Danny Yee >> Travelogues >> Switzerland


Friday 30th July

the bomb shelter
Carole met me at the airport and whisked me off to her house in Genthod, a suburb north of Geneva. I hadn't seen her for something approaching a decade, but she hardly seemed to have changed at all! I'd met her husband Nathaniel before, but not her children or mother-in-law (who would be looking after the kids while we all went hiking).

Staying in their basement room, I got to see an example of the bomb shelters that were mandatory in Swiss houses until recently. It's used for long-term storage.

Saturday 31st July

Nathaniel and Doreen were off to the market (in France). I took the train into Geneva, walked down to the Rhone and across one of the bridges, and wandered around the old town. This turned into something of a religious tour, since I saw the synagogue, the Reformation Monument, the Russian Orthodox church, the Museum of the Reformation, and the Cathedral.

Geneva synagogue
Collège Calvin
sunbaking under the cathedral:
what would Calvin have thought?

women shopping
More secular sites included the art/history museum and the Maison Tavel (both of these were free, which I was to find wasn't normal for Swiss museums). As well as examples of furniture and artifacts from everyday life, the latter has on the top floor a model of Geneva in 1850 — when it was a full-on artillery fortress a la Vauban — and downstairs a (temporary) exhibition of photographs showing how Geneva changed since then.

After that I wandered through the shopping areas and along the waterfront, where some kind of festival was on, before heading back to the train station to meet Mark, who had come down from Basel to join us.

boats on the Rhone
the Jet d'Eau
playing the shell game with a con-man
Geneva seemed very French to me. And the museums had only French, sometimes English, and no German. There were a lot of Africans around, presumably originally from French-speaking North or West Africa.

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