Previously on the journey at Disneyland Paris
https://readme.me/p/1892 (Hunting the Sun on a Cloudy Day (Disneyland Paris))
After a trip to Disneyland Paris and a quick visit to the Outlet La Valle Village, we take the RER from Val d' Europe Station to catch the SNCF (TVG) at Gare de Lyon Station to Geneva. The RER ticket is 6.9 Euro and the TGV ticket is 122 Euro. We have arrived at Gare de Lyon and don't hesitate to check the Train Schedule Board for the platform we need to go right away. Even though almost everything is in French, it is not that hard to understand which platform we need to go for each specific train. Platform in French is called voie by the way.
We have arrived in Geneva safe and sound around 9.30 PM. There was a security boarding check on the train in which we just need to show our passports to the officer. We have chosen to stay at Hotel Cristal Design for the next 3 nights because it is located very close to Geneve Cornavin Station. There are 2 ways to get to the hotel. First way is to take the escalator next to Migros Supermarket down, turn right, keep going straight until the end of the way, and turn left to the exit gate. Once you exit the train station, you will find H&M store on your left-hand side then you need to walk for another 10 meters before taking the stair to the hotel. The second way is to get out of the train station right away, then cross the street and walk toward Berger Holy Cow. I am not sure with the exact name of this place though. I just remember that they sell burger here. Then you need to walk into the alley from there and turn right. You will come out from the back of the H&M store this time. Then you will see the hotel.
After checking in, the number of free transport public cards are given according to your length of stay. This card covers all bus, tram, water taxi, and train within Geneva area. It is late now so we guess we need to excuse us to go to sleep straight away. We will show you around tomorrow.
But before that, let's talk about the plug and socket type used in Switzerland first! We thought we are pretty aware and have prepared well for this but unfortunately we fail here. They use the plug similar to type C but with the addition of a grounding pin. So tomorrow, we need to find an adapter which is quite expensive here. It is around 16.90 Euro.
It is still dark at 8 AM on 22 December 2015. Does the sun forget to show up? Our first program of today is to see the Broken chair, a must to see in Geneva in front of the United Nations. We need to hop on the tram number 15 from Geneve Nornavin to the final stop, Nation (pronounces as Na-Si-Yong in French). This is very easy and convenient. You just need to make sure that you get into the right tram.
We are here at the United Nations... It is pretty cloudy today but the weather is very refreshing and nice. You can try to breathe in this fresh pure air and you will feel so good.
If we talk about the cost of living in Switzerland, it is totally expensive. For example, it costs us almost 1,000 THB to eat in McDonald's. That's why we rather get something to eat from the supermarkets such as Migros and Coop. So after going back from the United Nations, we are going to look for some souvenirs to buy back home and going to do some grocery shopping at the supermarkets.
This afternoon is a good time for us to enjoy the slow life in the Shopping Center district. We walk from Geneve Nornavin heading toward Lake Geneva which is not far at all.
The beauty of the surroundings along the way.
Once we have approached the lake, we have found a big group of huge swans.
We walk slowly enjoying everything along the way before reaching the main shopping district where there are numbers of brand name stores. We have found a few local vendor stalls selling second hand books as an example along the way. This book stall offers variety of good books at very cheap prices. I recommend it for those who love to read. And this book stall also make this spot very charming.
Finally we have arrived at the main shopping district. This place will be full with people in the early evening. There are brand name and local stores on both sides of the street. We have a look around and learned that all products are pretty pricey here as Geneva is known as the one of world's most costly cities.
We don't really know where exactly we are or where the road will lead us to. We learn where we are once we reach Jardin Anglais by accident. This park is located by Lake Geneva where the famous Jet d' Eau and The Flower Clock can be seen. The weather is very nice so we will chill and relax here until it gets dark then we will go back to the hotel.
All the Christmas lights are lit up on our way back. This is amazingly beautiful.
Chocolate shop inside the Shopping Underground near the hotel we stay.
23rd December 2015 is our last day in Geneva before leaving to conquer our dream at Charmonix, the town of mountains and desserts to the top of Mont Blanc.
Today we are going to take you to Parc des Bastions and wandering around the downtown. Actually, there is nothing much in Parc des Bastions. We have seen a book in our hotel showing that there are huge chess boards in the park as same as the one in Vienna. That's why we have decided to go there. We take the tram number 15 from Gare Geneve Nornavin to Cirque Station (Circus in English). This park is like an outdoor circus venue. From Cirque Station, you need to turn right to Place de Nueva road and then just keep going straight. There are around 10 big chess boards in the park as well as a small skating rink where is popular among the children. Apart from that, there are numbers of interesting sculptures.
Look at these big chess boards! It is just like we are in Vienna. hahaha
Children are having fun skating.
The International Monument to the Reformation or known as the Reformation Wall.
Not far from Parc de Bastion, there is a second-hand market. You can find second-hand stuffs including toys, clothing, etc. here. This market is similar to the weekend market in Thailand though. However, in case you don't want to walk you can take the tram number 12 or 18 in front of the park to Plainpalais Station for this market.
Our legs are so tired so we guess we should go back and rest in the hotel for a while before going to see the iconic Jet d' Eau. After recharging our energy, we will stop by Basilique Notre-Dame de Genève first. This church is very close to the train station. You can spot it on your right-hand side once you walk out of the station.
This is how Basilique Notre-Dame de Genève looks like form the inside.
The stop at Basilique Notre-Dame de Genève is done so let's go to Jet d' Eau now!
There it is, the Jet d' Eau. It is totally beautiful looking at it from anywhere.
To get here is very easy. From the train station Geneve Cornavin, you just need to walk toward the lake. Once you are there, you will find that you are able to take a photo of it from anywhere around the lake shore. There is a water taxi here too. It is a yellow one. It will take you across the lake. This water taxi is included in the card we have, free transport public card. But we won't try it since my girlfriend is scared of the water. Then we are back in Jardin Anglais where there is the Flower Clock again.
We find a spot to sit and chill by the lake. We are here until the sun goes down. It is pretty cold though. Then we walk through the main shopping street once again before heading back to the hotel.
Please stay tuned for the Chamonix - Mont Blanc episode.
Last but not least, we would like to mention that people here are allowed to bring their pets to the park, shopping malls, restaurants, or even on the train. People are very responsible for their pets here. The local government also provides them the pet waste bags in certain spots for people to take care of their pet's waste ...And we haven't seen a single dog or cat with no owner at all in Geneva.