Gorgeous Geneva

Trip Start Dec 10, 2012
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16
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Trip End Jan 12, 2012


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Flag of France  , Rhone-Alpes,
Saturday, January 5, 2013

Today we decided to head into Geneva. It started as a cloudy morning, with the fog sitting heavy on the lake, but it was gradually 'burnt' off by the glorious sun. It was about 11 degrees today, which felt almost 'summery'. Some of those exercising along the Geneva promenade were wearing t-shirts. Daniel was convinced that Cadel Evans was doing laps of the lake. Those Genevois cyclists appear to be very well kitted out.

First of all we indulged my request to visit the United Nations Building. I explained to Alexandra the concept of the United Nations which she seemed to appreciate and this only further impressed upon me what a life education travelling is. There was a fantastic sculpture out the front presented by Handicap International who won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for its work in 'trying to clear landlines and other war debris and remove mine related incidents through education'. We also had a brief discussion about what land mines are and how they impact upon the lives of children and their families.

It was such a glorious sunny day (and the parking was free) so we decided to take a stroll through the park next to the UN. In doing so we literally stumbled upon Musee Ariana, the Swiss Museum of ceramics and glass. The Museum was constructed at the end of the 19th century by the Genevan distinguished art collector Gustave Revilliod and the palatial edifice was designed specifically as a museum to house his extensive collection. I am a huge fan of glass so we headed inside and viewed ceramics from the Muslim world of the 9th century onwards, and glassworks starting with the Venetian golden age in the 16th century. It was an absolute thrill, yet another serendipitous moment. We also enjoyed a very light lunch in the cafe, before heading out to further explore.

I was next looking for a church and gallery which I visited when I first stayed in Geneva in 1995. After making enquiries of the cafe attendant, we considered our destination Basilica Notre Dame and set the Satnav accordingly. However when we arrived at our destination it was not the place I was looking for, so we decided to keep driving and head to the Jet d'eau.

Our time on the lake waterfront is best described by the pictures. I told Alexandra that 17 years ago I had sat on the same stone wall and basked in the sunshine, with my backpack on my back and nothing but a baguette and some cheese for my lunch. How would I know then that one day I'd return to the same spot, a mother of two darling angels and wife to a wonderful man? I had, today, very much a sense that my life had come full circle and in doing so felt an enormous sense of fulfilment.

We strolled along the lake and visited Parc du Grange which is constituted by sprawling lush green gardens and a historic mansion (Saskia thought that Cinderella might have a ball there). It was bequeathed to the city of Geneva in 1918 by the Favre family, for perpetuity. It apparently hosts open air concerts in summer, which would be amazing.

The sun was beginning to set but the girls begged to visit the park opposite, where they could see children swinging on swings. I am very glad we relented as we discovered a 'Bebe-Plage' which means Baby beach. Not sure if it refers to a swimming spot for babies or the fact that it was a very small child-friendly man-made beach (no pets allowed). Either way, it was delightful, and quite a sweet little discovery.

Daniel has declared that everything is 'Bon'. So Bon in fact that we have changed our flights and will be staying here until Thursday, flying out directly from Geneva. It seems everyone in Warsaw is sick, and the fact that we are all so relaxed and unwilling to move speaks volumes for the good that this part of the holiday is doing for us all. The girls are so happy, eating so well, sleeping so well, and our pace is just so relaxed (yet full enough) that we're not ready to let it go - just yet. (Although it is dawning on me that the time will soon be upon us).

Tomorrow we're heading into the centre of town (about 2 minutes down the road) to experience the local church service, as it is the feast of the Epiphany, and Saskia is determined to see Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Then we'll return for a roast lunch (I picked up the regular poulet at the supermarket on the way home) and a lazy afternoon. Skiing is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, when the weather at the summit is 4 degrees.

All in all a gorgeous day. Everything is (tres) Bon.
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Comments

Leonie on

Very very picturesque - a bright blue sky frames every image!

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