So on 9th October we drove into Switzerland and Geneva via small roads and a very quiet border crossing. We had arranged to stay one night in the city of Geneva (it is VERY expensive in Geneva.. and indeed in most of Switzerland... so one night was the limit). Rain was forecast but in fact the sun shone and the day was lovely so we managed to walk around and see things like the famous jet d'eau... well, I say famous... I'd never heard of it before I read about it in the guidebook. It looks a bit like this:
Geneva is one of those cities that looks amazing in all directions with the mountains, lakeside and striking buildings. It is a business city for the most part and so it does feel a bit heartless somehow (says us after being there for all of 24 hours...) but still I liked it. How can you go wrong with all that water really? We had the cheapest dinner we could find on northside of the river Rhône and then took one of those little yellow taxi boats/mouettes you can see on the photo above back to our place on the other side. It was dark, the ride was free (hotels hand out free travel passes) and the boat's "captain" was a very laid-back individual. It was fun - h loved it!
Next day we wandered more around the old part of Geneva, then called in to see the UN Office on our way out of town. It has a big broken chair sculpture outside that looks like this (info on the sculpture here):
Then we drove on to Nyon on the lake and took a short boat trip over the water (to Yvoire in France, as it happens). Really we just wanted to be on the water... well, I did... I love being on water. One of my favourite photos from this holiday set is this shot of a swan that Mark snapped as we approached Yvoire (there are a lot of swans on Lake Geneva). Why do I like the picture? I suppose I am very childish...
After the boat trip we stayed a night just over the border from Nyon in Divonne-les-Bains (cheaper) and then headed back into Switzerland to Lausanne for most of the next day. First we went to the Collection de l'Art Brut (usually translated as Outsider Art) and I think we were all pretty blown away by some of the work in the gallery there. I have been interested in the subject on and off for a while but this visit gave me some new nudges in artistic directions I think. After that we called in to the Musée de l'Elysée (Lausanne's photography museum) because we're also interested in photography and they had an exhibition on show just then which featured some very famous American works such as Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother"(the whole set is called the Howard Greenberg Collection). Probably the photo that struck me the most from the collection was this one called "Butterfly Boy" (1949) by Jerome Liebling:
We ate a picnic in the grounds of the museum overlooking the lake and then drove further east to Vevey. Vevey is about as pretty as a town can ever be - lake, charming buildings... no wonder people like Charlie Chaplin chose to live (and die) there (o.k., they have the Nestlé HQ too but you can't have everything). The sun shone for us again (we were lucky... just a couple of days rain all holiday) and we made friends with the seahorse sculptures down at the lakeside. One is at the top of the post and the other is here:
Near Vevey we stayed with a childhood friend of mine and her family for a couple of nights. Whilst there we also went a little further north to Gruyère to see where cheese and chocolate are made (all good, all tasty) and then on the 13th October we drove the other way round the lake, back into France, through Evian and back to Lyon to leave the car and (gulp) fly home (I did it.. not easily... but I did it).
I'll leave you with the Lake Geneva photo that seems to be winning in the facebook "likes" category so far (also taken at Vevey). Like many of the striking pics on here Mark took it.. but then he knows a good thing when he sees it... (hah!):