23.01.2017 - 27.01.2017 -3 °C
So, I have finally decided to set this up so that I am able to share my trip with my family and friends without bombarding everyone with 101 Facebook notifications every time I post a new photo.
Essentially every few days I hope to post a quick summary of what I've been up to, along with some of my better photos, so that if anyone gets curious they can just have a quick scroll through to see where I've been and what I've been up to.
So far, I have been in Switzerland for 5 days, and have been staying near Gare Cornavin in Geneva. Although the trains do make a bit of noise as they go past, its not too loud and the central location more than makes up for it - I'm a 2 minute walk away from trams that will take me anywhere in the city!
In terms of activities whilst I've been here, I have tried to see and do as much as possible. Arriving in the afternoon on Monday, it wasn't really possible to do more than have a quick look around at the many watch shops and familiarise myself with my local area - and attempt to adjust to the subzero temperatures!
On Tuesday, I first visited the Cathédrale Saint Pierre, which offered panoramic views of the city from the top of its towers. This was absolutely incredible, after a long climb up very narrow and steep stairs - and ducking under extremely short doorways! - I made it to the top, and it was well worth the climb. The views of the city were absolutely incredible, and the sun even came out while the bells were chiming 2 o'clock. After this, I visited the reform museum, which was inside an old house. This was quite interesting, as I had not been aware that Geneva had been such an integral part of the Reformation.
Wednesday started with a visit to the museum of the Comité International de la Croix Rouge - the Red Cross - which was extremely engaging. Included in the ticket was an audioguide, which provided lots of useful and interesting information, as well as the museum itself included a number of interactive exhibitions, such as the testimonies of "the witnesses" - victims of some global tragedy who had been helped by the Red Cross, and an exercise where you were able to search for a fictional soldier amongst the archives. Following this was a visit to CERN, which was one of the highpoints of this trip so far. Although I was only able to register for a guided tour in French, it was absolutely fascinating and I appreciate the experience all the more for having to work to understand the information being relayed to me. Especially exciting was when we were able to see the control room of the ATLAS project, and get up close to a particle accelerator which was decommissioned in the 1990's. Finally Wednesday was topped off with a visit to the Patek Phillipe museum, which housed a collection of antique clocks and watches. It was incredible to see the intricacies of the inner workings of these machines, as well as the incredible amount of detail that went into creating each unique piece, and the sheer number of different styles which were popular over time.
First on the agenda for Thursday was a visit to the United Nations. Despite the slight hiccup of going to the wrong entrance (twice) eventually I made it inside and was given a visitor's ID pass (which I am still geeking out about). The guided tour was interesting and our guide was great- as a registered interpreter himself, he was able to provide a unique insight into the inner workings of the organisation and provided us with witty commentary to accompany our visit. I have to say visiting the UN has made me reconsider my career plan slightly, in that I might want to deviate and look into International Law, just so I could be a part of such an organisation.
Today (Friday) was a quieter day, with a visit to the Botanical Gardens. Although, since temperatures remained below zero, it was absolutely freezing and there was not much to see in terms of outdoor flora, there were some good photo opportunities of the bare trees, snow and ice, and there were also several greenhouses which were great as both an escape from the elements and sheltered flora from around the world - Geneva one of the last places in the world I would have expected to find a cactus but there you are. The gardens were also home to some sheep, goats, and my favourite - deer. These animals were eager to come and say hello - although they may have just been smelling the apple in my bag - and posed for many a photo, sometimes with hilarious results.
I'm looking forward to the rest of my stay in Geneva, I'm hoping to catch a few more museums before I go, and I still haven't seen the fountain yet!