It was the last day we could use our Swiss Travel Pass and so we chose to make the most of it by travelling to Geneva, even though it meant waking up at six in the morning! I guess you can say we were a bit backwards as it was actually the first time we started off or even visited a tourist information centre, probably one of the wisest things we did on the whole trip! We were able to pick up a map there and circle the places we wanted to visit, allowing us to mark out a route.
Our first destination was the flower clock which we were really eager to see. However, when we got there, the clock had been closed off and so slightly deflated, we continued to walk alongside the lake towards the Jet d’Eau. The Jet d’Eau is an impressive fountain in the middle of Lake Geneva; in 1886, a power station was built to deliver high pressure water to buildings around the city; the constant pressure build-ups meant that a pressure relief valve had to be installed and so the Jet d’Eau came to exist.
After having lunch on the benches beside the pier, we headed towards St Pierre Cathedral. The Cathedral is known for housing John Calvin, a theologian, who was vital to the Protestant Reformation; again we were really excited as we had studied Calvin in History.
Trying to find the Reformation Wall from the Cathedral proved to be quite difficult and so drastic measures had to be taken… we whipped out the Huawei! I think we were both in shock when it actually got us there! On route to the wall, we also got the chance to see other fascinating monuments such as the one below.
The wall features many famous reformers with John Calvin, Guillame Farel, Theodore de Beze and John Knox portrayed in the middle.
Our next stop was meant to be a visit to CERN ( the European Organisation for Nuclear Research), however, after catching a tram that we thought would get us there, we found ourselves lost and instead caught a tram back and headed to the UN building.
In front of the UN building, there is a sculpture of a broken chair. It was created in 1997 for the NGO, Handicap International and symbolises the campaign against landmines; it conveys the message of remembering those who were victims of landmines as well as encouraging governments to promote a landmine ban.
After Geneva, we visited Lausanne, a city also located on the lake. The theme of our day seemed to be visiting places that were closed as when we went to the tower and castle, we were disappointed to find they were both shut.However, we still had the chance of seeing the iconic Cathedral which was built in a Gothic style.
On the walk to the Cathedral, we passed a rally which we encountered again on the way to the metro station. Although we couldn’t understand what was written on their banners, we realised it was a communist rally from the flags. It was actually really lively with people playing the drums as well as them singing and marching through the streets.
For dinner, we picked up some food from a shop near the metro and ate on the train. I went for prawn sushi and Fatima opted for a vegetable soup.