The Geneva Snow Queen

And so begins the weekend getaway trips! I had the incredible chance to spend last weekend in Geneva with my aunt’s friend, Emma.

I couldn’t believe my eyes on Friday morning when I arrived into an array of white snow! It was my first real experience with snowfall, and it was more beautiful than I expected.

I took a 40-minute train trip from Geneva Airport to Lausanne. We spent the afternoon walking around the gorgeous Lausanne while I attempted to adjust to the weather and learnt to walk in the snow!

Halfway through we stopped off an adorable, homely cafe where I had a thick Swiss hot chocolate. It was delicious, but very rich and even though I couldn’t finish it, it was a fantastic addition to my start in Switzerland.

The train station near the village where I was staying – the snow was about 15cm deep!

The next morning, we went for a walk around the village where I was staying. There are a lot of vineyards in the area, and there are no buildings to block off the view of the mountains. By this point, the snow was gradually starting to melt away.

That afternoon we drove to Gruyère, a town famous for its castle and cheese. On the way we caught views of Lake Geneva – France was literally on the other side of the lake!

Unfortunately it started pouring with rain once we arrived at Gruyère and we did not have umbrellas with us (the weather was very clear in the morning!). We were able to walk around the area for a few minutes, and bought some cheese fondue for dinner. It was the ultimate Swiss meal – you put a small piece of bread on a special fork and dip it into fondue in an infinity-shape.

On Sunday we drove into Geneva where there was an exhibition on the history of Switzerland made out of Lego! Most of the history shown dated back to the days of Napoleon, where he is seen as a hero for reuniting Switzerland. The exhibition showed a lot of the French influence on Switzerland, which I suppose makes sense seeing as Geneva is very close to France.

I was also able to see the UN building! Although there are no tours on the weekend, it was still wonderful to see in person.

Switzerland is very quiet on a Sunday as most of the shops are closed for everyone to relax. The city of Geneva was no exception, but it made for a peaceful walk along the lake to see Jet d’Eau.

We also visited the St Pierre’s Cathedral. When the Protestants came to Switzerland, they removed much of the stained-glass windows which depicted the Saints, so there was little to see inside. But it was the panoramic views upstairs (hundreds of very small steps) which made the cathedral incredible.

I ended my weekend in Geneva at sunset. Switzerland you surprised me. You taught me there was more to snow than the cold, the chocolate and cheese are rich and the landscape is a new kind of beautiful (especially for a beach-loving Australian).


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