to see some friends I had met while travelling. And yet, Geneva left me cold. The locals I met were very very hospitable, but I think the town as a whole is very austere. My travels in the rest of Switzerland were fantastic, but I'd have to say, give Geneva a miss if you're looking for atmosphere or are on any kind of budget. I stayed there, yes, but I sure as hell could not afford to. I have done pretty extensive travels in Europe, and Geneva was by far the most expensive city I have ever been to. Switzerland was my favorite contry. Go figure. Perhaps the Genevans can be thought as having a more French mentality than a Swiss one.
I never knew depression until I stayed in
. It looks beautiful but it is so sterile and the local mentality is austere and exclusive. Calvin made the locals believe that they constantly live in purgatory. My advice: visit it - because it is beautiful - but don't let it effect you.
is small, but friendly, clean, and pretty. I'm staying there for the summer, and I can tell you that it can be difficult to find fun places to party at!! Try Chat Noir in Carouge (but it's far from the hostel) or the club SYP or the Alhambar. Every year at the beginning of August there is an 8 day festival thats pretty cool, but really there aren't that many things to see other than an incredible number of parks, the UN, and a few random museums. Also in summer there are free outdoor concerts about twice a week.
The streets are almost startlingly clean, the lines are straight and crisp, mocking the wave-like undulations of Rome's Via Nazionale, where I live. Windows are crystal clear and close completely (if you've ever been to Italy, you know what a change that is). The trams slip along the street smoothly and silently, smirking with Swiss superiority at the rumbling roaring buses of Rome. And not a hint of graffiti in sight. I almost wanted to throw some litter on the ground to make myself feel more at home. I didn't. I first chose
for this expedition based on a description in a Robert Ludlum novel. The image he created of the Swiss sun shining off Lake Geneva against the backdrop of Mont Blanc and the Alps has stuck with me. "Glittering" was I think the word he used. Upon further research, I've seen that other Swiss cities like Zurich or Bern are considered more appealing to the tourist, yet I can't regret my decision, as capricious as it was -- Geneva does indeed glitter. Unlike…
is a place to chill out. You need to have money to enjoy this little jewel and therefore it's for the older crowd. It's very clean and quite safe and can be boring over a long stay.
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