Blitz Touring – Geneva in the Morning

The other day as I was walking by the Coop, I saw a big sign advertising a Duo-Tageskarte for 69 CHF. That means that two people can ride anywhere in Switzerland for one day for the amazing low price of 69 Francs (total, for two people). Limited time only. First we bought the card, and then we started thinking about where to go.

Since I have it in my head that I want to get to all of Switzerland’s 26 cantons this year, we scoured the map for previously unseen, southern regions (maybe some sun?) and decided to go all the way to Geneva. It’s about the furthest-away place we can go and still be in the country. If you look at this map, you see that Geneva Canton sticks its nose (or tail, depending upon your preference) into France on all sides. Guidebooks don’t wax eloquently about the city of Geneva (Genf in German, Genève in French), so we didn’t think we needed to stay there all day, but it was a good place to start.

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The IC (InterCity) Train (the fast one with only a few stops) takes just under three hours, and we jumped on in Zürich at 7:30, putting us into the French-speaking city well before lunch. Bonjour!

We didn’t have much of an itinerary, except that I’d read that the Cathedral of Saint Pierre where John Calvin preached was an easy stroll from the train station, and the friendly woman at the tourist information place gave us two maps with highlighted routes to the cathedral which sits in the middle of the old city.

Along the way we saw the Reformation Wall with relief statues of Calvin and friends, Beza, Farel and Knox. These central figures are the French guys. We learned that Calvin was French. Why didn’t we know that already? Other reform figures flank these four.

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This one is Oliver Cromwell.

IMG_8159Luther and Zwingli, the German reformers, didn’t get statues, but just their names on stone slabs. You can throw away your trash next to Luther.

The cathedral itself is quite lovely.

I’d read that one could see Calvin’s chair, and I thought it might be this one,

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but turns out, it was this three-legged one.

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Next to the main sanctuary is the Maccabee Chapel, quite lovely.

The promised sunshine did not materialize, so we decided against a trip up the tower for a city view. With the Tageskarte, we could ride any form of public transport, so we found the 15 Tram and went out to the United Nations for a quick peek.

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Between the two UN Buildings stands this Broken Chair sculpture

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Which still has its remembrance of the Charlie Hebdo killings on a leg

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By this time we were getting hungry for our sack lunch, and the warmest place we could think of to eat it was on the train to our next destination, so back to the train station for our trip around Lake Geneva to Montreux.

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