Well, uh, all journeys have to start somewhere. This one to glamorous France and Switzerland commenced back on Friday morning…at
equally glamorous London Luton Airport.🇬🇧🛫😂
After landing at Geneva Airport, we spent the next day in the city itself:
Yes, it is Switzerland…just in case you as a visitor aren’t entirely sure.🇨🇭😂
Looking from the Pont du Mont-Blanc across the Rhone River that, along with Lake Geneva, divides the city…
…note (you may have to click the photo to enlarge it) some of those brands on those buildings, such as Louis Vuitton. Geneva is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Indeed, there is a LOT of money along that waterfront.
On the other side of the bridge is the city’s famous Jet d’Eau. It is a fountain that shoots up from about where Lake Geneva meets the Rhone:
A view from up in Geneva’s “old town” behind and well above those buildings and the bridge, looking back towards that Rhone and Lake Geneva – and the Jet d’Eau is visible at the right:
Also in that photo above you see (below left) the Taverne de la Madeleine, where we had a lovely lunch – but sans alcohol as it is “dry,” which we did not mind as we hadn’t planned on drinking. The Taverne is otherwise very French Swiss.
“Old” Geneva itself is mostly cobbled, narrow, winding, hilly “400 year old” streets: the haunts of John Calvin, J.J. Rousseau and lots of other history…versus that “ultra modern” and “chic” Geneva down on the river/lake with its parade of banks, international organizations, astoundingly expensive watch shops, and other ridiculously pricey retail destinations.
A stroll around that then uncrowded “old town” early Saturday was so pleasant; but you had to be out early – by 11, when most shops are open, it started to get busy.
Above the Taverne is the Cathedral of Sainte-Pierre:
It was here that Calvin helped lead Geneva’s Protestant Reformation in the mid-1500s:
And its interior is spectacular:
The modern Museum of the Reformation stands next door:
“Rue John Calvin” (heading left, away from the fence) around the corner from the Cathedral is naturally named after him:
A couple of other intellectual photos.😱 Yes, in 1712, a few streets away from the Cathedral, philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born:
Eventually Rousseau moved to France. His writings would become hugely influential. They were also controversial:
He died in 1778, eleven years before the French Revolution would begin. His political writings in particular contributed to thinking underlying – for both good and bad – that revolution. They were often cited by revolutionaries.
Although a supporter of that Revolution, the U.S. Minister to France from 1785-89, one Thomas Jefferson, considered Rousseau basically a nutcase.
Nutcase Rousseau’s birthplace is now a museum.
Oh, and, of course, the writer in me could not resist: I had to snap a photo of an “old town” bookstore:
I’ve been NEAR Geneva many times, but never ventured into the city center. I’m so pleased I finally did.😊
Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. 🙂