Our Final Stop In Switzerland Was Geneva
It was a short train hop from our stay in Bern to Geneva. This was our last stop in Switzerland for this trip. We were refreshed after the train ride and decided to walk the short distance to the hotel.
It was an easy stroll downhill. Walking in Geneva was definitely a way to find my favourite things to see in Geneva. But there were so many other things we found on our short stop in Geneva.
A Great Ritz-Carlton Experience at Hotel De La Paix Geneva
As our Central Europe trip drew to a close, we decided to really splurge on the stop in Geneva. We booked at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix. Every minute of our stay at this great hotel reinforced that we made the right decision. This first Ritz-Carlton experience would keep us going back.
Our upgraded room overlooked Lake Geneva. One of our favourite things to see in Geneva was the view from our patio. The lake was a busy spot. We watched the traffic go by. And we could see so many of the iconic sights of Geneva while we sipped a late day drink.
The view out our window at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix helped us plan our travel around Geneva.
The Iconic Jet D’Eau Was Visible Everywhere
We got our first view of the iconic Jet D’Eau from our Ritz-Carlton patio. The fountain started up at about 9 am and stopped some time after it got dark. After dark one night we even got a light show on the fountain.
Taking the ferries was definitely something we did several times on our visit. The 3 routes took you across the lake to different spots. The ferry view of the Jet D’Eau was just close enough to get a great view. But not close enough to get wet.
Geneva was a great water city. If you are a water person, there are lots of ways to get out on the water.
From the water we got a great view of several of the beach areas in Geneva. The one close to our hotel had a high diving board. Even in May, the beaches were a busy spot. Don’t worry if you forget your bathing suit. It did not seem to be mandatory!
Lake Geneva and the iconic Jet D’Eau were certainly one of our favourite things to see in Geneva.
Visiting St Pierre Cathedral
From our room we could see the St Pierre Cathedral standing high on the hill. It glowed in the light from sunrises ann sunsets. As we walked in old town, the spires poked up between buildings. When we headed up the hill to visit, we got our first view of this landmark with the towers standing high above Geneva. That was where we were headed!
We were told that we must walk up in the towers. Once we got our tickets, we passed through the turnstile to the South Tower of the St Pierre Cathedral. We waited for the light to turn green. Very narrow spiral stairs led up. We hurried because it was almost noon and we wanted to hear the noon bells while in the tower. As they started to peal, the sound reverberated round us.
As we walked up in the South Tower, we came to several spots where you could take pictures from windows or through mesh. It was exciting but was not really what we had expected. It was not going to be one of our favourite things to see in Geneva.
The Best Panoramic View From The Top of St Pierre Cathedral
We were glad we did not stop at the top top of the South Tower. The old wooden rooms created a platform that connected us to the North Tower. And then we walked up more spiral stairs.
When we got to the top, we found an open air platform around all sides of the North Tower. We knew this was the view we looked for. We walked slowly around. On one side we got a view out over Lake Geneva and the Jet D’Eau. The other side of the North Tower looked down over the bridges in Geneva and we saw the Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix. On the far side we looked over the old town and out to the mountains.
At one point we looked down at the other church below us. On the other side we got a great close up view of the St Pierre Cathedral spire that is so prominent on the skyline of Geneva.
As we prepared to walk down several sets of steps, we knew that the panoramic view from the St Pierre Cathedral was absolutely one of our favourite things to see in Geneva. If you want to get this view, be warned that there are no elevators for any part of the climb. The stairs are very narrow and steep. If you get claustrophobic, this may not be the climb for you. The North Tower platform edge is very high so there is no fear of falling once you reach the top. But it is a pretty high viewpoint at 157 steps above the church (which was already on a hill).
Where The Rhône and Arve Rivers Meet
One of the things that was recommended to us was to head out to the Junction. This was the point where the Rhône and Arve Rivers met. We figured out what tram to take with no problem. When we got off, we debated a path by road or along the river. When I headed down to a narrow river path, David was not sure it would lead us where we wanted to go. With a little billy goat agility, we did finally hit the path to the point at the Junction.
We walked out to the observation point and got our first view of the rivers on either side of the point. The river on our left was the Arve which is fed by the glaciers coming from the Chamonix Valley. On our right was the Rhone River coming from Lake Geneva. The rivers were strikingly different colours. We could see the distinct line where the two rivers started to mix.
We walked back along the Rhone River. It was a favourite spot for young people to hang out. We just missed some kayakers as they finished their drills. People laid about in bathing suits. We were definitely the oldest person on the point by decades!
Seeing the Junction was certainly an interesting one of the things to see in Geneva.
Things We Saw As We Walked Around Geneva
The city of Geneva was in full bloom when we arrived. One day we took the ferry that stopped at the La Grange Park. It was a large green space to enjoy. Flower gardens and trees sprinkled colour around. Fountains and gazebos added scenery.
We were intrigued with the variety of clock towers we found when we travelled around Switzerland. But then we were in the land of clocks!
We found ourselves one day walking around the university campus. We have found that libraries are often the most interesting buildings. Certainly when we visited Chicago, the old library ceilings were amazing works of art! From the outside we could see that there was a wall of stained glass. When we finally found the lecture hall with the window, we were disappointed to find a projection screen covering part of the art. But there was more to be found when we wandered in the building.
Like many of the cities in Europe, every building and square held something for us to see. Statues and monuments decorated the streets and parks.
We never left without our phones and camera in hand. Walking around Geneva we found some of our favourite things to see in Geneva.
Art In The Street Everywhere In Geneva
We are always on the lookout for street art when we travel. We found lots as we wandered the streets of Geneva.
When we were at the Junction, we found a treasure trove of interesting and colourful pieces of street art.
Street art was certainly one of our favourite things to see in Geneva!
We Ate So Well In Geneva
We had some great meals in Geneva. The food was tasty and often healthy. We loved the great selection of cheeses. Being so close to Italy, we found that eating Italian was always a great bet. The beer was good. Especially the places that brewed their own on-site.
Of course we found Swiss chocolate everywhere. But we also found a Laduree macaroon shop that we had to try. My favourite flavour was salted caramel.
The gourmet food and excellent service at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix often brought us back to the hotel to eat. There was an artistic flair to the food in Geneva. We were never disappointed!
It is not surprising that food was one of our favourite things to see in Geneva and to taste!
Sunrises and Sunsets Across Lake Geneva
Every day was started with a view out of our Ritz-Carlton window as the sun rose over Lake Geneva (also called Lac Leman). We sat on the patio and watched the sun peek over the mountains and spread colour below us.
The sun set behind us. We never got a great view of the sun setting but we could see the buildings and mountains turn pink as the sun set. Once the sun was down, the lights started to twinkle on. We always love to see a city after dark.
Watching the sun play over the city was one of our favourite things to see in Geneva.
We Found Some Favourite Things To See In Geneva
We had a short stop in Geneva at the end of our visit to Switzerland. Our splurge at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Pais Geneva meant we really struggled to leave the hotel! But we did!
We really loved this city and wish we had booked more time. We found so many favourite things to see in Geneva. And we still had more things on our list to see in the city. We loved the city so much that we did not make any of the day trips out of town that we planned. A day trip to Lausanne and Montreaux was definitely something we wanted to do. A winery visit in the hills outside of Montreaux would have been perfect.
The view from Geneva continually teased us with the mountains on the horizon. The bus runs from Geneva to the French area of Chamonix. This would have been a perfect mountain visit. But that was left for another visit.
We know that we will be back to visit Geneva. There are still so many things to see and do. We were sad to leave Geneva but excited that we headed to Milan next!
What was some of your favourite things to see in Geneva?
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