Geneva Days and Nights

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I feel as though I have been swathed in a giant bundle of fog. Like, living inside of a cloud. I don’t mean metaphorically. The humidity is really high in Geneva and I literally have not seen the sun for days. Instead of the bitter bitter cold and feet of snow dumped on us, we are just living in the vague cloudy … nothingness. Where I live is foggier than most places, even. Sometimes when I’m in Geneva proper, I look across the city to where my little village sits and all I see is this thick cloud wrapped around the base of the mountain and think: that’s where I live.

I’m not complaining, by the way. I’ll take it any day. It’s very atmospheric, like you wouldn’t be surprised to see some mythic creature wandering out of the woods in a swirl of mist. Nowadays, that mythic creature is usual X stomping around in the leaves, because he’s developed a liking for exploring the forest, but the mist makes it more mythic than usual.

We have been keeping busy, though, checking out some new places in and around Geneva. One of the places we’ve been to recently was revisiting Lausanne. Before we had really only gone down to the Quai d’Ouchy, which is the ferry port that services most of Lake Geneva. This time, we wandered through the heart of Lausanne’s Old Town, then headed over to explore the ancient Cathedral of Notre Dame.

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I do adore a good European market along cobblestone roads. Although a chilly morning, Lausanne was in fine form. Lots of flowers, produce and Girl Guide calendars for sale (they weren’t Girl Guides, I don’t think, but like a Swiss equivalent? Adorable fresh-faced girls trying to make you buy things so they can go camping or something). It was fun to walk through. We even let X walk on his own a little bit, something we’ve been doing more and more of, although with mixed results. It takes approximately an hour to walk a city block, so you have to be committed. I usually pick him up within five minutes myself.

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The Cathedral itself was magnificent. Reading about the history of the building was like rereading The Pillars of the Earth – started in 1170 by an unknown master mason, worked on my untold other master masons through the years. There are different entrances from different eras in human history, as the cathedral grew. The interior is awe-inspiring, but very stark, as representative of the Protestant Reformation that began in Switzerland back in the 16th century.

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Still beautiful, though. It’s amazing to think that gorgeous works of art were built like this in the Middle Ages. I feel like you just can’t find this kind of quality craftsmanship nowadays.

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This may have been the last nice day I’ve seen in awhile, but here is Lausanne looking out towards the lake. There’s such a great mix of the old and the new here.

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And this just made me laugh. Keep in mind this was early to mid November, and this hotel was as decked out with Christmas decorations as it could possibly be. They love Christmas here in Switzerland. Now that December is here, the streets are just lit up so beautifully. I absolutely love it. And they play the same bad contemporary English Christmas songs in stores here too. It makes me nostalgic.

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I was also lucky enough to get to go out on the town here in Geneva not too long ago. Z and I have been craving going to Le Grand Theatre de Geneve for awhile, so decided we’d make the effort for our wedding anniversary. This building is beautiful during the day, but at night, all lit up and full of well dressed people milling about, it just feels so decadent. It makes you think about all the generations of Genevois past who have come to this theatre – makes me very happy.

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The inside is just as sumptious. We went to a production of The Nutcracker. I was expecting traditional ballet, with lots of gorgeous sets that felt really Christmas-y. That’s what I’m used to from The Nutcracker. Instead, it was more of a modern dance piece, and all the rats (or soldiers, I was never clear about that point) had these disturbing things over their heads and faces that made them look like sea urchins. SUPER weird. I am old and maybe grumpy when I say things like I just don’t get art and whatever happened to the good old days? Anyway, it was still great to be out and enjoying my city.

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