Switzerland: Geneva

Sinead Renouf visits Switzerland’s historical city of Geneva and the surrounding Cantons.

As I arrived on the Swiss boarder at two in the morning, I could think of nothing better then to rest one’s head on one’s pillow.  However at the same time I had so many exciting areas that I wanted to visit in this surprisingly varied countryside. With the Jura mountains behind me and the Alps facing me I felt that there was a country that was waiting to be discovered.

Geneva, Switzerland’s business capital has much to offer.  From its famous Geyser that spurts out over 500 litres a second you can take an afternoon stroll out to the geyser passing by the local residents who have many local delicacies on offer.

If walking the lake edge of Geneva is not quite your style then perhaps walking the copious amounts of upper class shops is. The lake side is cluttered with the names, that a student can only dream of wearing, the likes of Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Cartier are but a few.

The weather that I was fortunate to get on my short stay in the land of cheese, chocolate and knives was amazing. It allowed me to get the chance to see Mont Blanc the highest mountain in the Alps most days. This I found out later on, by a local, is not a common thing as the weather is often clear but hazy around the mountains.

If you feel like taking a drive around the largest lake in Western Europe then there are many beautiful places to stop on the way. However I would suggest the wonderful town of Evian which is on the French side of the Lac Leman. Here you have a good view of the snow covered Alps.

This quaint town has a beautiful promenade along the lake side and is well worth a visit and perhaps if you have some spare time you can go and use the Evian thermal spa where all the therapies use pure Evian water and nothing else.

Another town that is well worth visiting purely to rub ones shoulders with the celebs is Gastaad. This is where the likes of Sean Connery, Grace Kelly and Paris Hilton amongst others like to come to ski during the spring. This town is full of exquisite cars from Porsche’s and Ferrari’s to Aston Martin’s and Maserati’s. Here you can be surrounded by high peaks covered in snow and yet bask outside a café in the baking heat with a glass of wine and not a care in the world.

Overall there is just not enough time to do everything that this little neutral country can offer. With its altering countryside and wealth this country has such a different style of living to the norm and this is why it is such a wonderful place to visit.

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