there as well as ones who previously lived there so we got some good tips on restaurants and things from them. If you need any, hit me up.
We stayed in the city center of Geneva right on the lake. I loved everything about Geneva except the prices. If you go to Switzerland, bring your life savings because it is expensive. I’m exaggerating, but be prepared to spend a lot of money on things like transportation, food, lodging, everything. We went to a Chinese food place (I know, but it was late and we were tired and hungry). I would compare it to PF Chang’s in the U.S. as far as what we ordered. At PF Chang’s we normally get that “dinner for two” that gives you a soup each, appetizer to share, entree each and a dessert to share (speaking of, they changed their dessert menu and it’s not good). At PF Chang’s you can get all that for around $40. At this place in Geneva, we each got a soup and an entree with rice…$166! So, just know that going in. You’ll have a lot more pleasant time if you just go with the flow instead of fainting at the price of everything.
The lake had this water spout thing that shoots water into the air all day long. It was cool, but it was spraying on the overcast day, but not on the sunny day. Not sure what happened there. The day we got there we checked into the hotel then went for a walk around the city. There is a part of town near where we were called “Old Town” and that’s exactly what it was. It was the Old Geneva – there was a church there built somewhere between 1100 and 1200, the streets and buildings were from the 1400-1600’s! I was in awe. I LOVE stuff like that! I felt like I was in Game of Thrones! (Except there was no one there to chop off my head – sorry, I have been reading my books lately and my mind wanders to Westeros sometimes…) But just walking on those narrow, cobblestone streets and seeing the old buildings and little trap doors and stain glassed windows made me think “what went on here all those centuries ago?”… “who also walked here?” I was captivated.
The church in Old Town was “Cathedrale Saint – Pierre” built sometime between 1150 and 1230. We were able to go inside and look around. It took my breath away. We just sat on a pew and stared and prayed. It was so reverent, unlike anything I have seen before. Jamie had to leave a day earlier than me so when I was alone I went back to the church. There was a chapel we didn’t notice before that I went and sat in for a while. It was beautiful. So ornate, yet tranquil. The picture I took was blurry, sorry. I squat down to take it and my legs were so sore from skiing the day before I must have been a little wobbly. You can also take longer self-guided tours of this church, but they only take cash for the tickets. I didn’t have any so I just hung out in the sanctuary for a bit. It is still a very active church and they had a little table of their Sunday programs and events calendar. I was raised in little East Texas churches, which were lovely, but this church was truly unbelievable. I imagine worshipping there every Sunday would be very fulfilling.
Jamie and I wandered Geneva some more, took some more pictures and at breakfast at this little cafe. It was clearly family owned as everyone that worked there was sitting at a table together until we walked in. Even on a Friday (a work day) everyone was out and about, eating at cafes and whatnot. It seemed very relaxed.
The chocolate!!! My trainer told me not to have any before I left, but I told him flat out that was a lost cause. I didn’t eat that much, truly. If left to my own devices, sans trainer, I would have come back a fat, pimply faced chocoholic. I did go into a couple of the bakeries and chocolate shops just to smell – didn’t buy – but I just smelled and it was DIVINE! OK I did buy this small caramel cake thing that Jamie said he would split with me. By the time he was ready for his share I had already eaten the whole thing. He knows this about me. There is no sharing when it come to desserts, my little brother is the same way (I say “little”…he’s 28 and married).
After we wandered Geneva for the morning, we took a train out of the city a couple hours and got off in a couple of the small towns in between to look around. You talk about cute! Every little town was a little old village built around a church. There were little old churches everywhere, I loved it. You could tell the villages were farming villages – cows, horses and sheep everywhere.
The train ran along the lake for a while and then up into the mountains through these villages. We took it 2 hours out to the town of Gruyeres, Switzerland. Guess what comes from there…??? Gruyere cheese! There was a cheese factory there with a restaurant and we got some fondue, of course! It came with bread and potatoes. Carb overload, I know, but it was worth it. We also got some cold cheese and meats that were so fresh! That little cheese factory was literally the only thing in the town. Then we turned around and came back to Geneva! Haha! The next day we got back on the train to go skiing!