It is 4:30 am here (8:30 pm Denver). We decided to spend a few days in Geneva to spend time with our daughter, who works here. It is a good time to relax and acclimate. She could not get much time off, but has been generous with the time she has.
Last night she took us to a local wine and cheese gathering a short walk away. It was crowded, and the average age was probably 30. She navigates easily. She stood in line to get us our wine glasses and a bottle of Swiss sauvignon blanc. We then wandered around until we found some clear space, she set the bottle on the ground after the pour, saying this is how you do it. We stood and chatted for a long time until space opened up on a short retaining wall nearby.
I decided to dive in, broach the language barrier, and so found a cheese table, and by adroit pointing managed to secure two excellent samples, one sloppy like a sauce, the other hard and coated with delicious herbs and spices. I do not know their names. I then went to a bread booth and said “baguette!” However, it turned out to be brittle and hard to eat, so I went back and again by use of pointing finger, got something more chewable.
We were going to go out for dinner, but had our fill of bread and cheese. After maybe ninety minutes, daughter introduced us to one of her friends, and we left them to enjoy the rest of their evening.
We are staying in a small apartment we got via Airbnb.com, a great way to travel. It is a sixth story flat that has three rooms and a small balcony. There is no view to speak of, ergo the photo above. Lodging is very expensive in this city, so people make the most of small spaces. This place, owned by a single woman, is lovely and has everything we need, and no microwave.
Our daughter’s work takes her to various places – without getting into specifics, she taught us last night about the Geneva Accords and how they came about. Geneva itself was taken over by Napoleonic France in another century, but achieved independence after that and has become a center for international organizations. The UN has a substantial plaza here. The dominant language is French,
The altitude is about 1,200 feet even as it sits at the base of the Alps and Jura. Lake Geneva flows “back” into the Rhone at the outlet, meaning the headwaters are further up. If there is a climate of comparison in my limited experience, it would be the low-lying areas of Northwestern Montana, mountainous but brutally hot in the summer, and offering a great growing climate. The Swiss wine industry, small compared to other areas, is centered here.
Today we are on our own and so will purchase a transportation pass and see as much of the city as we can. We will jump off a twenty-foot bridge and into the lake later on today. After hitting the water, we drift down the lake to a place where we get out, get a glass of wine, and wander back for another jump. This will be the extent of our physical challenges this beautiful day.