I must admit that Geneva is not very exciting

Geneva Travel Blog

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We rode around the lake in this boat. It was freezing cold.

            I spent this last weekend in Geneva Switzerland. I have got to say that it really was not all that great. It was a beautiful area, but there is really nothing to do in Geneva. So let me go through the whole weekend for you. There were seven of us who went. We left Friday afternoon. The reason that we had to leave in the afternoon instead of the morning was because a few of the people in our group had a make up class from 11 to 12. So in the morning I packed my bag and met another friend at the travel agent to make the final arrangements for fall break.

The boat next to the geyser
I will let you know all about that a little later.

            Anyway, we all met at the school at 12 and left for the train station. We made a quick stop at the Gallery Lafayette which is a little grocery store. We picked up some snacks for the train ride. So we got to the train station about an hour early, so we just stood around for a while. We got on the train, and luckily the train is pretty comfortable. It was also not very crowded so I got a row to myself. I just sat back and did some homework. I think this was the only time I am grateful that all my homework is reading because that is a lot easier to do on a moving train than written work would have been. We had to take two trains, one from Strasbourg to Basel, and another from Basel to Geneva.

waiting in line to get on the boat.
The first train was about an hour and a half, and the second was about three hours. It went by really fast though because on the second train we got seats that faced each other and so we were all talking and having a good time. The scenery was absolutely beautiful. There are these gorgeous green rolling hills and the mountains in the background. There was this huge river that the train followed almost the whole way into Geneva.

            The sad thing is that the scenery is really all there is in Switzerland. One of my Professors told me when we got back that there is not much to do in Switzerland unless you want to spend the money and go to the outside country area, but even then it is still all scenery. I wish I had known this before I spent the money on the trip. Don’t get me wrong, I am really glad I went, but I would have preferred to go somewhere a little cheaper. Geneva is not a cheap city.

            Anyway, we got to the hotel at about 7:30pm. When we booked the hotel we did not tell them how many people were in our group, so 3 of us waited outside while the other people checked in so that they would not charge us extra for having a larger group. Then we went up to our room through the parking garage. I guess they found out that it would have cost more if we had not waited outside. This hotel was really nice. We got a pretty good deal on it though. There were no available hostels in the area which is why we got a hotel. I shared a room with Kelly and Paul. They are two of the people who I have been hanging out with the most since coming here. The beds were big and comfortable and Kelly was really happy because it had a shower that you could stand up in. (In France the showers are just a bathtub with a faucet and a shower head, but the shower head is not attached up on the wall you basically have to sit in the tub and it is just really uncomfortable. Luckily the shower at the house where I am living has a hook up top that I can attach the shower head to. So I have a regular shower every day.) Back to the hotel room, there was also a plasma TV in the room.

            We went just down the street from the hotel for dinner that night. We met a few people from the University of Denver Colorado. We talked for a little while, but they had to go to bed early because they were leaving really early for Prague then next morning. Our dinner was really good. I just had pasta, but Kelly and Emily got cheese fondue and everyone had a taste of it. It was good, but I don’t think it is really my thing. I think if there was no wine in it I would have liked it more. I just really don’t like the taste of wine. My pasta was great though. Like I have said before the dinners take forever here because of the service so we did not get back to the hotel until around 10pm. We were all really tired from the train ride so we just decided to go to bed.

            However, Kelly, Paul, and I turned on the TV, and had a really great evening of watching CNN and BBC World News. I have not watched any TV since leaving the United States over a month ago. This was really great. I miss watching the news. Now that I am back I found that you can subscribe to ABC.com and watch their full World News Today broadcasts without commercials. I subscribed. I figured it was worth it because I fell weird and deprived when I don’t know what is going on.

            The next morning we all met outside the front of the hotel at 9am. We walked down to the lake because we wanted to take a boat out to this Chateau. As it turned out to get to the chateau by boat it was going to take 5 hours. So we decided against that. As we were walking we found a Starbucks. Everyone flipped out. I don’t really understand this because I am not a huge fan of Starbucks. I don’t drink coffee and their hot chocolate is not very good. The only thing I like there is the strawberries and cream drink and it was a little to chilly outside to have one of those. But we stopped in and everyone got the drinks that they had been wanting for a really long time.

            At this point we decided to split the group up because three of the other girls really wanted to go to the Chateau and to get their by train was going to cost an extra $50 and I did not want to spend that kind of money. So they left and the rest of us took a 2 hour boat tour of the lake. We had gotten these really nice lounge chairs to sit in, but once the boat got going it was way to cold for us to sit outside so we went inside. It was a very nice ride. The scenery was beautiful. We just had a good time sitting there and relaxing. After the boat ride we got lunch. We all got a pizza. I am sick of pizza here. I have only had it a few times, but it is just way to much work. The pizza is good, but you are supposed to eat it with a knife and fork. The crust is really hard to cut. By the time I am only half way done with it my hands ache and I can’t cut any more, but I am still really hungry.

            After lunch we went shopping. We really just walked around town and stopped in shops we thought looked good. As you all probably know the Swiss are known for their watches, army knifes, and chocolate. Every other shop sold Swiss army knives and watches. They had some truly beautiful craftsmanship on some of the pocket watches. The chocolate shops were overwhelming. I could not figure out what kind of chocolate I wanted. I thought I did pretty good though. I only got a toblorone for myself, and some chocolate to take home with me to the U.S.

            By the time we were done with that it was around 6pm. We could not find anything else to do. We wandered some more, but there was nothing. So, we went back to the hotel for a while to rest and watch some more CNN. Around 9pm we decided that we really needed to do something. Shalyn, who had been with us all day, left us to meet up with a friend who was living in Geneva. So Paul, Kelly, and I went down to the lobby to figure out what there was to do. There was really nothing on the wall with all the brochures, so we asked the man working at the desk. He said he had no idea and went and got a younger guy out of the back room. That guy told us that there was really nothing to do in Geneva. He told us we could go to the largest Disco Tec in Europe, but it was 45 minutes away. We decided against that.

            We eventually decided that we should go get dinner. We were not very hungry because while we were at the hotel we had been munching on the chocolate we had bought. Nothing really sounded good to us. We wandered around Geneva for 2 hours trying to find a place for dinner. We finally found a restaurant called Lipps on the other side of the lake. It was a really great dinner, but it was kind of expensive. We were not expecting that, but the dinner was pretty much worth it. When I say pretty much I mean that the taste of the food was excellent. I got a stake. I think it was the best stake I have ever had. Now, for the rest of that pretty much worth it I mean that the stake could have been eaten in 4 bites by my dad. It was really small. I guess it was what a portion size is supposed to be, but that is not the size that we eat in America. I am used to bigger.

            After dinner was over we sat at the restaurant for an extra 45 minutes. We had a really good time just sitting there and talking. We did a lot of talking about the people in our classes and the places we want to go and our families. After that we just went back to the hotel and went to bed. For not doing much all day long we were pretty tired.

            The next morning we slept in a bit. We got up at 10. Kelly and Paul took really long showers because they wanted to get in the best stand up shower they could before going back to the French version. I am so lucky where I live. After checking out we went to the train station and got lockers to put our stuff in until we were ready to leave. We went back down to Starbucks and sat and tried to figure out what we wanted to do that day. Paul wanted to go home early because he does not like to get in late. So he ditched us and took an early train. So Kelly and I decided we were going to go to this museum. When we got there we discovered that because it was Sunday the museum was closed. Europe is weird like that. Almost everything is closed on Sundays, not like in America where we just close early; everything that does not sell food is closed.

            So Kelly and I just got some lunch and walked around town a little bit more. It was not very exciting so we got on an earlier train than we had planned. We got on the 4pm train. I got a lot of homework done on the way home. Kelly gets motion sick so she was pretty much out of it the whole time, and since there was no one else with us there was nothing else to do except do homework. That is just as well though because if I did not do it on the train I would have had to do it when I got back to my house. We had to take 3 trains to get home this time. It was a little more inconvenient, but it worked out. Each train was about 1 ½ hours. We got back to Strasbourg at about 9pm and we grabbed a sandwich and headed back home.

            So that was my weekend. I actually had a really great time. It does not sound like I did much, but we had fun while doing it.

            Things are moving by so fast here. I only have 3 weeks of school left, then midterms. Then I have a week off. I am going to be traveling that whole time. Our fall break is now officially planned. There are six of us traveling together. We are going to be spending 3 days in Florence Italy, then 3 days in Barcelona Spain, and then 3 days in Lisbon Portugal. I am really looking forward to it. They have some really cheap airlines here. I am flying from Baden-Baden Germany (just outside of Strasbourg) to Florence for only 20 Euros. That is only about $25. That is a really great deal. I hear that there is not a lot of leg room on the plane, but who cares for that price.

            Christina, the girl also living with me, is moving out. She does not like to be up in her room. She says it is too secluded. She does not like being all by herself. If I was the one up there I think I could be very happy. I like having my own area. I would have traded with her, but I am really selfish and I love the room I am in now, and my bed is much bigger than hers. I know that is horrible, but I guess the family she is going to be moving in with has a really nice room for her and she gets her one bathroom. She seems pretty happy about it. I am going to miss having her around, but I am not going to miss her coming into my room and talking while I am trying to do homework. Also, now that she is leaving it means that I will be able to take my showers in the morning again. I am looking forward to that.

            The weather here is really crazy. The other day it was hot and sunny and then that evening it rained. It was freezing cold the next morning, but by 1pm that afternoon it was scorching hot. I almost could not stand it. It was like that for the next couple days. Today and yesterday it has just been pouring rain. I love the rain. I have always loved the rain. It is a little more inconvenient here though. When I want to travel places like Geneva, the rain hinders the experience a little bit. That is the only bad thing about having the school year during the winter, but then if it was in the summer it would be really hot. I am not sure what I would prefer. I guess I wish that Europe would have a happy medium the whole time I was here.

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We rode around the lake in this bo…
We rode around the lake in this b…
The boat next to the geyser
The boat next to the geyser
waiting in line to get on the boat.
waiting in line to get on the boat.
photo by: DADKA