I was intrigued when we’d seen break dancers in Nice. Of course, I had to stop and take some pictures we saw some talented guys in Paris. Of all the street performers we saw in Paris, they were my favorite. They were amazing.
The hill of the Trocadéro (officially named Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, although it is usually simply called the Place du Trocadéro) is the hill of Chaillot, a former village. Today, it is home to the site of the Palais de Chaillot, and in Paris’ 16th arrondissement. We went to the Trocedero for a great view of the Eiffel Tower from the other side of the Seine River and for some people watching, but I think I ended up taking more pictures of the b-boys than of Paris.
When we have great views of the mountains, I wake up early and take pictures. I can’t help myself. When we had a view of Mont Blanc, I did it. When we were in the Bernese Oberland last weekend, I woke up early in the morning to this view of the moon and the Eiger. Not too shabby.
When you look at Geneva, the building that stands out is the cathedral on top of old town. It’s called St. Pierre Cathedral. On your first clear day in Geneva, go to the top and enjoy the view. In addition to the stellar view, the building’s history tells you a lot about the city of Geneva.
They’ve started excavating underneath St. Pierre Cathedral and found Roman ruins* (visit the archaeological site to learn more). The site was continuously occupied until the current building was built in the 12th century. Back then, it was a Catholic church. When the reformation arrived, it became a center of the Reformation. The cathedral is best known as Calvin’s home church. They even have his chair inside.
The Reformation brought changes to the building as well. It’s philosophy of austerity impacted the interior of the cathedral. Ornaments were removed; colors were whitewashed. The Calvinists didn’t believe in religious images, so statues, alters, paintings and furniture were out. The windows are just about the only thing they keptCompare this to St. Peter‘s Cathedral in Rome and you can really see the austerity, solemnity and restraint.
To get to the top, you will climb 157 steps up to the North Tower.
Don’t get spooked out by the twisty stairs or the attic-type space, keep heading up.
Don’t stop when confronted by wire cage.
If you continue, you will be rewarded. Aaaahhhh. There it is, that’s the shot you came to get.
*There are Roman ruins throughout Switzerland. I even stumble onto them during my runs (there’s a ruins of a Roman villa in the Parc des Eaux-Vives). We saw them in St. Saphorin and Sion has Roman roots.
Finally, I have gotten to the really important things for expats in Geneva. The Buvette at the Bains de Paquis has the best fondue in Geneva. As much as I want to bring you the scoop, I am certainly not about to eat every fondue in Geneva. Regardless, I stand by my statement. Here’s why. It is really good fondue. At 20 CHF, it is reasonably priced. The best part though is the location, its wonderful view and relaxed atmosphere. This is your view. Outstanding. I rest my case.
It is a great place to bring out-of-town guests. When my mom was visiting, we brought her here (by boat from Eaux-Vives) for a very memorable evening. She ate it up. Heck, I ate it up. Literally.
Last weekend, we went to Zermatt and saw the Matterhorn! It was insanely beautiful, even mesmerizing. I am a child of the eighties and so I use the word “awesome”. More accurately, I misuse it. When you see something as awe-inspiring as the Matterhorn, you vow to use the word properly in the future so that words to describe such beautiful, moving things will have power and meaning.
We took the train up to Gornergrat (elevation 3130 meters/10,269 feet). It has a nice view of the Matterhorn and of the glacier.
From Gornergrat, we hiked down to Zermat(elevation 1620 meters/5,250 feet).* It was wonderful to see the Matterhorn over time and from so many different angles. We also liked seeing the change in vegetation on the way down. The weather cooperated. I don’t think there was a cloud in the sky. This late in the season meant that any snow that was going to melt had already melted. As a result, we could really see the geology of Switzerland’s mountains.
When I say I was mesmerized by it, I mean it. I took at least 300 photos of it. He made fun of me (deservedly so), but I couldn’t help myself.
Zermatt is in the valley below. I swear it looks closer than it felt going down. You can see the change in vegetation as we descended. The tree line slowed down my rabid picture taking.
*The next day our quads were sore. I may lose a toenail (or two). Oh well, it was so worth it.