Thursday, May 6, 2010

La Vie Genèvoise...

It's about time I wrote about where I live - Geneva, Switzerland! While most people may feel that Switzerland is a dream country to visit, let alone live in, having lived here for the past 8 years, I can tell you that it is not always a bed of roses. Life here is quite different from other places I have lived in and getting used to the culture and the high living costs can take time. Nevertheless, with Switzerland being centrally located in Europe, having access to other countries in the region is fairly easy. The infrastructure and transport system is also good and well maintained. And, one thing that impresses me about this country is the way people from different cultures (French, Germans, Italians, foreigners) live in harmony (much like Singapore). It is always a delight to go through the typical Swiss experience - cute chalets, gigantic mountains, vast lakes, picturesque villages, cheese and more cheese and of course chocolate. Most of these are part of my life here, and you can read on to find out more about what I do during different times of the year.

In my opinion, the best time to be in Geneva (other than if you love skiing and other winter sports) is during summer. The usually quiet city suddenly comes alive when the sun is out and I can actually spot people walking around town ( a rare sight the rest of the year!)

Geneva's icon, the jet d'eau (water jet) is the first thing visitors would notice. It is especially beautiful in the summer and you can even go really close to it and get drenched! During this season, you can also rent paddle boats and relax on the lake. The Lake Geneva is just a few minutes walking distance from where I live.

Align Center
The next most famous icon of Geneva is the flower clock. The decoration changes according to the season, and here is how it looks during the summer!

With Geneva being the "peace capital", the United Nations and other non-governmental organizations call it their home. The broken chair is a symbol of opposition to land mines and cluster bombs and was re-installed in Geneva in 2007 to serve as a reminder to politicians and visitors. I am also proud that there is a nice statue of Mahatma Gandhi in a quiet park. Jai Hind! As you can see from the photos, I rented a bike from Geneve Roule for free and biked around the area to enjoy the tranquility of these parks!
I love the old town area of Geneva as the layout of this place is so beautiful and charming. One of the best things to do (I usually do this when I have visitors) is to climb up the steep and winding paths and stairways of Cathedrale St Pierre to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of Geneva. It is exhausting, but well worth it!

Here are some photos of a commercial area in the old town at night. Love it! Can you see how the ground sparkles? That's because it has many tiles that are lit up with short messages in several languages. If you have time to kill you could walk around each of these tiles to read the messages!

As I mentioned before, I also love relaxing in Parc des Bastions. It is one of the most ideal locations for family time, strolls and picnics!

And finally, see how pretty the old town is during the fall season! I love the color of the leaves - brings so much life to the city!
I will keep you updated if I do anything interesting in Geneva! Hope you enjoyed reading about my life here!


Dave said...

This is the perfect tour of Geneva !!! Great summary...

Anita said...

loved this. Geneva sounds like a great place to live in!


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