Our flight landed into Geneva at 9.40am. Upon collecting our luggage at the carousel we went to the ticket machine within the luggage hall to collect our free airport transport pass, we would then have just 80 minutes to get onto the bus (or train or tram) , so we followed the signs for the bus and took a guess if we were getting the correct bus number (it is bus number 50 to the city you need)
We didn’t really know where we were supposed to get off the bus, but we were checking our google maps and also could see the lake approaching. Turns out we were just a few blocks from our hotel. The bus only took around 20 minutes
Our hotel was the 5* Hotel D’angelterre located on the lake front. Wow - it was posh, but the staff were so friendly, our room wasn’t ready, so they took us to the Leopard Bar for complimentary tea and unlimited mini Toblerone’s! We had paid for the stay with our Expedia points and this also gave us a free room upgrade
We dropped our bags, marvelled at the room then headed out. By this time, it was around 11.30am. (We could have left earlier but we were having fun eating the chocolates and checking out the massive bathroom and walk in wardrobe) The hotel concierge had given us a free transport pass which would last the duration of our stay (so getting back to the airport the next day was included) The pass included bus, train, tram and boat. Every tourist staying overnight in Geneva receives this pass. (How lovely!)
There was a ferry terminal right outside our hotel, so after a short stroll taking in the lake, we hopped on the next boat which sailed across the lake, passing by the famous Jet d’Eau and dropping us at the other side. Of which we could have walked in around 5 minutes (but hey it was free)
We were now at the Old Town and we made our way up the cobbled pathway passed Maison Tavel which is a local history museum up to Cathedral St Pierre. You can climb up either of the towers for 5 Francs (and we are told the South tower/ right hand side tower is the best) but we opted out of this. The cathedral is set on La Place du Bourg-de-Four which has many other stunningly rich architectural buildings. Nearby you can visit L’ancien arsenal which is a small artillery museum.
Winding back down from the Old Town we passed by the stunning watch and clothes shops on Rue du Rhône before crossing over to Jardin Anglais, a parkland set near to the Lake Geneva where we were going to have a swatch at L’horloge fleurie or the Flower Clock, which is made up of 6,500 flowers and plants and is a symbol to the city’s watchmakers.
Checking the clock- the time was now around 1.30pm. We took a seat facing the lake and spent some more time appreciating Jet d’Eau, which is a 140-metre fountain set in the middle of Lake Geneva that symbolizes the city’s ambition and vitality.
We were now heading for the other side of the lake but first we needed food. We found Geneva to be an expensive place, so we headed to a large supermarket and bought some baguettes.
As we had our free transport pass, we jumped on a tram (tram numbers 2, 4, 11, 14, 19, D) which took us to our next destination La Pointe de la Jonction. This place was high on our list, as we had seen photographs and it looked like it couldn’t be true. Jonction is a place where the rivers Rhône and Arve meet each other. Both rivers have different colours of water and when they join, they create a natural phenomenon as the waters don’t really blend with one another until they pass under the bridge, which is just 40 metres from the Jonction
Now you could if you are short for time get the tram back, but we opted meander through the streets for a while before catching a bus heading in our direction.
We spent time relaxing in our amazing hotel room before wondering where to go for dinner. We were only in Geneva for one day as we were actually here to head to Portes du Soliel for a ski trip, so we didn’t fancy blowing all our money on the first night, and it did seem like most restaurants were very expensive. We looked up Trip Advisor and found the best cheap eat was a Lebanese restaurant called Parfums de Beyrouth and it was precisely a 6-minute walk from our hotel. Well- the place was rammed, with a queue out the door for takeaways. The restaurant was simple, but the food plentiful and tasted amazing!
We headed back to the hotel wandering along the lake front, admiring the city lights, when we decided to carry on walking 30 minutes from our hotel away from the city to Palais Des Nations- which is the UN building, if we had went during the day we could have took a guided tour, at night we could still see the flags of each country and the Broken Chair, a 12 metre high wooden sculpture promoting peace and as a protest to cluster bombs & land mines.
We woke after a very comfy sleep and padded downstairs taking the really old and quirky elevator to Windows Restaurant where a massive buffet breakfast was laid out. There was everything from smoked salmon, selection of cheese, fresh breads, super juices and even champagne! Oh, how the other half live 😉
We packed up and walked the 5 minutes to the train station where we boarded a double decker train that would take us back to the airport – where we were picking up our hire car to drive an hour and half to Châtel for our week skiing.