Getting back to Genève Cornavin was easy once you have taken the tram or the bus. Almost all buses and trams will stop at Cornavin. For the second part of our journey, we will be doing a quick walkabout around Geneva. It was already around noon when we arrived at Cornavin.
Find your way to Rue du Mont-Blanc, it is quite unmistakable as it is a walking path surrounded by a few outdoor cafés. Located amongst these shops is the Tourist Centre for Geneva. It is a good way to start your day if you haven’t brush up on the must-see things in Geneva. Walking down the street will bring you straight to the water’s edge and a good view of the most famous sight in Geneva — the Jet d’Eau.
You can get as close to the Jet d’Eau as you want
The Jet d’Eau is a man-made fountain initially part of a pressure release system for the city’s hydro power generator. Nowadays, it is a party piece. It reaches a height of 140m in the air and on warm, sunny days like this, you get to see a rainbow among the water spray. For the adventurous, you can get as close as possible to the fountain as you wish, but be prepared to get wet!
We crossed Pont du Mont-Blanc and into the ‘old’ parts of Geneva. At the end of the bridge is a linked garden (Jardin Anglais) from the bridge to the fountain. Be sure to catch the Flower Clock (L’horloge Fluerie) on display on your left before crossing the main road. Once you have crossed the main road, walk in the opposite direction towards Pont des Bergues. For those who are itching to get their hands on branded goods, keep your eyes open! You have your Omega, Louis Vuitton and Bally all located here.
“Are we stopping to shop?” asked the wife.
Shopping isn’t one of the reasons why I came to Switzerland, so we only stopped by for some window shopping. What I like most about the Westernized countries is the flea market. And here on Place de la Fusterie, there was one.
These flea markets are filled with bric-a-brats from hand drawn paintings right down to stamp collecting. I have a penchant for collecting stamps and it was exciting to get some Swiss stamps and also some European themed stamps. The theme for these flea markets is usually “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.” Things that you have no use for could easily be sold off to someone else for some Swiss Francs. Or maybe I had the saying wrong.
Exiting Place de la Fusterie and looking across the street lies Victorinox. The famous brand for Swiss knives. If you are looking for a souvenir, this is the place to get them. If Swiss knives aren’t your cup of tea, no worries, along this shopping boulevard known as Rue du Marché, you will find everything that you could possibly have a liking for.
“Where are we going?”
“We need to look for Rue du Perron.”
If you’re hungry from all the shopping, head to the 4th floor at Bon Genie for sandwiches!
I have a liking for European architecture and town planning. The town council is able to make smart decisions by incorporating modern amenities into the old part of these towns. Unlike back home, where the need for economical gains led to the tearing down of historical buildings. They should start taking a leaf out the books of the European town planners.
We have arrived at Maison Tavel, a free museum dedicated to the history of Geneva. No worries, it is just a four-storey building and at most, will only take up an hour of your day. I particularly like the scaled model of the city, almost the same as the one in Lausanne (King’s Landing), Geneva was more like Storm’s End.
Be sure to watch the multimedia video show highlighting the beginnings of Geneva
Just across from Maison Tavel lies St Pierre’s Cathedral. The cathedral is free and embody the high point of the Reformed tradition and explore the origins of Christianity with an extensive archaeological site and they are now complemented by the International Museum of the Reformation on the ground floor of the Maison Mallet. If you’re willing to cough up CHF5, you can some superb views of the lakeside and of the town itself.
(to be continued)