Switzerland gets its own post because it deserves it. My trip to Switzerland was absolutely perfect and I couldn’t have asked for more.
This weekend, I (Easy) jetted off to Geneva, Switzerland to hang out with my wonderful friend Terri Scott. I want to start off acknowledging the fact that although I had a free weekend, I didn’t want to be traveling every weekend for 3 weekends straight. It gets a little hectic, as I’ve previously stated in one of my earlier posts. I am so thankful she did convince me to go somewhere with her this weekend despite finals coming up, because it has been one of my absolute favorite moments in life. It was so overwhelmingly great, I even wrote most of this blog post while laying out on Lake Geneva.
Our first night together consisted of sitting by the lake, admiring the Jet d’Eau, the world’s tallest water fountain, and landmark of Geneva. We caught up with each other’s lives since we last saw each other in Prague, Czech Republic, where Terri studied this semester. Traveling with Terri was incredibly easy. We were always on the same page and spontaneity of things just made it that much more exciting!
Knowing that everything is more expensive here in Switzerland (although way better than the British pound), we decided to look for fun things that didn’t require spending too much money. I suggested a hike along the Rhone River, a trail I found online. The trail starts in Geneva and goes 12 miles to the train station in La Plaine, several cities over. I warned her about the length of the hike however she said she was up for it if I was. I jumped at the opportunity and was ready for the challenge. I’ve always enjoyed nature and the outdoors but have never gotten a chance to do a long hike, such as this one.
That morning, we woke up for breakfast, headed to Lidl to fill my backpack up with snacks, and got started with our hike at 10:20AM. The website suggested taking a detour to St. Peter’s Cathedral for a panoramic view of Geneva. We unknowingly ventured into Old Town Geneva to find this hidden view of Geneva. After several struggles, we found the tower in which we had to climb for this view. It was a short climb and well worth it.
After that, we headed off to the start of our hike at the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices. Apparently we didn’t start the hike off correctly, no thanks to the instructions on the website. This led us to take so many detours throughout the hike. We even trespassed a bit to finally get on the trail. Our first attempt to get on the trail led us to a location in the middle of the Rhone River meeting the Arve River. This is where the two drastic colors in each river meet and join together. We laughed at a cycler as he made it to the end of the path, taking a photo in the middle of the river. We questioned his reasoning behind going all the way out, even knowing it was a dead end and even taking a photo. Little did we know… After getting on the actual trail, we realized he had the greatest view of both rivers connecting, blending the two colors together. If you look in the middle of where the colors meet where the trees are, that’s where we were standing, but didn’t walk out to the view. We decided to go off the trail once again and down to a bridge where we had an amazing view of this.
I’ll try to keep the rest of the hike update somewhat short (it was anything but that) although it was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. We hiked until we couldn’t feel the pain in our feet, even though they continued to pulse for the rest of the night. Half way through our hike, we thought it would be a great idea to walk to France, with the border being pretty close. We sang to Taylor Swift, took more detours, and finally after trekking through forests, villages, and the countryside, we finally made it to La Plaine but we couldn’t just stop there. We had to walk to France and that is exactly what we did. 20 miles and 9 hours later, we ended up taking the train only six stops to end up back in Geneva to grab dinner and refuel our bodies. We didn’t think to bring anything else but 20 CHF (which we spent mostly on snacks and going up the Cathedral tower) and Terri’s credit card so after walking into a Lebanese restaurant, ordering and eating our food, we find out that their credit card machine was down. After trying for several minutes, the restaurant let us go for free! We laughed at our luck especially while trying to save money and happily went to find some ice cream at a market. Trying our luck again with the credit card and witnessing a shady drug deal of some sort from the cashier, he told us there was a 10CHF minimum for credit cards (ice cream was 6 total) but he would waive it for us. We also had around 4 CHF in coins so we decided to see what he would do. I handed him the change to see if he would take it instead of getting hit with credit card fees, and he did! We got dinner and ice cream for only 2 CHF each. It was a miracle! Okay, not really but we skipped out happily and returned to our hostel rest our bodies.
The next day, we tried to take a train to see the Alps and ultimately decided against it because it really wasn’t worth all the money. Instead, we decided to take a cable car up to Mont Saleve, which was Geneva’s own mountain! …But it was located in France. We got a recommendation to ‘walk’ 20 minutes to go see a panoramic view of the Alps, so we decided to do it. Without feet still sore from the previous day and after swearing off hikes (because 20 miles wasn’t enough?), we ended up hiking up the mountain once again. Unfortunately for us, the clouds were blocking our view of the Alps.
Terri left the next morning so after that, I spent two days in Geneva alone, exploring the city on my own. This weekend was an absolute blast and I loved every moment of it. Through our snoring roommates (cheers to you, naked lady and singing bald lady) and meeting Indiana Dad, I know for a fact that I will never forget this trip. I was in awe with just how big the world was and completely amazed by life and what it has to offer. We saw some amazing views and the pictures I managed to take don’t even do it justice. While sitting by Lake Geneva, meditating and pondering life, I peacefully listened to the musicians drumming away in one ear, and behind me, the calming sounds of water splashing onto the shore all while enjoying the chatter of the rest of the people spending their night out on the lake. Geneva, you were perfection and Switzerland, I’ll be coming back for more of you!