Geneva

March 2013

Before heading back home after Berlin, I decided to stop in Geneva for a few days. After the clouds and cold of Berlin, it was nice to catch a bit of warmth and sunshine.
The lake was as beautiful as ever

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as were the swans.

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I took a boat ride and got a closer look at some of the beautiful mansions dotting the shores.

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I walked a lot, up and down the old town.

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I went by the old arsenal

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and revisited St. Pierre Cathedral

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saw John Calvin’s chair, and the museum below, tracing the building back to the Romans.

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I also walked along the lake everyday. It is such a beautiful place with the mountains as backdrop, stately old hotels lining the street and beautiful trees dotting the parks.

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Flowers were beginning to appear here and there.

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Then one morning I decided to head in the other direction and explore the “international” area. I walked by the United Nations and the fountains surrounding the “Broken Chair”.

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This is a monument installed in 1997 to urge all countries to sign the Mine Ban Treaty and to honor their commitments to help mine victims and clear mine areas. 
I stopped by the ceramic and glass Ariana Museum. The collection is a interesting as the building. The columns inside are all different from each other…

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And then…I missed a turn…and got lost. So I walked and walked for hours and got to peek inside gardens, behind gates, up and down hills.  It was lovely.

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We calculated that I must have walked over 8 Kms before finally reaching the botanical garden that had been my initial objective.

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I must confess that by then I was less energetic about wandering the grounds, but I did enjoy the medicinal garden. I loved reading the boards explaining what these plants were used for in the old days. I also noticed this interesting display of habitat for bugs.

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After this “pause” I walked the rest of the way and still found it in me to stop at a small museum that I had walked by numerous times without ever going in.  The Musée d’histoire des sciences (science history museum) is  once again a building that is as fascinating as the collection it houses.

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That evening we went on a drive in the countryside surrounding Geneva and I was very surprised to discover that there are several vineyards in the region. Although their production is seldom exported, it is excellent. I got to try a few in the course of some wonderful meals in small and not so small country inns.

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I read back the story of my previous visit to Geneva, not wanting to repeat myself but I am happy to see that I was able to see and do very different things this time around and I know that there are still many more to discover….