Friday, June 26, 2015

IBI Update: Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland
Among being the home of the Red Cross and neutrality, Switzerland is a very wealthy, and thus, expensive country. Our spending money didn't go far and our accommodations were the most "scary hostel" (though really a college dorm) of the program thus far. One plus, we finally did some laundry and reveled in clothing that wasn't suitcase smelling. Oversll, Geneva was a very nice city to visit, albeit one of our shortest and packed as well. We had two visits, the WTO and Nestle, and a day trip to Chamonix thrown in to a three day stay. I also realized how nice it was to recognize some of the language. My years in high school and college French classes are still paying off when I can say four phrases and read signs. But for real, it's nice to know the panguage a little bit.
The city of Geneva is situated on Lake Geneva so there's a beautiful view along the water. They have their famous massive fountain which is only sometimes on (we only saw it once, from a distance). Across the street from the lake is Prada and other stores too expensive to actually shop at. Their old town is on-point and, during our stay in the city, there was a music festival happening so there were lots of people out and 6-7 stages set up. We hit up the festival two of our three nights there catching a DJ mixing his own beats, a French-speaking rapper, along with a number of mediocre acts. The festival was situated around the Reformation Wall area/park. It was a cool experience, attending something we would attend if living in Europe but not necessarily a purely tourist thing.
Vevey, France
On a corporate visit to the Nestle headquarters, we drove to nearby Vevey, France. Wedged between hills of vineyards and Lake Geneva / the French Alps, Vevey was incredibly picturesque. We only had a few hours there but it was stunning and Nestle's corporate offices would probably be a contender for the most beautiful place to work in the corporate world.

Chamonix, France
We took a day trip to this little mountain town because, well, Mont Blanc. The city was cute and had plenty of shopping and eateries but we were pretty stoked to take a cable car to one of the peaks. As has been the case for much of our time in mountains, there were clouds obstructing our view of anything. But it was still crazy scaling the cliffs and standing on a little structure built on a rock wall. I'm realizing that I'm now more afraid of heights than in my youth (I should be a dad) but it was cool to say we went to the top. There were a bunch of people parasailing and climbing the snow-covered mountain ridges, but we stayed safely on cable-cars and coach buses.

Up next: Paris, France.

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