Exploring Geneva in two short days is no easy task. There are all the watches, cuckoo clocks to see and the UN headquarters in Europe to visit. Plus I had to make my millions, or should that mean empty my bank account. Within an hour of landing I realised that this visit to Geneva would be expensive, but not as expensive as budget airlines. There’s a simple reason for this; after spending the Middle Ages sending mercenary armies all over Europe, the Swiss decided the best way to succeed was in financing the wars and not dying in them. Although this landlocked country has a state of the art navy, it is the banking that powers the countries economy.
With our limited funds we tried to do exploring Geneva on the cheap, which meant lots of walking around and site-seeing. This is pretty easy as Geneva has plenty of impressive big official buildings and lots of green space. On top of this we had also given ourselves some stupid tourist tasks to achieve as we spent our two days exploring Geneva. These included hunting peacocks on the UN grounds and sitting on the largest chair I’ve ever seen.
Unfortunately I failed on both counts, but I did manage to limbo a World Health Organisation Statue. We also saw some pretty awesome sites, like the cathedral in the old part of town. The other major city landmark that was impossible to miss was the huge fountain on the edge of the lake that shoots water 140m into the air (if your city administration lacks imagination, this is the kind of tourist attraction that will be built). However, to the site that really took our breath away required us to jump on a train and head out of town.
Chillon Castle was a one-hour journey outside of Geneva on the outskirts of Montreux. It’s quite an expensive and time-consuming day trip, but it was well worth it (a return journey will set you back about £50). The castle is a labyrinth of small tunnels and endless staircases, so we spent a happy couple of hours exploring Geneva’s most impressive castle.
If I had more time and more money I would have loved to explore the country a little more. The countryside is incredibly beautiful with the rolling green valleys and white tipped mountains. Still exploring Geneva was a good start and I was happy, because I was heading off to explore Barcelona with my family.