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.
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 not a big tourist city. You can see most of its attractions in one or two days. For nightlife, try the area around the train station or in the Paquis section.
is nice but very upscale. Definitely take the train around the lake to nearby Leysin and stay at the Hiking Sheep. If you get there for a summer celebration, you can watch the fireworks from a cliff looking over the lake.
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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