On Saturday, Estelle and I started off my final day with eating breakfast with her whole family. The meal was filled with a mixture of French and English conversation along with laughter.
After breakfast, we took the bus into Geneva to sight-see.
We started off at the famous Lake Geneva where I could see the city’s pride and joy: the Jet d’Eau. As I would say in English, the city’s water fountain.
After I took a lot more pictures, Estelle and I walked further along the lake taking in the view.
Estelle and I walked back to where we originally started and hopped onto a boat to head to the opposite of the lake where we would be able to walk up close to the fountain. The sun decided to emerge from the clouds and a beautiful rainbow formed in the spray of the fountain.
After admiring the fountain, Estelle asked me if I wanted to walk behind/through the spray of water. Is that even a question? We carefully walked along the sea wall and got slightly sprayed in the process. Staying on the opposite side of the fountain was short-lived after the wind changed direction and it started to “rain.” Laughing, we quickly made our way back the way we had come.
Next, Estelle and I walked through a park area where there were statues and a clock made in the grass. She explained the history of how the city was founded to me.
Once we finished in the park, Estelle led the way to Geneva’s cathedral. For a small fee, the two of us were able to go to the top of the church and see Geneva from above, which Estelle had never done before. While we were up top, it began to rain slightly and a faint rainbow formed (see picture two below!) Going to the top of the church was worthwhile in my opinion! My local “guide” pointed out different famous buildings in Geneva to me and was able to show me where old Geneva started and the new more modern Geneva began.
After wrapping up at the church, Estelle showed me some canons that had been used to defend Geneva along with the oldest high school in the city. We also peeked inside a Russian Orthodox Church, went to see the longest wooden bench in the world, and the reformation wall.
Near the Reformation Wall, were two of the university buildings Estelle has her college classes. She bounces between three separate buildings for her studies, which are all within walking distance of one another.
At this point, Estelle and I were ready for some lunch. I wanted to eat something I could not eat at home, so Estelle suggested Eritrean food. The dish Estelle suggested involved selecting a “curry” of sorts, which would then be placed on a crepe. When the food arrives, you dig in with your hands. The portions were enormous and the food was delicious!
After lunch, we decided to pop into a cafe for a dessert and some tea. Despite being full, Estelle and I were able to manage a sweet treat!
Once we finished tea and dessert, Estelle and I hopped on the tram and went back to her house. Then, the two of us hopped in the car and Estelle to France to an area called the Saleve, which provides beautiful views of the Alps and Geneva when the weather is clear. We almost decided not to do this because the weather was quite foggy, but Veronique convinced us to still go and I am SO glad she did!
The road was curvy and Estelle did a fantastic job managing the twists and turns and avoiding the crazy drivers. After parking, Estelle led the way to the hill we would hike. The two of us hiked and hiked through the snow. I slipped a few times and trekked onward. Let me just say, falling in the snow and battling the wind was 100% worth it! Unfortunately, my camera got a bit too cold when we reached the top so I only have one picture of myself.
Estelle and I hiked back down and decided to take the paved road, which was less time consuming and a bit warmer.
We went back to her house where Veronique and Jean-Marie were preparing another traditional Swiss dinner: raclette. For raclette, you first boil little baby potatoes. Then, you slice cheese. Next, you place the cheese on a little mini skillet. During this stage, you can add spices to your slice of cheese before placing it onto the hot plate/mini stove. While your cheese melts, bubbles, and browns, you place the baby potato onto your plate and mash it with your fork and add sides like meat or pickles. Once the cheese has melted, you pour it over your potato and eat it. Traditionally, half of a cheese wheel is placed in front of a fire and the melted cheese is scraped off onto the potatoes. The skillet version is much quicker and more people can eat at once.
Because I decided to live in the moment, I did not take any photos. Below, you will find raclette photos taken from Google.
After dinner, Estelle and I watched a movie together before heading to bed.
My three days in Geneva, Switzerland, were absolutely amazing! My favorite parts by far are the moments I spent with Estelle and her family and Jana and her family. I felt so at home and thoroughly enjoyed having a local experience. Forever thankful for all the opportunities exchange has brought into my life! Big thanks to Estelle and her family for welcoming me with open arms. I cannot wait to return!
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