Day 13: Geneva (24 Mar) #1

Today’s morning was overcast and subdued, much like the general atmosphere as news of the attack on Westminster began filtering in since yesterday night.

I took the No.25 bus from just outside my Airbnb all the way down to Jardin Botanique, which is its terminus. The World Trade Organization is just across the road from there, and though it wasn’t really on my list of places to visit, I’m not going to pass up such a photo opportunity.

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The Monument d’Albert Thomas in front of the World Trade Organization.
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The World Trade Organization, I don’t think unannounced visitors are allowed to enter the grounds though.

Done with my photo opp, I crossed back over to the Avenue de la Paix and caught side of the first telltale blue flag flapping lazily in the wind.

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The World Meteorological Organization, the first sign that I was entering UN territory.
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Close up of a ticket machine in Geneva. Some of them take CHF and Euros at the same rate (eg. 1 CHF=1 Euro), which is a bummer as the Euro exchange rate/value is higher than that of CHF.
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A map of Geneva’s public transport system. If you look closely, some sectors are divided between the Swiss and the French.

Continuing down the Avenue de la Paix, I came upon my main attraction of the day: the Palace of Nations.

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The Palace of Nations.
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There’s a considerable security presence around the UN compound.

Security around the compound was tight, and the guards were very wary of tourists. The furthest they let anyone without a badge go was up to the United Nations gate you see in the picture above. Entry into the compound was definitely out of the question.

Directly opposite the entrance to the Palace of Nations was the iconic Broken Chair. A symbol of opposition to landmines, it was sculpted by a Swiss artist and dedicated in 1997 to oppose the use of landmines and cluster bombs in warfare.

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The Broken Chair, directly across from the Palace of Nations.
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The Place des Nations, with the Palace of Nations visible in the background.

Other than that, I spent some time roaming the area around the Palace of Nations. Just a heads up, today will be the 4th and final day of validity of my Swiss Travel Pass.

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That’s an interesting symbol for peace.

This cannon has the front part of its barrel cut off, twisted into a knot and reattached. I suppose it is meant to convey the opposition to armed conflicts? There weren’t any plaques or information around. It’s behind the Place des Nations and opposite WIPO.

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The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) building in the background.
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Flags (left to right): Geneva, UN and Swiss, I presume?

Once I’m done, it’s time to head down into the old town part of Geneva!

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