Friday, January 28, 2011

Geneva Airport (May 15, 2010)

Finally I am on the trip which already is turning out to be the highlight of all my trips so far – Backpacking through Europe.

This will be quite a extensive and a very quick run through a few of the most beautiful and historic cities in Europe. My flight is a Swiss Air flight from New York – JFK to Barcelona. In between I got a lengthy stopover in Geneva, Switzerland and me and bro headed off to discover this city.

Since Switzerland is now part of the Schengen it is easy to visit on a stopover and no need of another visa.

The currency is the Swiss Frank (CHF) which is currently pretty even to the USD. There are UBS cash machines at the airport when you exit baggage claim and we had no problems in withdrwaing a few CHF.

Geneva is a beautiful city hedged in between mountains and is quite picturesque. It is easy to get from the Airport to the city and the bus #10 takes you directly. Also while exiting out of baggage claim there is a machine which dispenses free tickets for 80 minutes. So we were able to ride into town for free, and paid 3 CHF each when getting back.

There is a tourist information center right next to Gare Cornavin, and from there just walk on the Mont Royal bridge with the backdrop of the huge fountain Jet d'Eau to reach the English Garden, where there is a photo op with the huge clock on the garden. Today was a bad day as it was cloudy, cold and breezy because of which the fountain was not operating and we missed on one of the sights of Geneva.

A short walk takes one into the old town, and the huge Cathedral St Pierre. Entrance is free, and to get to the tower one has to shell out an extra 4 CHF which is worth it. The view from top is breathtaking with the city of Geneva showing against the Alps.

Right in front of it is Rue du Marche, with a lot of window shopping to be done here. We found inexpensive and a huge collection of swiss chocolates at Manor, a supermarket near the train station . I would have loved to spend a day more in this city, but my proper trip is calling and I leave Geneva hoping I will return one day when I make a tour of this beautiful country.

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