Thursday, May 14, 2020

A day in Geneva, Switzerland

While it would be hard to top the excitement of our paragliding adventure in France during our five-day visit to Geneva,Switzerland, we did follow that with an excellent day of adventures. The city is built around Lake Geneva, so we had previously taken a boat cruise to see notable landmarks from the water and spent an afternoon checking out the picturesque district  of fine old buildings and upper-end hotels on the newer side of the city.
Cable car ride to Saleve mountain
Our hotel was located in the Old Town section of this lovely city, which meant driving our rental car anywhere would be a major challenge (narrow streets, no parking, poor directions, etc.). So we decided to take the local bus to the outskirts of town where we could hike on SaleveMountain.
A modest walk took us from the bus stop to Saleve.
The weather was perfectly fine, cool with blue skies, so we walked several miles up the mountain on mostly well-maintained paths. At one particularly grassy spot we stopped to admire overviews of the city and fortify ourselves with a granola bar. 

Beverly stands on the edge of the mountain that we could have paraglided from. 
Actually, this was the launching place for paragliding tours from Geneva. While it was certainly beautiful, it could not compare to our alpine adventure the day before in Chamonix, France. While assuring ourselves that we made the best choice, we still felt this was an exceptional place to escape city busyness and further explore our Swiss destination.

We hiked a couple of miles around the mountain.
Our hike continued past a restaurant and to an observation area with a great view of the city, Lake Geneva, and Jet d’Eau, the immense water jet in the lake that shoots a single stream more than 397 feet in the air. Some of our favorite memories, including profusely blooming flowers and golden-leaf-strewn paths, came from this hike.

Later, we rode the bus back into town, walked around a modern shopping mall and pedestrian area, and got a bite to eat at McDonald’s (they’re everywhere!). 

Buildings on the waterfront in Geneva, Switzerland
Clouds began to gather, and strong winds sprayed water from the fountain, so it seemed prudent to start walking lakeside towards Old Town. We stopped for pictures of the colorful Flower Clock (it actually keeps time) and crossed the bridge into the older section.

While heading in the direction of our hotel, we checked out shopping possibilities and the trolley tracks that Larry inadvertently tried to drive on our first night there. We photographed a beautiful church with lovely stained glass windows and arched ceilings. We took pictures of the ancient St. Pierre (Peter) Cathedral, which is known for its famous bells and association with conservative Christian leader John Calvin.
The Flower Clock that actually tells time. 

When a few sprinkles began to fall, we decided it was dinner time and headed to our favorite Italian restaurant in Geneva—Le Navy Syracuse. We had dined there before on the open patio and found the service and food to be excellent. With rain threatening, we chose to stay inside and eat this time—our last night in the beautiful city of Geneva.

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

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