Day 13: Geneva (24 Mar) #3

As mentioned in the previous post, I was fairly hungry at this point, and the Taverne de la Madeleine happened to be the one cafe that caught my eye. While coming down from the terrace past the Rue de la Fontaine, I did spot a spaghetti restaurant that piqued my interest. It was to be my backup plan if I found the Taverne to be unsuitable.

Here’s a picture of the Taverne if you missed it on the previous post. The building is on the left of the image.

This was one of the restaurants that I didn’t scope out before deciding to dine in. As a matter of fact, the only restaurant that I think I scoped out well before arriving was the Golden Chippy in Greenwich.

There were only a few tables occupied outside, however once I pushed open the wooden doors, it was clear that the restaurant was almost filled to capacity. Nevertheless, I did manage to find a table, and was served by an English speaking staff member and handed a menu written in English, which is a relief as I didn’t want to go through all the gesturing again as I did in Berlin. Thank Merlin for small favours.

This was a nice touch. Evidently, the restaurant is pretty proud of its history, enough to dedicate an entire page of the menu to it.


One of the points that drew me into the restaurant was the swordfish steak with rice advertised outside. Though in the end I didn’t order that, I managed to snag a picture of it from another customer’s order.


The swordfish steak with rice. I hadn’t seen rice since Amsterdam, nor tasted it since the day before I left Penang.

I ended up ordering the Sirloin steak (you could find it in the menu under “Entrecote (Sirloin steak) “maître d’hôtel” butter”), which came with my choice of fries (other choices being spaghetti, rice or vegetables). On the drinks aspect, I had a cappuccino and a glass of orange juice.



All in, I’d give the restaurant a 4/5. Service was pleasant, attentive and fluent in English. Atmosphere was nice even though the restaurant was at full occupancy. The final bill came to around 35CHF, reasonable for such portions and what I ordered compared to some of the other restaurants in the area. Bear in mind that this is a ‘dry’ restaurant, which means that they do not serve alcohol. So if you must have a glass of red with your meal, this isn’t for you.

After lunch, it was free-roaming time again. I stuck mostly to the lakefront (Quai du Général-Guisan) or one street behind that (Rue du Rhône), browsing through stores that I had no money nor desire to purchase from. I did however, go across the road to the English Gardens.

This was taken somewhere near the English Gardens, I believe.
This one I’m certain was in the English Gardens.
A Nespresso boutique store on Quai du Général-Guisan.

Wandering down the Rue du Rhône, I went on a wild goose chase for the “Longines Clock in the Passage Malbuisson.” Apparently it wasn’t a very well known landmark or attraction, as I couldn’t find it on many maps. Searching through the Internet, the clock proved to be as elusive as well. It took me almost an hour and four times walking through the same area to finally spot the clock, which was hiding up on the wall above the passage. I must’ve walked beneath it quite a few times on my passes through the area.

And don’t bother looking for it on Google Maps. It isn’t there.

The thrice accursed wall clock, hiding up there.

A little background on the clock: It was made to commemorate the skill of Swiss watchmakers, hence the elaborate setup. Every hour, the bells will chime and a row little figurines will emerge from a small door on the right, make a pass in front of a few spectators and disappear into another small door on the left. And that’s about it, it is just a very ornate clock.

Best way to get there? Even searching for the Passage Malbuisson turns out scarce results. Just plug in the GPS coordinates 46.203391, 6.146299. Once you get into the passage, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled. That’s as much advice that I can offer.

A little side story

My mobile data on Lycamobile ran out two days earlier, and I managed to pick up a 10CHF reload coupon from the Coop store near my place in Geneva yesterday. However, this is where it gets funny.

I couldn’t load the credit into my number for some reason, despite following all the instructions printed in French and so. I did pretty much all I could, and gave up when I still couldn’t get it to load. So, I decided to go back to the Coop today to ask for help.

Out of their staff, only one spoke any English, and even then we had issues communicating. After ensuring that I followed all the instructions correctly, and doing it once herself to no avail, she called Lycamobile, which after quite a bit of wrangling came back to say that because my SIM was a UK SIM, it couldn’t load any credit using Swiss reload coupons, or any other coupon other than UK ones for that fact.

I was like, wtf? You advertised yourself as an international, scratch that, European SIM provider, and you couldn’t allow a SIM purchased in a European country to use a reload coupon bought from another European country. What is this sorcery?

Did you seriously expect me to go around carrying a bunch of UK reload coupons everywhere I went in Europe?

In the end, I got the coupon refunded, and that’s pretty much the end of the story, save for me ranting at Lycamobile for the rest of the day.


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