June 18, 2011

-Swiss Trip 2011-

I will be updating this post with stuff we encounter. Later this week we will take a trip to Provence a region of southern France with quaint towns and beaches that touch the Mediterranean Sea.
Since the post is evolving it has been broken up into different days. You can choose the date you wish, from the list below, or just scroll down:

Panorama of Geneva from the North Tower of St. Pierre's Cathedral in Old Town.

Tuesday: June 21, 2011 | BACK TO TOP

Having the threat of rain yet again I decided to bum around Geneva for the day. My day started by riding the #8 all the way to the French border and then stayed on for the trip back. It amazes me that you can just ride public transport so many places here. When the bus headed back into the city I jumped off at the part of the city they call Old Town.

St. Pierre's Cathedral. It was begun under Arducius de Faucigny, the prince-bishop of the Diocese of Geneva, in the 12th century, and includes an eclectic mix of styles. It is best known as the adopted home church of John Calvin, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. Inside the church is a wooden chair used by Calvin.
When Danielle got off work we met her boss in his town of Versoix for wine and cheese on the lake. I joked with D at one point asking, "Why do these cities have no charm?" of course that was a complete joke since Versiox and all the other places we have visited are some of the most charming I've ever been to.

As the sun set beach goers were rewarded with a rainbow on the lake a common occurance I'm told.
Monday: June 20, 2011 | BACK TO TOP
Today was a big day for me. After waking early to catch the 6:30 train from Geneva to Zermatt my hopes were to see the Matterhorn before the day was over.

After switching trains in Visp (pronounced Wee-sp) I was there at about 10:30 a.m. Four hour train ride no biggie.
The town of Zermatt is very quaint the way you would picture a German town in an Alpine valley. From what I read on the internet about the town it is very touristy, but it didn't come off that way to me. After exploring for a bit I began to look for a place to take a photo of the most famous mountain in Switzerland.

As my accent began there were a constant stream of people walking up a hill so like a lemming I followed. After passing an old church it was finally visible. About 85% of it was visible when I first saw it but had been warned the clouds obstruct it much of the time.

Now what? I've seen the mountain, 'Do I walk back down the hill and get back on the 4 hour train ride back to Geneve?' It was barely 11:30. So after commandeering an internet signal from a random house along the way I was able to contact Danielle. Like the good world traveller she is within minutes she had sent me information about what to do while in Zermatt. Initially we thought the transportation pass I was given, that said you could ride any form of transit free for one day, didn't include everything.

"Matterhorn Glacier Paradise," she typed as I looked up and saw the sign with my own eyes.

Sunday: June 19, 2011 | BACK TO TOP

Today we travelled to Montreux to visit the Chateau Chillon and on the way back stop in the vineyards of Lavaux.

On the way to Chillon the 40 minute walk was extended by my curiosity. The breathtaking views of the crystal clear Lake Geneva and the Alps made the backdrop too good to pass up for photos. Flowers and the meandering path lead all the way from Montreux to the Castle bridge.

The Château de Chillon (Chillon Castle) is located on the shore of Lake Léman(Lake Geneva)in the canton of Veytaux, at the eastern end of the lake, 3 km from Montreux, Switzerland. The castle consists of 100 independent buildings that were gradually connected to become the building as it stands now.

The Castle itself dates back to the 12th century and can be evidenced by its architecture and because Lord Byron's signature is on a pillar in the dungeon where François de Bonivard, a Genevois monk and politician who was imprisoned there from 1530 to 1536. Byron wrote a poem about it "The Prisoner Of Chillon" (1816).

Byron's scrawl on a pillar. Didn't see him do it but I guess I believe it.

Saturday: June 18, 2011 | BACK TO TOP

Danielle is spending 10 weeks in Geneva on a internship with the Lutheran World Federation.

Having the opportunity to visit a european city as rich in human rights and goodwill as Geneva is, the choice to come visit was simple. Besides ten weeks without my sweet wife doesn't sound appealing.

Today started a bit soggy. We tried to go and see a Regatta but we were drenched by the time we got to the Lake.

I was introduced to Ashley and Adam, friends of Danielle from Oldham County. Adam is working for a couple years at the Swiss office of Price Waterhouse Cooper. We had an amazing breakfast, since the weather was yucky, that consisted of Crepes, Nutella and Ice Cream. Unbelievably awesome!!!!!

Mine consisted of Crepe, Nutella and Fragola (Italian for Strawberry) Sorbet.
After the amazing breakfast we went to the Phillipe Patek Watch museum. It was very cool and free but I could not take my camera in. While that dampened my spirit I soldiered through and we had fun. Afterwards we went to the the Red Cross Museum and were somewhat depressed when leaving to see how people treated each other and still do. The fact that the Red Cross was created is very sobering.

Friday: June 17, 2011 | BACK TO TOP
After sleeping until 2pm and ridding myself of any jet lag. I awaited Danielle's return from work and we headed out to the Servette Migros. Migros is similar to Kroger in terms of its proliferation. It works pretty much the same way our stores do except you have to have your own bag or they will charge you for a paper bag and you can buy one that is more sturdy.

Andrea, left, and Claudia sit and chat with us over wine and ginger beer (Danielle's bad idea).
After dinner we met some of her friends she has met while here at the Fete de Musica in Parc des Bastions. Then we went out to have a drink at a place called Remy.

Thursday: June 16, 2011 | BACK TO TOP

Arrived safely in Geneva around 8am this morning. Went back to the place where Danielle is staying on Rue de Grand Pre. Very tired but she made me stay up all day to help with the jet lag. We visited the lake and walked to a botanical garden. The city is very clean and well organized. We ate lunch at a place called Cafe du Lys and was fitting since I had just arrived from Louisville. After our tour around the city we came home and Danielle had a jar of yogurt appropriately named Heidi.


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