GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

The city of Geneva is located on the banks of Lake Geneva, where Lord Byron, his friend the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, his future wife Mary Shelley stayed together in a villa on the lake, and where Mary produced her famous novel “Frankenstein”. The remains of prehistoric dwellings show that this nice area was valued even in the ancient times; later, the Romans built a town there. Geneva is home to numerous international organizations, to many Swiss banks, as well as to various industries. The greater part of its population works in the services sector, in the banks and generally in finance. The tourists milling about speak a multitude of languages; English is a universal means of communication everywhere. The train journey from Lausanne to Genevat akes only about one hour. The international airport is literally five minutes train ride away from the main train station. When one emerges into town from the station, the first building one sees, incredibly, is the familiar Notre Dame façade. It takes a second to realize that this is not Paris, but a distinctly different church. The St.Pierre Cathedral, built in the 12-13th centuries, is a huge structure which can be seen from way away. It can be reached on foot, and it is quite a long climb. The views from the top of the cathedral are fabulous, especially the celebrated Jet d’Eau, the Fountain of Water which shoots into the blue sky from the point where the lake connects to the Rhone River. It was first launched in 1886; later it became a permanent feature of the city, one of its many attractions, and some other cities emulated the example by installing the same or similar fountains.

The river runs across the city. Besides several parks and areas with benches where one can relax after all those climbs, there is a nice restaurant on a small island on the river. One can sit back and enjoy the view while waiting for the order. Nobody is in a hurry, it is clearly a nice relaxation place before going back to work, or on to the airport.

People are very friendly, and it is easy to get around. If you come in season, be sure to visit the town beaches, enjoy the sun, even swim in the lake.

©gretag 2012

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