Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Geneva....Old Town

Without a doubt, the scene around the lake dominates Geneva. However, take a trek up a VERY steep hill and you will find yourself immersed in the old town of Geneva. Here take a walk on cobblestone streets and catch a sight of Hotel-De-Ville. A must see is the Cathedral St Pierre. It is rather a contrast to some of the flashy cathedrals you will find throughout Europe, as if they didn't want their congregations to be distracted. However, despite the lack of grandeur, it reflects the beliefs and feelings of the people and its architectural structure is something to be admired.

The day that we chose to visit the old town, it was the only time of our whole trip that it decided to rain. This wasn't anything that fazed us, as we are used to traveling in the rain in Europe and always come prepared. It rather lent a lovely atmosphere to the day. After climbing to the top of a VERY steep hill, we decided it was time for lunch. We picked a rather touristy spot because we didn't really want to take the time to venture very far at that point. After looking over the menu, we decided to go with fondue, again. However, just to reassure, that was our last fondue of the trip and we did try other things. Fondue......yummm...

After lunch, we took a leisurely stroll wherever our feet might lead us and we found ourselves outside the golden domes of the Russian Church in Geneva. A short walk from there, and unfortunately for me, we found ourselves on a ferris wheel ride. However, I made it through, and everybody was pleased with the views of Geneva from the ferris wheel.

Again, we walked down the hill and wandered along, with a few stops along the way. We stopped at a Mexican restaurant for beer and a coke, and to cool down. A little later, we found ourselves outside a gelato shop that we had stopped at a previous evening. This is one of the spots in 0ur trip that my Spanish major came in handy. Nobody spoke English there, but one of the ladies asked if I spoke Portuguese. I said no Portuguese, but that I speak a little Spanish (I tried this in Spanish, of course). The nice lady behind the counter was so happy that I spoke Spanish, or at least attempted to speak it, and treated us very nicely. So, we carried out our transaction in Spanish and everything worked out fine. I guess it was all about the effort. The positive outcome was that I am making an effort to refresh my Spanish, yay! By the way, the gelato was delicious and we ate a lot of gelato this trip due to the hot weather. You would be amazed at the lines you would see outside gelato shops, even at midnight.(Again, Europeans are out much later, as a whole). One night, we were in a line at midnight, and we were the cutoff. People kept coming and trying to get in, and they had to lock the doors. Wow!!

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