Emily, Geneva and the Swiss Countryside: WEEKEND TRIP
My good friend Emily came to visit me in Geneva this past weekend and we had a really great time exploring the city and driving out into the Swiss country side. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and references were repeatedly made about being on the set of a Disney movie. If birds and forest animals had spontaneously burst into song I wouldn’t have been surprised at all.
On Saturday morning Emily, Jesse and I woke up and headed out for a city tour. After wandering around the main shopping street, we crossed through Parc des Bastions. Despite my many, many complaints about Geneva, the one thing I can’t find fault with is the abundance of green space. The park has beautiful statues surrounded by wide lawns filled with people enjoying the early morning sun. I even saw a man with a cat on a leash sunning himself while reading the newspaper.
Next up was Old Town and Geneva’s most famous church, Saint Pierre Cathedral. We climbed what felt like a million steps (reality 150 or so) to reach the famed vantage point. It was incredible to see the city spread out below, framed by Lake Geneva and the Jet d’Eau.
After a quick tour of the Carouge neighborhood and a sushi lunch, we decided to rent a pedal boat. I love being out on the water, especially on such a clear day. We pedaled out into the middle of the lake, and then just drifted along while people watching. My favorite part was when the lake police tried to tell some of the sun bathers at the Bains de Paquis something (I couldn’t hear what) and they all started booing and splashing them with water. Who needs a huge sailboat when you’ve got the power of pedal on your side?
Photo: My Blackberry
After a delicious Lebenese dinner, we decided to explore the festivities at the Fete de Geneve. We munched on Churros- which I later regretted-and debated on riding some of the roller coasters. I erred on the side of caution, considering I don’t trust large mechanical structures designed to throw you around wildly that are constructed overnight by carnies. Even if they are precise Swiss carnies.
The next morning retrieved our sweet ride, a gray BMW (the only automatic car they had) and drove out into the country side. It always astounds me how after only driving for forty minutes you can find yourself out in the middle of nowhere with no evidence of human existence in sight. It was so beautiful I felt like I couldn’t look at it for too long because it was making my eyes hurt.
Photo: Jesse Morgan
We drove to a small Swiss town to see my lovely Godparents. The road was just gorgeous and we made our way through seemingly endless vineyards neatly planted on the side of the mountain at steep angles. I kept trying to take pictures, but couldn’t capture the depth or sharp angle of what I was looking at. I kept wanting to find a way to sear the image into my mind, in order to take it out and marvel at it later.
Photo: My blackberry
Their home is simply exquisite and was designed by my Godfather, who is an architect. He has managed to capture the essence of the Swiss chalet, while infusing it with a modern and minimalist twist. The house sits on the side of the mountain overlooking a deep valley surrounded by lush green trees. I have a very special place in my heart for this place as it was my sanctuary when I was finishing the final chapters of my book last year. It’s where I escape to when I want to be surrounded by family.
Below is a picture of the entry way, that leads from the garage up into the main house. The art that adorns your journey into the house has all been created by my Godfather, and the sketches tell a story of an Egyptian God who rises to power, dies and then is reborn.
The first floor of the house is an art gallery that is currently displaying the works of a South African photographer.
We headed over to a neighboring village to celebrate national Swiss day. We saw a parade, bands, and had the opportunity to take our picture with these fine fellows:
We headed back towards Geneva, making our way through small villages stopping to take pictures of unique churches or waterfalls cascading out of the side of a mountain. It was a perfect weekend and while I was sad to see Emily go, knowing that I’m going to see her in Paris in less than a week made parting bearable. 😉