Wandering around Geneva

We spent the day wandering around in the sunshine to re-set our clocks to Central Europe Time and shop for some provisions for the apartment.

We were provided with some food and drink in the apartment but for breakfast, we had only fruit and coffee.

The day was sunny so Scott started by buying some sunscreen. There’s a pharmacy by the Place near us.

Place Bourg-de-Four

We wanted to walk to the lake, which requires going downhill. On our walk with Maria, we were shown an elevator that got us down to a street where a number of buses run. The elevator is for a parking garage which also houses part of the original city walls of Geneva and the bastion, a fortification to defend the area where the Rhone River meets Lake Geneva.

We walked further downhill to the lake and to where we could see Jet d’Eau up close.

The jet was built in 1886 to release excess pressure from a hydraulic plant but has since become a symbol of the city.

More views of the lake:

We walked back up hill to get to Rue du Rhone, a major shopping street but it was almost all major international luxury brands like Prada, Ferragamo, all the Swiss watch making companies, and nothing particularly unique to Switzerland or Geneva, and certainly no local artisan shops. There was nothing we wanted to buy, not even Scott, who is more of a shopper than me when we’re on vacation.

So we took a pause, had a bit of lunch and tried another Swiss wine. This was a Pinot Gris which was a bit more oaky than I really like.

Many smaller shops were closed Sunday and are still closed today, Monday.

After some more wandering and window shopping, we went to a wine shop, Caveau de Bacchus, where we bought some Swiss wines, mainly from the Geneva area.

Tried this one at Les Armures — very good — flavourful and not heavy, a Chardonnay

With four bottles to carry, we took a bus to return to our apartment.

We realized we could see Jet d’Eau from the bus stop near our apartment.

We dropped the bottles off at the apartment, then went out for non-wine groceries.

After all that walking, we stopped for an aperitif at Pomme d’Or, where we had lunch on our first day. The sunny square was fairly busy as many people seemed to want to enjoy the sun and appreciate the blue sky.

The start of the street in front of our apartment leading away from Place Bourg-de-Four

For dinner, we went to Les Armures, famous in this city for its traditional fondue. It claims to be the oldest restaurant in Geneva. The fondue is served with bread and potatoes. I started with a green salad, but Scott started with Swiss onion soup, which he was assured is much better than French onion soup. It was pretty cheese forward and the broth was lighter than French onion soup. We wondered if it was a chicken broth.

The fondue was more complex and subtle than any fondue we have had before. The restaurant uses both Gruyère and Vacherin cheeses with a good dose of wine. Despite eating no meat, we found the fondue was more than the two of us could finish.

The restaurant is less than 5 minutes from the apartment, even at our slow post-dinner pace. We could have done with a longer walk home to wear off more cheese, but at least we had a nice view of Saint Pierre’s spire at night.

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