Rather than fly to Washington to travel with the group, we decided to fly directly to Geneva from California and meet them there. It was not an uneventful flight! It did provide us, however, with some of our better travel stories.

We had planned to fly to Geneva from San Francisco via Los Angeles and Paris and then spend several nights in Geneva on our own since we wanted to see the city and we also had some friends who lived there.

Travel hiccup #1: as it happened our flight from LA to Paris was delayed for several hours due to equipment problems.

Travel hiccup #1A: While we were waiting to board in LA, someone somehow set fire to a trashcan in the waiting area. Luckily this was before the most paranoid days of air travel so at least the entire airport didn't have to be evacuated as a result!

Travel hiccup #2: Due to the delay we missed our connecting flight in Paris so Air France put us up overnight at the Holiday Inn (!) at the airport.

Travel hiccup #2A: While on the way to catch the hotel shuttle, we somehow got lost in the airport and ended up on the wrong side of passport control. The only way to get back was to run down an "up" escalator with our carry-on bags. We were convinced that we would be caught and thrown in jail, but we weren't.

The next morning we arrived in Geneva seriously jet-lagged. We had contacted our hotel to let them know that we would be arriving a day late.

Travel hiccup #3: I managed to leave my purse in the taxi that took us from the airport to our hotel. It had our passports in it. Neither the hotel nor the American consulate seemed worried about this. "It'll be at 'Lost and Found' at the train station." As we were on our way to 'Lost and Found,' we ran into the taxi driver who was on his way to deliver it. Everything was in order. We had to force a "thank you" tip on him as he simply felt it was his duty. (I'm sorry to say that in the decades since Swiss society has become less honest.) I have never since been allowed to carry the passports or anything else of much value.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of our friends and their house, which was across the border in France. They had investigated building in Switzerland itself but ran into any amount of hassles. The French were much easier to get along with: and cheaper too.

Picture

Narrative

Lake Geneva

It was a beautiful day to walk around the city. Our hotel was close to Lake Geneva and we enjoyed a walk along the shore.

Geneva, Duke of Brunswick Monument

My cryptic note on the slide says "Benefactor's Tomb." The monument, which is in the Jardin des Alpes adjacent to the lake, was built for Charles, Duke of Brunswick, who was exiled from his home in Germany, and later moved to Geneva. When he died in 1873, he willed his fortune to the city on the condition that it build a replica of the Scaligeri family tomb in Verona in his honor.

He must have been a strange duck. Based on some of the more lurid stories on the WWW, a strange duck indeed!

One source says that there was some controversy at the time over accepting the money, but the city apparently decided that money talks.

Church

This is the church where John Calvin worshipped. It is St. Peter's Cathedral which was originally built in the 12th century although it has been much altered since then.

There is an interesting archeological site on the grounds. Based on the website above there has been significant improvement in the presentation of the site since our visit.

 

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