Not at all what I expected.
Small. Mixture of old and new. Very cosmopoliton. Lots of different languages. English with every conceivable accent. Fun. Distinct bike lanes (sometimes with little traffic lights in the shape of red, green and yellow bicycles) and directional signs throughout the city especially for bikes.Lots of temporary installations of art in public places. At the English Garden they have a number of installations all of which reflect and distort. Fun.
On a bridge over the Rhone is an installation in honor of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. The subject – other walls that still exist, Israel – Palestine, North and South Korea, The US and Mexico. Not so fun, but thought provoking.
Not finding any volksmarches, I picked up a map in English for self guided tour No. 8 of about 10k from the Geneva tourist office. Frankly, it did not look very interesting, but knowing no other longish walks, today I set out on the ‘local to iternational’ route. Preconceptions can sure be wrong. I loved it. It passed through a number of former small villages or hamlets that have gradually become part of Geneva. Usually a core of two or three buldings remain in the midst of a series of different housing schemes, including one with a huge community garden. Many of the individual plots have garden sheds/summer houses on them. From these little villages you pass into the international district, where the UN has it’s headquarters. The headquarters of the Red Cross/Red Crescent are also there, and the red cross museum. In addition to a permanent installment on the history of the red cross (which I did not do as it was starting to get dark) there was a good exhibit of photos of women from the middle east, mainly Afghanistan, Palestine and Iran taken by a woman photographer. The walk just ended at the Plaza of Nations, so I made my way to the shore of Lac Leman and walked the promendade along the lac back into town. Several different types of grebes, and gulls and ducks. Spattering of rain. Even though I am leaving tomorrow morning, I stopped at the tourist office to get maps of the other possible routes to see what I will miss. They also don’t seem that interesting, but I’m looking forward to someday finding out.
Fun to see Sarah all grown up.