Geneve- day 2… The journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step

My favorite kinds of cities are the ones where you can walk around and get a sense for the energy of the place. That’s what I like about certain neighborhoods in New York like West Village and Chelsea, Wicker Park in Chicago and French Quarters in New Orleans. Geneva is definitely one of those cities. A few hours of walking around and you can understand the energy of the city.

Cathedrale St. Pierre

Facade of Cathedrale St. Pierre

Today was about exploring Old Town: the name is self-explanatory. It’s the oldest part of the city; parts of it date back to 500 B.C. The narrow, winding steep cobblestoned streets make it a stark contrast to the rest of Geneva. Apart from the obvious architectural beauty, what struck me most was the subtle modernization of the streets of Old Town. Juxtaposing the old-world European facades were Thai restaurants and modern art galleries. After walking around Old Town for a bit (and exercising my thigh muscles), I made my way to Cathedrale St. Pierre. Don’t be fooled by the neo-classical facade: the original cathedral dates back to the 1100’s, although numerous fires and restorations leave no mark of that period. What’s cool is you can go down to the basement to see archeological ruins dating back to the 4th century. You can also climb up 150-ish stairs to get a breathtaking view of Geneva and it’s surroundings. Sadly, both those excursions close at 5p and I couldn’t do either.

After getting my fill of Old Town and all the photo-ops it had to offer, I walked over to rue de la Croix-d’Or, a major shopping area in Geneva. The first thing that caught my eye was the ubiquitous Apple logo. Between this street and the ones parallel to it like Rue du Marche and Rue du Rhone, there’s no dearth of shopping areas in Geneva, albeit expensive (as hell!) ones. Looking down Rue de La Croix, I couldn’t help but marvel how different it was from the street right behind it in Old Town.

Jet D’eau
Next up was a walk by the lake to see the famous Jet D’eau, a fountain that shoots water 460 ft in the air! Given that it was a gorgeous, sunny (at 7p!) day, it was the perfect day for a saunter down Promenade du Lac to get a close-up view of the “Jet.” It lived up to the hype!

Finally, after all the walking around, I was famished and ready for dinner. My cuisine choice was Indian. This time, I left it less up to chance (I’m picky about my Indian food naturally) and found my way to Cafe Bollywood, which had good ratings online. The theme lived up to the name (with a Bollywood movie DVD box housing the menu) and the good was fabulous! The owner even gave me a free cup of spiced chai!

All in all, a successful 2nd day full of sunshine, walking, and exploring!

Streets of Old Town

Rue de La Croix

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