The Capper Nomads Europe Adventure travel blog



Flower Clock

The famous fountain





















Weather: Hot and Sunny

Must be Sunday so good day to visit a major city so we made the short journey across the border to Geneva in Switzerland. We had to stop at the border to buy the vignette to drive on the Swiss motorways but otherwise straightforward. We found parking on the street (no charge on a Sunday) very close to the old town and the lakeshore.

Geneva has a long and illustrious history. It was occupied by the Romans, its medieval fairs drew interest from far and wide and in the 16th century John Calvin during the Reformation made Geneva the equivalent of Rome for the protestants. Geneva was part of France in 1798 but in 1814 joined the Swiss Confederation. Geneva became a centre for banking and watchmaking. In 1864 a local businessman founded the Red Cross. Further international organisations followed including the League of Nations after the WWI when the Palais des Nations was built between 1929 and 1936. After WWII the United Nations was established taking over the Palais des Nations in 1966.

We could tell we were in Switzerland as we walked to the lakeside promenade- everything was neat and tidy a complete contrast to France. Our first stop was in the Jardin Anglais with its flower clock which has been in existence since 1955 and crafted from 6,500 plants.

From there we wandered to the most famous icon of Geneva the Jet d’Eau. This pencil fountain shoots 7 tonnes of water, with a force of 200km/h/1360 horsepower into the air, reaching a height of 140m. The first fountain shot water into the air for 15 minutes each Sunday between 1886 and 1890 to release pressure at the city’s water station. The second spurted water 90m high on Sundays and public holidays from 1891 onwards until 1951 when the current one became operational.

After walking the promenade, we then explored the old town and found the cathedral and the Reformation memorial. Time had gone on and by now it was mid-afternoon. We debated whether we would head up to the area of the Palais des Nations but decided we were all hot and tired so headed back to base.

A city well worth a return visit sometime in the future.

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