18 Mar Geneva: Swiss strolls
Turin is one of those places that most people have never even heard of, and if they have, it’s because of FIAT, or because it’s “grey and boring and industrial” (it’s not), or at very best because it’s the home of the famous shroud of Turin.
What people don’t realize is that Turin, as well as being the best place ever and massively underrated, is also smack bang in the middle of tons of amazing places (that you probably HAVE heard of). We can easily pop to Milan for breakfast, or drive to the 2006 Winter Olympics slopes for a day of snowboarding and be back in time for dinner, or even go down to the wine region for the day to pick up some great bottles – much cheaper than getting the same thing from the shops, and in the middle of the most amazing scenery – and places like Switzerland, Monaco, and the beautiful Italian riviera are only a couple of hours drive away.
I am in fact writing this post from the comfort of a cafe in Geneva (where I’ve practically had to take out a loan to buy a sandwich). We’ve just come here for the weekend because The Greek and a group of our friends wanted to go to the motor show… but I’ve opted out. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the idea of walking around looking at cars from 9 to 6 isn’t really my idea of a Saturday well spent, so I’ve taken myself off to walk around Geneva and actually see the place, unlike the last time I was here when I joined them at the show and ended up with sore feet and feeling like I never wanted to see anything with four wheels ever again.
Anyway, I was wrong about Geneva. It’s lovely, as it turns out. Sort of like Paris, but the people here are much less rude, and there’s a lake.
Switzerland is a weird old place though, especially once you’ve become accustomed to the Italian way of life. A place where people throw their cigarette butts in the bin, speak at a low volume and don’t seem determined to squash you flat at zebra crossings is both comforting and confusing in equal measure.
As odd as it may sound, I’ve started to quite like the Italian chaos (if not the intense sense of fear I feel every time I have to cross the road), and I now don’t think I could ever live anywhere as civilized as this, but for a day it’s been just great.
I’ve wandered A LOT, taken a few photos, climbed what felt like several million steps up to the top of the cathedral to get a view of the city, made a trip to the Art & History Museum and two visits to Starbucks (just because we don’t have it and I was dying for a thoroughly non-Italian coffee…) and also witnessed several presumably Swiss men trying it on big time with foreign girls, talking absolute cheese to them een eengleesh wiz a vury zdrong aksont, which has kept me amused, and it’s turned out to be an awesome Saturday.
It definitely hasn’t been any less tiring than walking around looking at cars all day, but I’ve had infinitely more fun, and I do love a solo adventure every now and again.