A few weekends ago, I ventured back to one of the first European cities I’d ever visited, Geneva, Switzerland. Known for its banking and finance industry (and amazing chocolate) Geneva was extremely luxurious in many ways. All of the fancy storefronts, restaurants, and hotels made me feel as if I had stepped off the plane into a magazine. Even though the weather wasn’t completely ideal and all three of us definitely did not pack for the cold and icy temperature, I’m glad I endured this weekend with my super cool and “down for anything” amigas, Olivia and Michelle (we took zeros pictures of our faces this weekend, you’ll have to imagine what we look like).
This is going to be a super short post due to the fact that the weather and the inflated price of the country of Switzerland hindered our weekend activities.
After a crazy Friday of literally grabbing a single drink out with Michelle, Chels, Kiana, and our French friend Thibault, I knew I had to force myself to go to bed because our flight to Geneva departed from Nantes at the crack of dawn. Over the past sevenish months, I’ve learned that my body really likes to do this thing that before big events like important flights, trains, or even exams, I won’t fall asleep. I knew this was going to be one of those nights. I can’t tell if it’s a weird form of jet lag or anxiety that I’ll miss whichever big event is following. We arrived in Geneva around 9:30 am unable to check into our hostel until around 2 pm fortunately most hostels (like this one) are clutch and allow us to leave our bags with them until check in.
After we drop off our luggage at our hostel, there was literally one thing on our mind. COFFEE! It’s usually first priority after an early flight and very little sleep. We found a cute cafe near our hostel and had a nice lunch with very large cups of cappuccinos.
After lunch we explored the various shopping streets of Geneva (turns out this city is next to a lake so it was extremely windy and freezing, I needed a scarf). Usually I try to purchase a small memento or piece of clothing that I can remember a city by, but that wasn’t going to happen in this town. The clothing was very nice and definitely my style, but not in my budget to say the least.
Michelle was an absolute doll when it came to planning and found a super cute flea market for us to peruse through. It was kind of charming to see all of these vendors offer parts of their lives, there was a lot of vintage clothing, some very old Rolex watches in seemingly mint condish, old coins. Some vendors also tried to sell unopened pairs of socks and underwear so you win some you lose some. Near the flea market there were also carnivals games and rides.
We walked around some more near that area until our toes and fingers were frozen off so we decided it was time for some tea! After finding a nice little ice cream and tea room we sat down to warm our throats.
One of the few cool things of Geneva is the clock totally covered in flowers, unfortunately the weather did not cooperate but there was something else just as cool(ish). I mean, what other city has a single fountain that shoots straight up into the air? This is the Jet D’eau. “Water Jet” in English. Exciting, I know.
Something that is extremely exciting is we had cheese fondue that night for dinner, however. Those of you who know me well know that I am not a cheese person, I’m very particular with which types of cheeses I indulge in. Living in France, however, has changed that. I have branched out a lot. And now I’m pretty obsessed. We were told by a local student that the cheese fondue we chose for dinner that night wasn’t “the best” but I don’t really give a damn because it was still lovely and it was served with a literal mountain of bread on the side and I could have sat there all night holding my tiny fork (I also don’t care about run-on sentences). That night for dinner I had amazing cream of asparagus soup with a cauldron of cheese fondue, an actual dream meal.
I was too entranced by the fondue to take a pic, but I thought it was cute how we each ordered a different shade of wine, how classy?
After our dinner of carbs and trans fat we obviously needed some sugar to balance everything out. We traveled across town to find a Glacerie where I bought the cutest little scoop of Lemon Sorbet to finish the night!
I would like to say that I am a pretty easy going person, except I am bothered by a few very small things. The thing is, these things are very simple, very common. I don’t like when people can’t spell my name right, when people ask me stupid questions, and when PEOPLE SNORE. Look, I get it. It’s a physical thing that almost cannot be controlled. But I would say that after staying in hostel after hostel, weekend after weekend, one of my BIGGEST pet peeves is when people snore. I know they don’t really know they snore, but in my (half asleep) mind, I feel as if they don’t really care that I’m losing sleep because of them. End rant, there was a very nice (but loud) woman in our hostel room that sounded like a freight train.
After a rough night, I needed an adventure. Michelle, Olivia, and I ventured across town to the small village of Carouge. Carouge is known as the “Little Italy” of Geneva and is filled with small boutiques, bakeries, and a really great brunch place! We found another great flea market with a variety of vintage clothing, watches, and jewelry. After running around the market we just so happened upon my favorite part of our trip BRUNCH! Every girl’s favorite part of a weekend!
This brunch was especially amazing because of the cozy atmosphere of the restaurant, the splendid cup of coffee, and the life-changing quiche I indulged upon that afternoon. Now this quiche was every vegetarian’s dream. It was basically ratatouille (A mix of every vegetable known to man, why wouldn’t I love it?) in a buttery quiche-y crust, topped with brie cheese. I mentioned I’m super in love with cheese now, soft and gooey brie is my favorite! I had to sit and stare at this work of art for a hot second before digging in.
We decided to head back to our side of town after our fabulous meal. Even though the food was no where near on a student budget that weekend, we did eat extremely well for every meal. On our way back we passed a great park with life-sized chess pieces and this important wall where I should probably know the significance.
We took a nice little walk along the lakeside the rest of the afternoon, sipping some drinks along the harbor. Even though it was extremely cold and windy, there was a lovely view and we were all cuddled up in blankets.
After a cold afternoon, we went back to our hostel to take some powernaps and chill for a little bit. We decided to warm up that evening with some amazing Indian food. I had yellow Lental Daal (my absolute favorite). I’m such a sucker for Indian food and that’s definitely a great vegetarian staple. After dinner, we met up with a friend of Olivia’s who is on exchange at a University in Geneva. Fortunately he had rented a car because his father was visiting for the weekend so he could show up a whole new world of Geneva.
Didier had this great idea for us to venture up the side of a mountain for an amazing view of the city. Ever driven up the side of a mountain? Sometimes it gets a bit messy. Sometimes we take the wrong road (or trail) and we get stuck. Sometimes I have to push the car out of the mud. Oh well. It was an experience. After a few mishaps, we finally found the actual road and persisted up the mountain. Oh my gosh we were not disappointed. Unfortunately, my phone camera is so far below subpar when it comes to photography of nature, especially at night but honestly I’m kind of okay with that.
Picture standing on top of a mountain when it’s pitch black and completely silent all around. These are the times when I’m reminded that I’m such a small fragment in our magnificent world. This view made our crappy weekend in Geneva worth it. Yeah I know this picture sucks.
We had a 9 am flight out of Geneva to Nantes. This was a good time in opinion, we had enough time to eat out free but mediocre hostel breakfast and get ourselves to the airport.
One cool thing:
We passed the United Nations on the way to the airport, I can say that I’ve been in the mist of two of these buildings now. I feel like this is only something a political nerd like me enjoys, but oh well.
So yeah, that was basically our trip. Even though it was extremely uneventful, I will always take the chance to escape the monotonous lifestyle I’ve grown accustom to here in Nantes.
Today, the countdown begins, I officially only have 30 more days to reap the benefits of European lifestyle before I hop back on over to the United States for good(ish). Wow, even though the feelings of leaving France and leaving Belgium are completely different, I don’t even want to think that dream year is beginning to come to a close. Thanks for reading!