Whenever i hear Geneva, Koffi Annan comes to mind. Like in a flash! May his Soul RIP. Its also the City where all Nations Unite for the good of the common person. The United Nations office in Geneva is the second largest with Nairobi also being one of the city that hosts it. Happy Dance!!
Well Geneva is not exactly a tourist hotspot. There isnt much to see but more of much to experience. Its quite a sophisticated city though quiet even on a weekend. A lot of the people here are French Speakers and are very friendly and helpful. Getting around the city is pretty easy, with the trums all over the place.
Some of the major landmarks include Jet d’Eau which is large fountain in the Geneva lake that pumps water to a very high altitude and is as old as 1886. It can be viewed from any corner of Geneva including when landing. On windy days, the water splashes to anyone that is close by which i guess can be exciting!
Just before getting to the fountain you pass by the L’horloge Fleurie which is an outdoor clock that is decorated with flowers that symbolizes the city’s famous watchmakers who built it as a dedication to nature. FYI Switzerland is ranked as the number one country that produces the best quality watches. As you draw near the lake,you can just stop and marvel at the beautiful swans. Its a sight to behold!
After your done swooning on them, you can head over to a nearby restaurant that is on a cruise ship to grab a drink as you watch the sunset. Since it was Summer, the sun would set at 10pm which was quite new to me.
As mentioned earlier, Geneva is home to the second largest United Nations Headquarters, the more reason I relate the city to Koffi Annan. Great Man!! Of course entry to the UN is restricted understandably; but right outside is another landmark known as the Broken Chair which was constructed in the era of landmines to serve as a reminder to any politicians visiting the UN of the opposition towards landmines and bombs. Princess Diana was also a very strong Oppose’ and led a campaign against them by walking on an active minefield in Angola during one of her campaigns.
Just beside it is an explanation in many different languages as to why it was constructed. The English part reads ” Broken Chair is a symbol of fragility and strength, precariousness and stability, brutality and dignity. Originally conceived with the aim of urging nations to ban anti-personnel mines (in 1997) and cluster munitions (in 2008), Broken Chair is a continuing symbol of the desperate cry of war-torn civilian populations. Broken Chair is a reminder to the world’s nations to protect and aid these civilian victims. It invites each one of us to denounce what is unacceptable, to stand up for the rights of individuals and communities and to call for their rightful compensation.”
Fun Fact: You can head out to the mountains to bask in the beautiful nature. Its very picturesque with insane views overlooking the whole of Geneva. You can still view the Jet d’Eau from here. They do have shops and restaurants as well where you can relax. People also bring their hiking gear including bikes as its an ideal location for such activities.
Not So Fun Fact: Travelling makes you appreciate where you come from more!! We went grocery shopping and apparently in this side of the world, you have to do the coding and pricing of grocery items; and when you get to the counter you have to do the packing as well! Switzerland is also very strict on Environment laws and plastic bags are not allowed so you need to carry a grocery bag every time you go shopping – which is a good thing. But the coding, pricing and packing..i love you Kenya!
To get to the mountains, you use a cable car which can be a bit busy in peak days like the weekends. In winter, the mountains are all covered in snow so you can just picture that image. Whats more, even in summer Switzerland is still very breathtakingly green. Am never big on relocating but I could live here!
Once your back to the city from the mountains, how about saying hello to those fellows hanging around the streets (wink). You never know, they might just respond! And incase your struggling with the Jet d’Eau pronunciation, just say Zhe-do and you’ l be fine. As for L’horloge Fleurie; well, you may want to take a moment of silence on that one!