View our photo's of Geneva
Mon 17 Sep (weather - a bit overcast with sunny patches)
It is Francine's birthday today and she went to work so she can celebrate with all her colleagues. The girls went into the city to spend the day window shopping, as everything is very expensive in Geneva, so they can't afford to buy anything.
We took the rubbish down to the basement before going into town and Francine showed us the compulsory nuke shelter under the builbing, very impessive with 8 inch thick concrete doors, food stocks and air vents etc. Francine has her room down there filled up with excess furniture shoes etc, she says thats ok because there are plenty of other rooms. They also have funny gun laws here, Alex showed us his Gloc pistol and the AK47 they keep in the wardrobe, even if you are not in the military here you have to keep up your shooting practice at the range, if you have a gun licence you can carry guns loaded, if you dont have a licence you have to carry your ammo out of the gun.
We spent a quiet morning updating our blog & uploading our photos to the web, then took the tram into the city (about a 10 minute trip). We visited Francine's Bank and met her boss and said hello to all the people we met the first night we arrived. Then went to the station to book our train to Florence and the overnight train from Venice back to Paris. With the World Rugby being on while we are here everything is heavily booked, so we need to book ahead.
In the afternoon we walked around the old city of Geneva. The streets are so quaint, cobble stones, very narrow & steep. Someone was moving house in one of the streets we went up and they remove the furniture via the window and balcony using a special conveyer belt/lift. I hope they are insured because if they drop anything it's 3 floors to the street below.
We all met back at Francine's work at 5.30pm and had drinks with all the staff to celebrate her birthday, then went to the Cohiba Cafe again for cocktails and dinner. The food and company was fantastic and we ate and drank and laughed alot.
It started to rain before we left so we got a bit damp going back to the tram. Because we were drunk, stupid & had our arms full of flowers and presents we decided not to buy tickets as it is only 4 stops and we hadn't seen an inspector the whole time we've been here. However we discovered that crime does not pay, because blow me down the ticket inspector boarded our tram and we had to pay 80 francs for not buying a ticket. That'll teach us not to be dishonest as the fare is only 3 francs each. Francine tried to tell them we lost our tickets, but they didn't believe us so in the end after much haggling we paid up. We laughed all the way home. P...ssed and wet.
Tues 18 Sep
Had a sleep in this morning. Tara & Jessica packed their bags as they return to Edinborough today and I checked our email to discover a message from my brother advising mum was in hospital. Gave mum a quick call to say hello and see how she is.
Had breakfast (brunch) at a cafe next to the French border, then drove out to the airport. It was sad to say goodbye and Mark is joking about coming back again next summer to take Tara's excess lugguge home.
After the airport we went back to the train station as one of the reservations we made yesterday was incorrect. Had McDonald's for lunch and returned to Francine's for an afternoon siesta and to update our blog.
The 3 of us went to a Lebonese restaurant (The Caravan that passes, or something like that when translated into English!) in the city for dinner and then an early night as we depart for Florence at 9am tomorrow.
Wed 19 Sep
A bit of a rush to get packup and get to the train station, especially as it was peak hour traffic, but we made it to the station ontime and Francine new which platform we needed. The train departed on time (8.50am) - as all Swiss trains do. Our train is called a CIS not sure exactly what this means, but it's not as fast as the French TGV train. We meandered through the hills and countryside before going straight through the mountain - yes thru the mountain...12 miles of tunnels thru solid rock. Glad I didn't dig the tunnel!
Arrived in Florance at 3.45pm and walked to our Hotel, the Hotel Eden. No garden but still quite nice. Had spaghetti for dinner - when in Rome (or Florence) do as the Italiens do...etc. Bought a bottle of local red wine and fell into bed to watch Italian TV. Couldn't understand a word!