First of all, I am constantly full of good ideas and not a single bad one flows through this fantastical brain. So, naturally, I’m going to say that Geneva was a great idea.
No, listen. This is how it started. My good friend Jessica and I wanted to go somewhere for the long weekend, but not anywhere would do. We wanted to go somewhere new- somewhere neither of us had been or really knew much about. EasyJet had an inexpensive roundtrip flight (99 euros) to Geneva and, putting some feelers out, we found a few other people who also wanted to go. Since Switzerland is not known to be a cheap place, I figured the more people that went, the better it would be for all of us.
One thing I did not account for was the weather. It rained the entire time we were there- from the moment we got off the plane to the moment we re-boarded. (Well, I was told it stopped on Saturday, but I was too busy enjoying the mountains, so I cannot confirm. I am just assuming they were lying to make their day sound cooler than ours, which is simply not possible).
But what are you going to do if you’re in a new country and it’s raining? Are you just going to sit inside all day and not do any exploring? No way. I mean, I understand using rain as a legitimate excuse to not do anything if you’re in the comforts of your own home (I do all the time, ask my friend Richard). But no. I didn’t put forth money and effort to see and do something new to simply let a downpour and a lack of an umbrella stop me.
Again, I’m full of good ideas.
Plus, if we never went outside, we wouldn’t have seen the St. Pierre Cathedral. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, and I thought five franc was a lot to pay just to tour a tower, but I am so glad we did it. After you catch your breath from the ridiculous amount of stairs you have to climb, you might lose it again with some really amazing panoramic views of the city. From our vantage point we could see the famous Geneva fountain and get our bearings of the city. (It also looked prettier when we were out of the rain.)
Plus, I don’t know, I think the “drowned rat” look suits us all pretty well.
Admittedly, the rest of the Geneva tour that day went a bit downhill. Expensive restaurants with subpar food, wet shoes/wet hair, and one set of apartment keys is not an ideal combination for a group of five with varying tastes and vacation expectations. But, we did get sunglasses from the Chiquita banana people. And that night we had a nice homemade dinner and we introduced the newbies to Avalon, a game full of deceit and lies, and one a majority of us naturally excel at. With a fun night like that, no one can say the day was a complete loss.
The second day, however? The second day was honestly amazing. Before we had left for Geneva, Jessica, Edi, Richard, and I bought bus tickets to Chamonix, a small French town at the base of Mont Blanc. Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in all of Europe and well worth a visit if you are considering it… Plus, it was only around 1.5 hours away from Geneva, making it an easy day trip and escape from the rain. Though we booked our tickets to Chamonix through a touring company, we thought we would risk waiting until we arrived to Chamonix to purchase our tickets to the top of the mountain. Hindsight being 20/20, however, all of us agree that we should have booked in advance to avoid the line. Even though we arrived at Chamonix in the morning (we left Geneva at 8:00AM), we ended up waiting in line for over an hour to get our tickets up to Mont Blanc. The wait was worth it, however, when we received our tickets and rewarded ourselves with lunch at a Michelin star restaurant called Restaurant Albert 1er. Since I’ve been living in Belgium, I’ve grown to be a bit of a restaurant snob. So, needless to say, I highly enjoyed the experience and will probably try to point it out in casual conversation when I mention my time in Chamonix.
The sun was shining and even the snow, which being from the Midwest I have grown to despise, I found stunning. We all took an endless amount of photos of the scenery and each other. Well, most of us took pictures of each other… Richard’s too good for that shit and openly expressed his disdain for the selfie stick.
The night was fun in a unique way that I rarely experience; with all the conversation, jokes, and games, I didn’t pull out my camera once. Let’s just say it included hours of playing games (the highlight being a game dubbed “Who’s the biggest slut?”), drinking wine (highlight being Edi shoving a corkscrew through the bottle and getting wine in his eye), and making great memories with a fun group of people (highlights being things best unmentioned for the sake of reputations). Sometimes the best moments are impossible to capture.
Needless to say, Geneva was a great idea.
Also, did I mention we ate at a Michelin star restaurant?
THE TRAVELIN’ SONG: The Sound of Music (Sound of Music Soundtrack). Another soundtrack song. While we were traveling to Chamonix, we really felt like the hills were alive. But not just alive, they seemed alive with the sound of something? I don’t know, I guess I would compare it to music.
BUDGET: A weekend trip; approximately $500 spent for airfare, lodging, transportation, activities, and food.
TIP FOR TRAVELERS: My boyfriend says Geneva lacks personality. “It’s boring, all banks and watches.”
…That description is not… inaccurate.
DEFINITELY CHECK OUT: St. Pierre’s Cathedral. If you pay a little extra to climb to
the top, you can get a great panoramic view of the city.