The train ride from Zurich took around 3 hours, and I left Zurich at 11am, so I reached Geneva at 2pm. Now, the issue is that I previously agreed with my Airbnb host in Geneva for a meeting at 3pm to pick up the keys, and with my mobile data gone, I had to rely on the intermittent WiFi at SBB stations to stay in contact with the host. I wasn’t sure if the chap got my message that I was arriving ahead of schedule, but the last message was that the key was under the doormat (typical Airbnb).
When I got there, punched in the password and got through the first door, I was faced with a rickety looking lift that I refused to take, electing to climb the stairs up to the third floor where the unit was at. And when I got there, voila, no key under the doormat. The host did mention that the neighbours didn’t like the fact that he was renting out his unit as an Airbnb, so I tried as hard as possible to not look sketchy while I was figuring out where the key was at.
Turns out the host only came to place the key half an hour before my scheduled arrival, and I did meet him, though barely a dozen words were exchanged. Long story short, got the key, dropped my pack and went out again.
One of the reasons why I chose this particular Airbnb was for its proximity to the Geneva Cornavin train station and the lake as well; I could leg it to both if I wanted to.
The first thing I really checked out in Geneva was a Coop store near my place. I’ve been to a Coop store in Zurich HB, but all of them had a significant meaning for me. When I was still a kid, my dad used to go to the Coop in Zurich airport and buy those little die cast planes back for me whenever he was in Switzerland for work. Those were the toys that accompanied me throughout my childhood.
After a quick walk through of the store (and sadly, no planes to be found), I decided to come back later to buy some food for dinner. I didn’t want to carry all of those around while I enjoy my evening by the lake.
Nonetheless, after a short walk I found myself facing Geneva’s most prominent landmark: the Jet d’Eau.
It was getting a little windy and chilly by then, but still tolerable as I continued south along the Quai du Mont Blanc, eventually coming upon the Jetee des Paquis.
From what I could gather, one could probably swim in the lake within a specific area just off from the jetty, and as expected no one was swimming at the time when I was there, just ducks and swans roaming around the lake.
I dropped in at the La Buvette des Bains, a restaurant on the jetty with outdoor and indoor seating. They had a pretty impressive menu, though I opted for a bowl of hot soup to warm me up a bit. It’s 5CHF, but the soup came with bread, cheeses and a bunch of grapes.
The soup was listed as “Fresh Vegetable Soup of the Day,” though I suspect it was pumpkin with some other vegetables added in. I wasn’t quite sure how I was supposed to eat the cheese; it was a little too hard for my tastes, so in the end I dipped it in the soup to soften it up.
Done with my unplanned snack, I headed back to the Coop. And to my astonishment, the rack of roast chicken near the entrance which was nearly full when I visited a couple hours earlier was now completely empty, save for 1 lonely survivor.
I picked up a few items, including a tube of salt that I discovered that I didn’t need as the host provided me with one already, and some salmon and microwave lasagne.
I’ve first seen people picking up some of this Quollfrisch beer when I was at the gas station on my first night in Lucerne, it seemed to be a pretty popular drink among the locals. From what I could recall, the label on the back stated that it was brewed using water from the Alps? I’m not a beer nut, or an expert on alcohol by any measure, but it was pretty pleasant compared to some of the beer I had in the past.
Turn down the lights, and off I go around Geneva tomorrow!