I arrived in Geneva just about noon, getting off the train with everything on my back I headed to my hostel. I was early to get into my room so I decided to go for a run around the city. It was the most splendid run. As I ran around the beautiful lake and saw the Jet d’Eau, Geneva’s huge water fountain that shoots water almost 100ft into the air. It was dazzling as the sun caught the water droplets cascading down, sending a rainbow through the air. I ran through the city seeing the beautiful and colored vines and flowers climb the walls of the stores and shops and the character and culture of the Swiss standing out as I got deeper into town. As I headed back to my room, I was excited to get back out into the city.
My evening consisted of exploring through the whining streets, window shopping all the brand names and spending time at the St Pierre Cathedral. I started to hear my stomach growl and knew it was time to start looking for dinner. As I walked by a few appealing outdoor seating restaurants, I stumbled across the Spaghetti Factory. They had a large blackboard menu outside with a special feature, pumpkin seed squash ravioli which spoke to me. I slipped into a seat outside and soon ordered with a sangria on its way. I took in the moment hearing the children laugh and shout in a near by playground and listened to the distant conversations around me. It was peaceful to sit there and take in what was around me. I could feel the air become charged with a storm on its way. As my plate was dropped, my mouth quickly watered. Right in front of me was a beautiful plate of ravioli which I couldn’t wait to sink my fork into. The pumpkin seeds had the perfect crunch to the creamy plate. As I finished up, and paid my check I got up feeling the static. I hurried to my hostel, watching the storm roll in. Right as I broke through the doors the rain came pouring. The rest of the night I cuddled into bed watching Wonder Woman, breathing in the mist from the cracked window.
I had one full day in Geneva to do whatever I wanted. I woke up and headed out to explore. As I walked down the side of Lake Geneva I thought to myself, “I should start the day with a boat cruise.” I went up to the window and purchased a ticket, in a half an hour I would be off. As I patiently waited I started talking to a woman similar to my age. She was from Canada studying in London. We spent the boat ride enjoying each others company and getting to know each other. It was fun to learn about her Museum studies and how she was learning to preserve artifacts and the history of it all. I never had met someone who’s occupation was to work in a museum and found it fascinating. At the end of the boat ride she was headed back to the airport to get back to London but as she left she suggested some great ideas that turned out to be one of the most eventful fun days I had though out my whole European trip. As we departed, I got on the bus as she directed and a half an hour later and a little walk, I was at the cable car to take me on top of mountain overlooking Geneva! It was a fun ride up seeing Geneva spread out before my eyes. As I got to the top I could spot out the Jet d’Eau and everything surrounding it. I took my time exploring the top and taking in the views. I was ready for some lunch so I went into the restaurant on the top and got myself an exquisite meal. I had a ribeye steak with vegetables and red wine. It melted in my mouth and I just peered out of the huge windows taking in the views of what was below. As I went down the cable car I was thinking what was next on my adventure. The woman also suggested checking out the botanical garden so I headed in that direction. I got there and was mystified with how many different flowers and trees they had. In their green houses they had little rooms of different terrains it felt like I walked into another world. I spent a couple of hours exploring the grounds and headed back to my hostel. As I laid in bed, a girl walked in and took notice of my water bottle. She asked if I was going to University of New Hampshire, and I leaned right up and responded right back “I went there!” and immediately wondered how she knew UNH all the way in Geneva. She explained shes from Massachusetts, and was WWOOFing for a several months and was looking to go to UNH for Veterinarian School. I was blown away that she was from so close to me and we instantly hit it off. We ended up going out to dinner together and talked all night over shared pizza and looking for chocolate to take home with me. It was so fun to have someone I could easily relate and converse with. She took me to the United Nations which was incredible to witness where all the great meetings of the world take place. We got back to our room and I was thankful we were placed in the same room because it gave both of us the little slice of home we had been missing.
I was out early to catch my train to Paris but looking at what I explored and saw in Geneva made my heart full. It doesn’t matter so much with how much time you have somewhere but what you do with your time. I was grateful for the people I encountered in Geneva and how they had a tremendous impact on my visit. Sometimes going outside your comfort zone and talking to others will bring you a more fulfilling life than just keeping to yourself.
Live Well and Run