Friday, December 30, 2011

Geneva time!

My first real day in Geneva (after a moderately bad nights sleep - still adjusting to the snoreathon hostel stylez!) involved a visit to the United Nations site, the nearby Musée Ariana (porcelain, glass and pottery - was insightful, yet hard to get into), and the Musée d'Histoire des Sciences (which had a large amount of historic scientific instrumentation produced by some science greats such as Alessandro Volta (voltaic pile), and many instruments used for maritime navigation and timekeeping). There are also some cool interactive science exhibits outside the museum which demonstrate atmospheric pressure, measurement, and the transmission/concentration of sound. Lunch followed, then a run around town to get my bearings (without getting lost in the process), and the visit to Starbucks (in which I am currently indulging). If you are running in Geneva note, the riverside track along the southern bank along the river near the Pont Butin bridge is super narrow and probably impassable with recent rain (thankfully I made it without going for a swim).

The United Nations Building

I wasn't quite sure what language was spoken here, but it appears that it is predominantly French, or a Swiss variation. I haven't spoken any French since grade 2, so very rusty, but hoping to pick up a few things here.

I'm staying at the HI Hostel in Geneva, which is spartan but adequate. It lacks any sort of character, as you are thrown into access control land, with your card required to open your room door, locker, and the bathroom, in addition to gaining access to upstairs. Theft might be a problem at this place, and having to pull out a card everytime you want to do something somewhat reinforces the vibe. You get a decent continental breakfast included though, which is great given how expensive it can be eating out in Geneva. Only bummer is that there is no guest kitchen at the hostel, so options for self cooking are limited. That said there are heaps of places to eat around town, and a wide variety of tastes are catered for. Theres a huge number of kebab shops and a McDonalds too, if all else fails.

A McDonalds cheeseburger in Geneva costs approx $2.80 AUD, a kebab around $12, cafe meal anywhere from $14 upwards, the starbucks latte in front of me $7. Today I 'dined' at the Migros cafe, which is situated as part of the Migros supermarket in the 'Les Cygnes' shopping mall near Conarvin train station. You can make your own selection from the buffet and pay by weight (around 29CHF/100g). There's a selection of hot meals, salads, and deserts.

Plan is to view town by night and grab a feed and a beer. Tomorrow I'm going to get all cultural in the old part of town, and visit some more museums.

Musée d'Histoire des Sciences

One of the outdoor exhibits - this one demonstrates atmospheric pressure and the effect of imbalances

View of Geneva CBD from the North (Jet d'Eau fountain in the distance)

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