Geneva, Switzerland: The land of Cheese and the Big Chair

Geneva, Switzerland: The land of Cheese and the Big Chair

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Another morning of waking up early, really early, at 4am again.  But thankfully, after we dragged our butts out of bed, everything went smoothly.  Arrived at Nice airport, and off to Geneva we were!  After almost a full day of traveling, we were exhausted, and checked into our hostel.  We were able to find exceptional values at youth hostels on hostels.com and hostelbookers.com.  Most hostels have select criteria for who can stay , with many being only for students and those under a certain age.  There are so many in each city, so it is important to read reviews about each one before booking nights.  Also- the more people staying in each room, the cheaper it is per person.  We opted to stay in a triple with one other girl.  When you’re out and exploring the entire day, you don’t need a glamorous hotel room!

We started off the next morning bright and early, and decided to go to the International Red Cross Museum.  On our way, we came across the United Nations office, and a big broken chair in front of the entrance of the UN building.  The chair is a piece of protest art installed by Handicap International to symbolize their fight against landmines.  Rather interesting.  

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Picture with the Broken Chair to 
prove just how big it really is!
 
The Red Cross Museum is a museum everyone should go to at least once.  There is another Red Cross Museum in Washington D.C. for those who can’t make the trek out to Geneva.  This was a good opportunity to stay dry for awhile- it was unfortunately raining pretty badly.
 
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flags outside the museum

The museum houses archives with information about 2 million prisoners of war, specifically from the First World War.  You can get seriously lost in there!

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Throughout the museum we watched films, saw posters, objects, and images from the past, and were surrounded with many ideas and thoughts related to the World Wars and possible ways to help those in need.  All of the exhibits really make you look back on your life so far, and make you realize that all the rough times are just mere speed bumps in the road.

 
red-cross2
 
After dwelling over some depressing issues at the museum, we headed over to Lake Geneva to brighten up our day a bit.  Since Geneva was co-hosting the EURO2008 soccer games (with Austria), the area was preparing itself.  A giant soccer ball was set right next to the fountain in Lake Geneva, as you can see in the following pictures:
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lakegeneva-and-EURO20081
(yea, still raining… the rain follows me, I swear!)
 

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The lake is such a sight with all the mountains in the background.  Lake Geneva was filled with plenty of boats in the marina.  If the day were nicer, maybe we could have taken a boat ride around the lake?!
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I loved seeing all the Swiss flags on all the buildings.. doesn’t this one kind of remind you of Harrods with all the green awnings???
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We walked around Geneva for quite some time, through parks and such, watched some cute old men play life-size checkers in the rain, and decided it was time for some cheese fondue!  And can I say, it was definitely worth the 30euros or so we each paid.  That was one meal we totally splurged on!  People come to Geneva for the cheese, and I can see why.  I’m really upset I can’t pinpoint the actual cheese we got, but it was amazing.  I think we may have ordered a combination of three cheeses, Gruyere, Emmental, and Walliser Bergkase, since those together are apparently a Geneva tradition.

cheese-fondue

Even the bread was delicious, but any cheese smothered in this combination of cheeses would be.  We ordered a side of potatoes which we dipped in the cheese as well, which was amazing as well.  I’ve been to the Melting Pot and other fondue restaurants, and nothing compares.  I could have eaten this for days on end.  Off to Paris the next morning!
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