“I should like the window to open onto the Lake of Geneva – and there I’d sit and read all day like the picture of somebody reading” – John Keats
A few months ago, the prospect of gazing upon Lake Geneva was as remote as meeting a living Mr. Keats. But funny things happen when you’re a travel blogger – a condition with which I remain unaccustomed – and you learn to simply embrace the unexpected gifts from the Universe.
In this case, I had unexpectedly and most surprisingly been selected to join a cadre of famous and talented bloggers to visit the City of Geneva, Switzerland for a long weekend. I at first thought that they had mistaken me for someone much younger and cooler, but when I was assured the opportunity was genuine, I leapt at the chance to visit Geneva!
Switzerland’s second-largest city is also its western-most, almost entirely surrounded by France, if it weren’t for it being adjacent to Lake Geneva (Western Europe’s largest lake) to its east. The city offers majestic mountain views and a stunning panorama of historic buildings.
Geneva is widely known for hosting the second-largest of the four office buildings of the United Nations, the location of the signing of the Geneva Conventions, or for its importance as a financial center. Geneva however is much more.
I had the fortune of visiting some of Geneva’s most historic and popular attractions during my brief visit. This article offers a brief overview of my visit.
My introduction to Geneva could not have been more lovely as I checked into Le Richemond on Lake Geneva. The property is part of the luxurious Dorchester Collection, and is quintessentially European – classic lines and appointments, and plush interiors.
We then met at a local restaurant and enjoyed a lovely meal. It was unfortunately a little late to capture quality images, but I did manage to take this pic of my lovely fish entree!
Perhaps the highlight of the visit occurred the morning of our second day. We awoke to the bustling sidewalks of Lake Geneva, and walked toward the water where our boat awaited to carry us across the Lake so that we could visit the famous Jet d’Eau (the fountain). It’s quite spectacular up close, and one of the bloggers actually turned it on! (I turned it off, which was much less impressive.)
After our experience with the fountain, we walked through the cobblestone streets of Old Town Geneva, where we discovered charming enclaves and striking architecture. The setting offered a multitude of photo-worthy moments:
We then enjoyed a gourmet picnic in Geneva’s Parc des Eaux Vives, which features a breathtaking monumental wall dedicated to the Protestant Reformation. It’s is quite something to behold.
After lunch, we had the chance to experience a truly Swiss experience, watchmaking! Geneva is considered the birthplace of high end watchmaking, and I was skeptical that I would be able to actually complete such a delicate task, but I did it, and the experience was memorable and I highly recommend it if when you visit Geneva. Here are a few images of our watchmaking classroom! Special thanks to the master watchmakers from Bucherer for being so patient with all of us!
Once we completed the watchmaking exercise, we had the fortune of visiting the famous rooftop of the luxurious Hotel Metropole – sumptuous and spectacular views.
We experienced a most delectable dinner at Le Richemond that evening at its signature restaurant Le Jardin, which I will discuss in more detail in a later post. But here are some images, and you’ll notice a decidedly radiant selection of crafted dishes:
Our last day offered a bit of haziness and intermittent rain, but Geneva is a city of many options, so we opted for some indoor activities. We began with a most interesting experience at the Victorinox store where we had the opportunity to create our own custom Swiss Army Knife – so cool!!
After a light snack at a local restaurant, a few of us ventured through a local market, and the variety and preparation of the foods was quite impressive. This was a wonderful way to experience a small part of Geneva and its local culture.
Afterward, we visited a charming and historic family vineyard for some winetasting – Les Perrieres Cave & Domaine – in the Village of Peissy just a few miles outside of Geneva. Geneva has the third largest wine canton of Switzerland, and it is amazing to see the contrast in the land and the architecture while traveling so few miles. We had the fortune of being served by Emmanuel, one of the family’s winemakers, and the wine was divine, varied, and flavorful.
We finished the day with a truly Swiss dining experience, Fondue! I absolutely loved the feel, the people, and the music of this exquisite local restaurant. Thanks also to Carolyn for teaching us how to eat Fondue the right way!
Our visit to Geneva was a true whirlwind, and there was so much more that we didn’t see or experience. I was truly astounded as to how much Geneva has to offer in cuisine, culture, art, architecture, and attractions. I look forward to returning when I have more time to explore the city in different ways. But I also enjoyed how much ground we were able to cover in such a short period of time. Some European cities can be intimidating. Not Geneva. It’s quite easy to cover ground by walking, and even easier if you choose to drive or take a car.
While there were a multitude of exhilarating and memorable experiences, I think Keats had it right. I’ll always recall staring out at Lake Geneva from my room at Le Richemond, and wondering how I can make the view last forever in my mind’s eye.
Geneva Tourism – Social Media
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I’d like to thank Kerstin, Caroline, and Geneva Tourism for the invitation, and for welcoming all of us and showing us your lovely city!!
Please take note that Geneva Tourism welcomed me as a special media guest, but that as always, my opinions are my own.
Thank you again, and happy traveling!