Travel can take many different forms. It can be a beach-side vacation in the Caribbean, trekking through the jungles of the Congo, hiking the Inca trail in Peru or enjoying a city break in Europe. Whether it is a day, week, month or even years no one should tell you that you haven’t ‘really’ travelled to a country, as long as you enjoyed the experience you had.
On my travels I have spent various amounts of time in each place I have visited. Sometimes you don’t need any more than a day trip on your journey to experience a city.
In this next adventure, Johnny and I took a train through the Swiss alps until we reached Lake Geneva. The weather wasn’t too great – being autumn – with a slight fog covering the lake itself until we arrived in the city of Geneva.
We only planned Geneva as a day trip, but I made a mistake with the flight booking and we were flying out the next morning instead – so a little longer there than planned. We decided to make the most of it and explore the French speaking city as much as we possibly could.
One of the most iconic sights in Geneva is Jet D’eau. The fountain is located at the edge of Lac Léman, with a pier going by it – but I doubt you could walk underneath it. The jets of the water reach up to 140 meters in the air and pump over five hundred liters of water per second. We stood by the edge of the lake and for a moment, while the wind blew some of the water over us.
Right by the lake you can also see the L’horloge fleurie, which is a beautiful flower and shrub arrangement that resembles a clock, although in the cold Autumn day the flowers were not as prominent as I have seen in photos post-trip.
We continued our walk around the city by heading towards the St Pierre Cathedral, which was built originally as a Roman Catholic church in the early 4th century but since has become a cathedral for the Protestant church. The facade of the cathedral is in the gothic style which is a style I’ve seen across Europe with cathedrals and churches. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a decent picture to show you at the time.
Next on our list was the University of Geneva, which was founded by a man called John Calvin in 1559. John Calvin was a French reformer and pastor who is well remembered in the area, with many monuments and famous landmarks. The University of Geneva had a very decadent section, which really showed the history of the region. Being close to such stunning architecture is certainly one thing that makes me very envious of those who grew up in Europe. Any Australian who is into history and architecture would love it. Even though we have a great history of the aboriginal settlers who arrived in Australia over 40,000 years ago, they lived a predominately nomadic lifestyle, thus we lack architecture pre 1800s.
We decided to go for a walk through the grounds of the University of Geneva, where you can see the Reformation Wall that stretches for 325 feet, marking the many individuals and events for the Protestant movement across Europe. John Calvin features as one of the main figures in the center section of the wall.
The skies began to open and the rain began. We quickly made our way to see the Brunswick monument, which was built in 1897 to commemorate Charles II of Brunswick, and then onto the Palace of Nations which is the home of the United Nations in Switzerland. This has been the home of the United Nations since 1946 and is a very grand building. Seeing all those flags waving in the wind certainly helped towards my inspiration of wanting to visit them all one day!
We spent the end of our day resting up in our hostel due to the poor weather, chatting away to a South Korean tourist in our dorm. We also needed to rest up, knowing our journey had many weeks ahead of us.
When you are travelling or even living in Europe, there are so many cities to visit, too many even to choose from. This continent is perfect for weekend trips or city breaks for those that love to travel. Each city has something new to offer for a traveler – you just have to put yourself out there to experience it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you enjoyed it there are several other journeys that have been posted so far that were a part of this adventure with my mate Johnny across Europe.
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