The best of all possible worlds

Trip Start Dec 17, 2010
Trip End Apr 26, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Switzerland  , Geneva,
Thursday, April 14, 2011

12 Avril 2011
This whole day was airports and traveling.  Long story short, we missed our flight in a classic WTFE moment so we spent 12 hours in the Rome airport before we could finally take off to Geneva.  Good thing I'm with an awesome friend, because it didn't feel like 12 hours at all.  

Landed in Geneva and we're back to French again!  So far French is my best non-English, non-Spanish language.  

Got to the hostel.  It's really nice.  Also expensive, but we're only staying for 2 nights.  It actually reminds me a lot of my dorm from freshman year.  Best bed I've slept in in 2 weeks almost.

13 Avril 2011
Oh no.  I'm sick again.

 Woke up late and got some bread and cheese from the grocery store for breakfast.  The grocery stores here have really reasonable prices which surprised me because I always heard that Switzerland is really expensive.  The restaurants definitely make up for this.  A meal is about 23 francs, ~ $27.  We'll be sticking to the grocery store.  The hostel has a nice kitchen.

Our first touristy stop was to the Cathedral.  It's where Calvin preached (as in -ism, not -& Hobbes)  For those of you who don't remember reformation history, the Calvinists opposed the use of icons, therefore, it is a very bare church.  The best part was climbing to the bell towers and getting an awesome panoramic view of the city.  

The map that we got from the hostel gave us a list of 12 free museums.  After the church, we went to the art and history museum.  The people there love their jobs.  They kept trying to show us their favorite things, and tell us all about it in French.  

After lunch, we walked to the botanical gardens.  We went about 15 minutes in the wrong direction first.  I thought we had made up for the mistake when we found a fabric store, but after I picked out the one I wanted, she told me it was 33 chf per meter.  Yowzah.  This might be a souvenir free city.  

The gardens were really pretty but the greenhouses were closed.  After the gardens, we found a playground and swung for a little bit and watched a family of four little red head boys.  Super cute.  Kind of hard to explain, but sometimes I have experiences that really remind me that there are some people out there who feel the same about French as I do about English.  For example, one  of the little boys came over and clearly wanted the swing I was on, I got up and his mom prompted him, "Si vous plait..."  and then when I walked away, she made him say "Merci."  Just a reminder that people talk about the same things, they just do it with different words.  

14 Avril 2011
History lesson about the Geneva Convention (I know you thought Convention as soon as I said Geneva):  

 There have been 4.  The first decided that wounded soldiers, as well as medical teams, are neutral and can be taken off the battle field without risk of attack.  This basically founded the Red Cross.  The red cross was never a religious symbol, it's just an inversion of the Swiss flag, a white cross on a red background.

The second convention did basically the same thing, except this time it included naval battles.  

The third one was after WWI and it set mandates for the treatment of POW's

The 4th one was after WWII where it became obvious that there needed to be rules about the treatment of civilian prisoners (concentration camps = not ok)  so they had the 4th Geneva Convention.

So yeah, this morning we went to the Red Cross/Red Crescent museum.  It was pretty sad, but also uplifting.  Nobody asked for our ticket after we bought it.  I guess the general assumption is that nobody is going to rip the Red Cross off.  

After that, we went to Voltaire's house.  I don't know if you know this, but Candide is my fav.  His house was cute, and the museum was kind of dull, but the library was awesome.  It had a copy of every edition of every book he wrote.  We both just sat down and read Candide all the way through.  That was pretty cool.  

Looks like cake night is just going to be store bought cake and wine in the hostel.  We're sleeping at the airport tonight and going to a new country tomorrow!  
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Maria on

I like that flower clock - they have a HUGE one in Vina del Mar in Chile, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I'm so easily amused though, so that's not saying much.

Sucks that you missed your flight though! But at least you got there in the end! I would die spending 12 hours in an airport.

Ok, for some reason I can't type and it took me about 5 minutes to type that little bitty bit right there.... sheesh!

Grandpa on

Seeing Voltaire's home must have again reminded you, " this is the best of all possible worlds", without glossing over it.

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