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Monday, 4 August 2014

Geneva: The Fete, Lake and Posh Parties

Day 1

We arrived in Geneva around 6pm after a 4 and a half hour train journey from Marseille. This was pretty good timing to get ourselves to the hotel before going out to dinner. In true traveller style we got ourselves lost trying to find it, but soon enough we were relaxing in our comfortable room at the NH Rex hotel. With a 4* rating, it's not the usual place you'd expect to be staying on an interrail trip but the city had barely any hostels and they were all the same price as hotels too. So we did a "mystery hotel" option on which was just too exciting an oppurtunity to miss... Plus we got a great hotel at a bargain price!

Geneva lived up to its reputation as an expensive city, which we found out when we payed around 30CHF for dinner (25£ - blowing the budget a little) but we hadn't had a proper meal out yet so we decided we deserved it... Any excuse. From the roads lined with expensive cars to top designer brands in every building, there was a complete atmosphere change from Marseille. So using the oppurtunity to get out our classier clothes (luckily we packed these!) we headed to the Fete de Geneve. 

Having realised we had arrived on Swiss independence day and most things were shut, it was perfect timing that the fair was on. The sides of the lake were packed with food stalls, fairground rides and lots to see and do. The best bit was the stage which had bands playing thought the night. It had such a festival feel to it with the pretty lights and everyone relaxing on the grass in the woodland. As you can see in these pics, it was a funky atmosphere and great start to our stay.

After enjoying the buzz of the festival for a few hours we started making our way back to get a bit of sleep after a longish day of travelling. But typical us we ended up getting persuaded into a club. Not just any club but a private party hosted by Hublot watches! How we managed this I don't really know, but it was such a cool place. Think loads of private tables, expensive drinks and Geneva's young and rich! At 10CHF for a coke, not our usual spot for a night out but hey we embraced it and danced away. Clearly the Swiss don't party as hard as we may back in England, so our dancing didn't go unnoticed but we were having a great time! And even made friends with a bunch of people while we were there. 

Day 2:

Day two in Geneva and we thought that we would take a look at some of the other major landmarks having already spent some time around the lake. Having spotted a few taxi bikes around we decided this would be our mode of transport for the day... They were literally everywhere the day before but as soon as we wanted one we couldn't spot them anywhere! We ended up chasing one down the road (so embarrassing) and finally hopped in - yay. 

The guy was so lovely and gave us a nice deal for a fifteen minute tour of some 'major landmarks'. He then commenced to take us around and pointed out a couple of monuments/art works which were really cool but we were convinced were not going to be high up on the must visits for tourists. He was so nice though and had pointed out somewhere for us to walk to after that we really didn't care. 

Funnily enough as we got back to the hotel Meli pulled out a list of the top tourist spots in Geneva and our driver hadn't been lying - this was the place to be! This really highlights one of the things we found out about Geneva, the lake is beautiful and there are a lot of boat tours that you could take to really see the lake in all its glory - it's massive. But apart from this there weren't that many other things to see in terms of tourist attractions. We were so lucky to be there during the Fete which meant that there was plenty to do and see.

In the afternoon we walked up to the church that our driver had pointed out in the morning and this showed another really pretty side to Geneva, the streets were beautiful and cobbled and there were lots of cafes and restaurants around where you could sit to soak up the atmosphere. But our favourite place to sit was definitely in these...

These comfy little grass bed type things were dotted around the city, so random - we loved it. 

That evening we went to the Fete again where it was the official opening night, this meant some great live music performances including Frero Delavega who were on the French voice, these guys...

And a fantastic firework display like I have never seen before. 

We then finished the night in classy Genevan style in the same waterside club as the night before. This time it was masquerade style and because it was the opening night the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing, it was great. 

So if you are looking for a great festival atmosphere, a beautiful lake or lots of expensive shopping then Geneva is the place for you. 

We have just reached our next location, here's the hint... Any guesses?! 

Stay tuned for more of our travels! 


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