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Lauren’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 26 Feb 2006

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

MapOk, before I give any details about the weekend in Switzerland, I have to relate to you all how amazing Swiss chocolate is. I'm not talking about chocolate bars as much as "truffles" or "bonbons" from a quality choclaterie, of which there are many in Geneva. I'm not even sure there are words to describe it because it's more of an experience - and trust me, it's one that shouldn't be missed! Holy cow!
The weekend, all in all, was a success. When Cassi and I arrived in Geneva on Friday morning, we saw other people greeting each other with three bisous (pronounced BEE-SUES, kisses on alternating cheeks), rather than the 2 that are customary in France (and apparently Germany as well). So, as you can imagine, it became my goal for the day to make swiss friends and get 3 bisous from them.
After finding our rather industrial-looking hostel and putting away our backpacks (sidenote: I really need to learn how to pack more conservatively - if you have any suggestions, let me know), we started meandering the city. We stumbled upon a restaurant called Edelweiss (can you have a more typically swiss name for a restaurant?) and were ecstatic to find that you could enjoy cheese and choclate fondue for dinner while being entertained by yodelers wearing liederhosen (sp?) and playing accordians and those really long mountain horns (check the pictures!). We knew it was going to be perfect for dinner, so we made a reservation and returned that night with Heather, Lindsay, and Sarah in tow. We all pretty much ate more than you can imagine that night and Cassi, Heather, and I even got the chance to play the long mountain horn ourselves! It was through this experience that we meet Aline and her friends Thomas, Remy, Anastas, and several others, whose names I don't know. Yay, swiss friends! They were mostly all twenty-somethings who either worked, lived, or studied in Geneva, spoke french, and were more than excited to practice their english with us. They took us with them out to a nightclub called "la Scandale" after the restaurant (around 11:30) and introduced us to more friends! Haether, Sarah, and Lindsay left shortly after arriving, complaining of stomachs that might explode from too much cheese and chocolate and leaving Cassi and me to fend for ourselves. Needless to say, Cassi and I acheived our goal of bisous and friends without a problem!
Geneva itself is a pretty funny city. There is tons of history there for various incidents: the reformation, calvanism, the league of nations, international business. It's a very commercial city and crazy EXPENSIVE!! Gucci, Dior, Hermes, and Versace are all over the city and not just seen on mannequins in storefront windows. We went on a walking tour of the city on Saturday morning with a guide that spoke english, french, and german essentially without missing a beat. We all tried really hard to only listen to the french, but we all agreed that we understood a lot better when she spoke in english.
I have to go to class now, but I'll try to write more about our escapades at a later date! Also, look for more pictures soon!