As I was flying in to the airport here tonight I thought it would be nice to do a quick 10 point list of why Geneva is a really cool and nice place to live, chilled, civilised and tasteful etc.
- It has a lake. All cool and interesting places have a big body of water/decent sized river nearby or in the middle of them (London, Paris, New York, Washington, Cairo and probably more). The lake is rather chilly in winter, but awesome in summer.
- Food. The food here is delicious. It’s been 4 months and I haven’t come across a bad restaurant! True the food is expensive, but you more or less get what you pay for, which tastes great. Last weekend I had a wonderful chicken lasagne at les bains du paquis, with a side salad topped with bits of orange. Yum!
- The hot chocolate. Most places here serve world class hot chocolate that you practically need a spoon to eat.
- Wine. The Geneva region produces excellent whites, my personal fave at the moment is the Chasselas from Domaine du Paradis, which I buy from the Coop supermarket. The Baccarat (fizzy champagne-esque stuff) is also rather decent too, especially the ‘La Grande Cuvee’ top of the range stuff.
- CERN is here, which is obviously very cool indeed. They do visitors tours if you book in advance and there are two permanent exhibitions open Monday to Friday. There is also a gift shop (that I haven’t visited yet) where you can buy cool stuff like CERN branded mugs.
- France is nearby! I’m sure the French will love me for saying this, but it’s true, that should Switzerland get too much you can always leave the country. France is about 10 minutes walk from my flat and indeed I tend to do my weekly shopping there! It has benefits such as being cheaper than Geneva, and selling a massive range of cheeses (I have some delicious tasting smelly blue stuff in my fridge right now..) and French wines. My personal highlights from France are the chocolate (as good or better than Swiss, depending upon who you ask) and the fruit cordials (they have every possible flavour from Grenadine to Arctic Mint to Grapefruit to Pineapple).
- Skiing. Apparently you can go skiing very easily here! Though due to a lack of snow and travelling home rather a lot I’m still yet to try it. Oh that and the fact that having rather large feet is a bit of an inconvenience for finding suitably sized ski boots, which would be a prerequisite of skiing.
- You can cycle to the airport! It even has under-cover bike stands, so that if it snows whilst you’re away, your bike won’t get all snowed up. The airport is very civilised in general, oh and it has free wifi too.
- Transport is really good. The bus and tram system run late most days (12ish) and operate a very good service. Occasionally it falls down when someone crashes their car on/into the trams or tram routes. And it isn’t super cheap (3 CHF per journey unless you’re travelling on a travel card) however, at weekends the 10 CHF day card is valid for 2 persons. Bonus! You can also get the tram from just outside my flat all the way through Geneva and out the other side to France.
- It’s neat any tidy and most people that I’ve come across are polite? Service isn’t always that fast.. in fact it can be painfully slow. I once queued for 7 minutes to buy one item from my local convenience store, as there was 1 person in front of me buying about 50 things at the speed of slow-drying paint. Also this place isn’t really geared up for rushing in the same frenetic way that London is. Fortunately I’m a patient guy.
Geneva is also a rather go-to-bed early kind of place. So it’s probably time for me to finish…