Geneva Travel Blog› entry 21 of 37 › view all entries
Some time in the middle of the night I gave up trying to get to sleep on the cold hard marble floor of the Lyon train station and boarded my train to the country of my heritage. I was excited. I had no money and I knew it would be expensive but I couldn't return to the UK when I was this close in case I never got back here. I loaded as many of the costs onto my credit card as I could allowing me to get myself about with minimal stress.
One of the things I had been a little worried about was the Compulsory Military Training that all young Swiss men my age must do.
Obviously being the holder of a passport meant I was as Swiss as you could get but I also had a card that I had to hand over with my passport that exempted me from my military obligations due to my being a Kiwi. The thing that made me a little uneasy was that the card was written in the 4 languages used in Switzerland but was not written in English. I really had no idea what it said and as I passed both documents to the border control I wondered if I would be taken straight out the back to be measured for my uniform. I already had a Swiss Army Knife and I figured that was good enough for me!
Fortunately it seemed I had been given the right info about the card and I was free to go about my exploration without the expectancy of being called to arms.
This was all at the border crossing as I headed to my first stop, Geneva.
Geneva was a nice enough place. I had arrived early so I wandered about the centre after getting off the train. People were just starting to open shops and offices. I bought some pastries for breakfast and wandered along the lakefront past the United Nations building where I enjoyed the morning sun and the impressive water jet shooting high into the air just off the shore of the lake.