Sometimes you go away for a weekend and you feel like you’ve been away for a minute. Other times you go away and feel like you’ve been away for months. And it feels good.
We took advantage this past weekend of B’s rather hectic international conference schedule (meetings where physicists sit around, eat a lot of pastries and talk a lot about Game of Thrones, if B’s stories are anything to go by) and hopped off for a weekend in Geneva, Switzerland. I’d heard good things about Geneva – clean, friendly, beautiful and oh-so-French – but I’d never really considered it top of my list of places to go. How wrong I was.
First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room: yes, Geneva is expensive and no, we didn’t starve. At first we were a little taken aback by the steep prices for food but with a little bit of research we found some delicious places for breakfast and dinner. As for lunch? Well when it’s 30 degrees out and bright sunshine, some bread, grapes and ham by the lake does me absolutely fine.
- Chez ma cousine This is a chain restaurant, specialising in rotisserie chicken, potatoes and salad, all for a very reasonable 15.40 CHF. It’s bloody good chicken – B and I were sorely tempted to go back again (once I find somewhere I like I pretty much want to move in immediately); chicken on a terrace on a sunny evening is a tough act to follow.
- O Bom Gosto. Okay, you got us. O Bom Gosto is hardly the height of Swiss cuisine, but I have a pretty well-known soft spot for natas (Portuguese custard tarts). This place seemed to be quite the hit with the locals and Portuguese expats alike, and I can see why – the first day we rather hesitantly ordered 2 natas; by the last day we were onto 5 (in my defence, they’re 1 EUR apiece on Sundays)… B had to pretty much physically restrain me from going back and ordering a dozen more.
It was so lovely to explore a new city, country and culture. Our last few trips have been centred around Belgium and the Netherlands, which are quite similar in terms of language and architecture, so it was great to go somewhere a little more southern. I’d say the architecture was pretty Italian (with some touches of Gaudi in Barcelona) but the culture is very similar to France in all. And to speak French again… Like being back in the arms of an old lover, I tell you.
The weather was beautiful so we pretty much stuck to the outdoors – walks around the lake, the old town and the town centre, with a spot of reading in a local park for good luck. We did, however, duck into a bar for the Switzerland-Poland game on Saturday. Shame that Switzerland lost on penalties, but great to be part of a home crowd and to cheer along with them. There was also a rather comical incident with a preacher in a park, but we’ll save that for another time.
All in all? A lovely, much needed escape to Geneva.