After having our first cup of coffee in France, we walked across the border to Switzerland. That’s the beauty of Europe – the nations are so close together (and there are no walls dividing them) that you can simply mosey on into another country. However, the first thing we went to see in Switzerland was ironically a wall – The Reformation Wall – a monument of statues lined up along an old city wall at the University of Geneva. It honors the individuals of the Protestant Reformation, such as John Calvin, William Farel, Theodore Beza, John Knox, and a few others. Marc said the Christians in Geneva go there often to pray because it is both humbling and inspiring, which is precisely how I felt just standing there.
Marc then took us to see an attraction that was not as inspiring but definitely made me want to take a seat and that was Treille Promenade, the longest bench in the world. Just atop a steep hill in Geneva sits a bench that runs 3,324 feet long. Just looking at it made me tired. But we continued on our journey with Marc as our tour guide and took a stroll through the quaint and quiet Old Town, where we popped inside of the gorgeous Cathedral de St. Pierre then walked through Bel-Air, which is just as posh as the Bel-Air in California. This is where we saw Lake Geneva and the infamous jet d’Eau that shoots water up to 460 ft. tall. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the best photos of this due to the fog that morning, but it was still quite a sight.
After lunch, we went to see the United Nations and my favorite place of all, the jonction. The jonction is a long walkway between two rivers, the Rhone and the Arve. The Rhone is a slow murky river that almost looks milky white. The Arve is a rapid moving clear river. The natural beauty of this is that at the end of the jonction the two rivers collide to create an interesting mixture before moving forward under a bridge. In the summer many people go tubing in the Arve and exit at a dock just before the two rivers meet. This is one of the most incredible natural phenomenons I have ever experienced.
Then we did one of my favorite things in the world: got ice cream and coffee at a parlour called Movenpick. Daniel met us there and told us he had just got a job he interviewed for so we celebrated with more ice cream before going to a high-end chocolate shop called Laderach, where he and Kristi bought the most delicious milk chocolate I have ever tasted. Afterward we went to Migros to buy packaged chocolate for our friends back home and flowers for our host family.
Once we got back to the house, we prepared ourselves for a traditional raclette dinner, which consists of baked potatoes, various meats that you grill on a hotplate, and LOADS of melted raclette cheese which is generously poured over the whole meal and washed down with wine. This was by far the best meal of the entire trip and possibly the greatest thing my tastebuds ever experienced.
But my favorite thing about our day in Switzerland was the people we got to spend it with and the random celebratory clean-up party we had after dinner. We all took different roles to help clean up and worked in an assembly line while singing and dancing to show tunes. With full stomachs and happy hearts, seven of us gathered in the living room to watch multiple episodes of Modern Family before calling it a night.