Friday, August 29, 2014

And the vacation continues...

So it's been a couple of days since we've done all this--luckily I have both my notebook and my mother to remind me what's been done.

We arrived in Geneva last Monday (See previous blog post) and on Tuesday and Wednesday valiantly continued the fight with our jet lag. On Tuesday we rode trams and buses and sidewalks, oh my! (And by rode sidewalks, I do mean walking) All the way up to the UN and the ILO building, and then all the way down across the river to Old Town, where the University of Geneva is located.

Me in front of the ILO Sign
Mom in front of a museum....pick a museum
And, since the day wasn't one of the better ones (more cold than comfortable at the end of August) though we wandered about, observing the old town, and cool stuff (see fountain), and an artisanal chocolatier, which are literally on about every corner (YAY!), we eventually retreated to our warm beds and dinner back in Paquis.

I am in love with this fountain.
The next day, as I let my mother sleep in, since she doesn't have to live the next five months with the time difference, and looked out the window at the burgeoning sunshine, I thought about what we should do? Geneva doesn't have much in the way of my family's still of entertainment during the day--shopping, yes, some museums, ok, and some cathedrals. But we decided to (first) go and get my monthly tram pass--pretty much the first photo for an official document I've ever looked good in in my entire life--and then to see what relatively quick & cheap (since nothing is cheap here) excursions we could enjoy.  We decided to opt for a trip to Lausanne, at the other end of Lake Geneva, which is only a 30-40 minute train ride, and 23 Franc round trip. Add that to the fact that you can hop on any of up to six trains hourly there and back, it was the perfect choice for us. Off we went!

And when we arrived, we headed straight to old town Lausanne, which is up the hill from the train station. Ithaca, I now know, has a Swiss cousin. Her name is Lausanne. Up the hill we climbed, seeking the Justice Fountain and the accompanying market. We went a little askew, however, and first ended up in Place de St. Frances, where we entered a cathedral rebuilt after the war that hosted a beautiful art exhibit of leaves suspended from a giant wheel above by gold thread that disappeared without direct light floating just a few inches from the floor. Which was amazing, but alas, as I didn't want to offend anyone, no pictures were taken. Make do with a description, we must.

In Place de St. Francis
After Place de St. Francis, we climbed up another great hill in the wrong direction. Realizing it, we climbed down the hill. To realize that we needed to climb up the hill. Luckily, we spotted an elevator. Ah, the wonders of modern technology. Up we went, to a bridge over the lower street, which led in one direction to the street we had been on only a few minutes before. (It's ok--we didn't actually have  a plan; we were, in fact, wandering!) But this bridge afforded us an amazing view of Lausanne below, all the way down to the Lake, and the cathedral sitting at the top of the hill!

Look, mom, a pointy thing! It must be a sight of some kind!

Like a bridge over troubled ..... streeeeets ....

From in front of the Cathedral

Yup. Carvings. Lots of carvings.
And, after exploring the cathedral in respectful silence and quiet, we headed down a covered walkway (which was, apparently, one of Lausanne's great sights, though we didn't know it at the time) and stopped at a cafe, mostly for the cake. Other tourists stopped to take pictures of the picturesque cafe and facade along one of Lausanne's great sights. Not us. We stopped for the cake. And good cake it was.

I'm pretty sure it's Lausanne...I've no idea where, though XD

And down again, we continued, still on our search for the Justice Fountain. Up and down hills we went, noticing shops and cafes and chocolate shops and all manner of things, including fountains that were everywhere. At one point, we came across a painted fountain, with a woman with a sword stood on top in a blue dress. Perhaps it was the Justice Fountain, but man, it sure did look like some rendition of Joan of Arc to us. (For those of you on the edge of your seats, yes, it was the Justice Fountain, as we later learned.) Then we wandered some more, got some grapes for a snack, decided it was pretty much time for dinner, then again hiked up the same hill we had gone up and down before in order to find Holy Cow! Which I mention because it's a farm to table burger joint with some of the best burgers I've ever had (and I love me my burgers). And then down the hill, past the patisserie with macarons in the window that I just couldn't pass up (well worth it), and to the train station and back to our little hotel in Paquis. Exhausted? So am I.

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