Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One last day in Geneva

Wow, tired! What apres-ski? We're not even snowboarding anymore but with all the walking we've done each day I still find myself ready for bed in the middle of dinner each evening. Not a good idea to nod off into a bowl of spaghetti.... Today is our last full day in Geneva, heck it's our last full day in Europe for this trek! Hard to believe it's been nearly two weeks but I'm almost out of clean clothes again so I guess I'd better go home tomorrow. Laundry is expensive here.
Today I am off on foot to explore Geneva some while the other three go get Dalrene new leathers for her bike. Since we're staying somewhat toward one end of the waterfront, I walked down with the others to the middle where the lake drains into the river. It's quite fast moving water which is a little unnerving but it's very clear and beautiful too. I didn't take the time to test the temperature. On our way, we went out on a pier to explore some more where we found some neat bathing pools and a lovely stone beach with nice views of the city and the lake. It wasn't cold enough for the lake to have frozen so there were lots of boats still moored to buoys and docks. I wandered around to the other side of the waterfront to see for myself more closely the famed Jet d'Eau. It's got some neat history to it and reaches an impressive height of 140m with 500 litres of water coming out of the nozzle every second at about 200 kph.

Having some time to myself and time to kill, I took to the side streets without my map to drink in the sights and sounds of this great place. Most everywhere you turn there's something neat to see. I'm rather a fan of carvings and other neat architectural features and was never disappointed at how much of that I found in Geneva. Neat little balconys, details above doorways, dates carved into buildings, gorgeous clocks on towers, you name it. It's not everyone's cup of tea but it made me happy. Soon I found myself back in Old Geneva so I settled down to wait for the slowpokes to join me for lunch by the cafes in the square. After a bite to eat and a hot chocolate for me, we headed off to the Patek Philippe museum. For those like me who profess to know very little about watches, this is a VERY lovely museum (the kind with marble everywhere for example) of VERY expensive and ultra chichi time pieces. Some of them date back to the 16th century with the company itself dating back to 1839. We all got a lot out of our visit and actually left Tony there because he enjoyed it so much.

Back in Old Geneva, we entered an Anglican church which was rather remarkable from the outside because of its many architectural styles. It would appear (my memory is faulty so I can't cite fact) as though each addition through the years was done in a different style for some reason. Very odd looking but quite beautiful inside. Soaring ceilings, immense pillars, gorgeous stained glass windows, enormous pipe organ in an upper loft, endless rows of pews. We ducked into a room off to the side and found the most lovely decor with fun painted ceilings, neat carvings, a smaller organ, heavy drapes and much colour. I really enjoyed our visit there although there was a sign by the entrance asking people not to enter the church during religious services. Maybe it was geared toward atheists?

Some goofing around on a playground adjacent to the church resulting in me feeling very dizzy after the comasickadizzawhirl and a near miss with a puddle on the teeter totter with Sean. Dalrene had a great time watching that one develop. Some more photos and we're off to Manor for last minute chocolate shopping and purchasing of extra luggage with which to drag it all home (NOT me for the record). We scrounged one last dinner at the train station then it was back to our unheated and strangely scented room for the final packing. This took some choreography as our room was not that big but eventually we got it done and turned in for the night, knowing how horribly early the alarm was set for.

Do people seriously rise at 4am on purpose? I thought this was a vacation! Oh right, we've a train to catch. Quick ablutions and linen stripping, then it was load-yourself-like-a-camel time. Off we stumbled and staggered to the train station, groaning under the weight of our luggage. One quick train ride later and it was check-in time at the airport. Only one person had to pay extra for their obese baggage weight but I won't name names. We had an interesting time at security when Sean realized that the coconut body wash he'd bought had been packed in his snowboarding helmet which happened to be in my carry on. It's still in Switzerland although one bottle made it back in the regular luggage. All too soon we were boarding our plane and bidding a fond farewell to a great country and a fantastic trip! Hope to see you again soon :)

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