March 23 -
Saturday, March 23: Geneva was our first stop of
our 27 day European vacation. It has a population
and shares a border with France and
Switzerland. It is the European headquarters for United Nations.
It is a very nice
city to walk around. Lake Geneva very large and scenic. Old Town has
Roman city wall with cobblestone streets, hills, lots of cafes, shops,
chocolate everywhere, old churches, and Scenic views of Lake.
International District home of Europeans United
Nations, Red Cross, and various United Nations missions. People protest
there regularly for various issues.
We stayed at a four star hotel Rotary Geneva MGallery by Sofitel in
downtown Geneva. Note that this would not be a four
star hotel in the U.S. since the hotel does not have restaurant or room service.
However, it was very
clean and and had good service. Downtown
is very pleasant to walk around. Again, lots of
cheese and chocolate stores, cafes, watch stores and
Swiss army knife stores. The train station
was 5 minutes away and the
bus station was 3 minutes away. Lake Geneva
was about two minutes
away. Very expensive city, ranked number two most expensive city
in the world. With Zurich being #1. Two
cappuccinos and two breakfast sandwiches at local Starbucks cost 28 Swiss
Francs. Ouch! Not much really to see and do. Would recommend
to spend no more than two or three days
in Geneva. The Science and natural science museums very
interesting but of course in French as French is the
language in Geneva.
Tuesday March 26th day trip to Chamonix and Mont Blanc. Took one hour
bus ride up to Chamonix located
in the French Alps. Scenic Alpine
Village that skiers love. Nice shops, cafes,
and restaurants. We took the train up to Mont Blanc. Didn't stay very long because it was very
cold. We took panoramic pictures and got back on the train. Did
not take cable car to top because the upper cars were
not functioning due to high winds. Had lunch and awesome dessert. Bought a few trinkets.
Altogether a fun day. Was windy and cold rather unusual for spring
day. But it was sunny and beautiful with snow cap mountains.
March 27th had dinner at Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant around the
corner from hotel called Zone Control. Excellent Asian food. Nice to
have real Asian food. Carol had chicken cashew which was a little lame
but it is chicken cashew. I had Shrimp Szechuan which was spicy and
very flavorful. We had appetizer of fried dough things including
something that looked like egg roll but had beef and spring rolls and
shrimp toast, etc. We shared fried ice cream for dessert which was
spectacular. Best meal in Geneva.