When the new year started, I was thinking of new things I can do with my blog, hence the new look. But aside from this change, I wanted to add something new content-wise as well, so I thought of my other passions. What else do I love to do? What other passion of mine can I share? This is how I came up with my travel diaries. Travel has always been a passion of mine, and judging from your reactions to my previous travel posts, it’s one of yours as well. From this day onwards, my travel posts will be a little bit more informative. They won’t just be a set of photos ala photo diaries. Instead, I’ll do my best to let you know what these places are so that hopefully, these posts can serve as your guide when you make your itineraries. I’ve always said, if I weren’t a style blogger, I’d probably be a travel blogger. So here goes! My first attempt at merging style and travel. Let me present to you my travel diary about Geneva’s Old Town.
When I first got Parmigiani Fleurier’s invite to attend their event in Lausanne, I didn’t want to waste the 16++ hours of travel time and just stay in Switzerland for 3 days. I wanted to make the most out of the trip so I searched for nearby cities I can visit. Since I can only stay for less than a week because I had a commitment in Cebu, Geneva was perfect. It’s where I’ll be riding my train to Lausanne too anyway so it was on the way. Plus it isn’t that big so I can easily tour around and see its major attractions.
Because Geneva is located on the banks of Lake Geneva, the city is divided into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The Left Bank is the oldest part of the city. It’s where the Old Town is situated so most of the tourist spots are there. I chose to stay on this side because this side of town is just more romantic and scenic (that and the fact that Chanel and Celine are on this side of the river too. LOL!). I booked my sister and I at the Swissotel Metropole Hotel (which is also so near Chanel and Celine. Har har!). It has a beautiful view of Lake Geneva and is near all the tourist spots (I repeat, Chanel and Celine).
My sister and I arrived in the city around noon. It was a Sunday so like the rest of Europe, most of the shops were closed. We didn’t want to waste any of our precious time so we went straight to sightseeing. Of course, our first stop was the Old Town. Can you see a little Korean-looking kid making a peace sign, gleefully photobombing this beautiful photo of the Hotel De Ville? That’s my almost 28-year old sister. Yes, she uses Olay too and clearly looks so much younger than me. #ProudERofHerAge
The Hotel De Ville or City Hall was built between the 15th and 18th centuries in the Renaissance style. It houses the cantonal parliament, the city of Geneva’s council and the state chancellery. The first Geneva Convention was signed here in the Alabama Hall.
This paved sloping ramp is for the nobility to climb the floors on horseback. HORSEBACK!
That is Cathédrale Saint-Pierre behind me. My sister and I accidentally found it while walking around the Old Town. I think it’s the most distinctive tourist spot on this side of the city.
Because the Old Town is situated atop a hill, you can see most of the Left Bank from here. That’s my sister getting her tourist mode on and me being all paparazzi slash creepy stalker-ish on her as she takes photos of Cathédrale Saint-Pierre.
Cathédrale Saint Pierre was built between 1150 and 1230. It was originally a Catholic church but became Protestant in 1536 during the Reformation.
From this side of the Catherdral, it doesn’t look like a church so much. We initially thought it was a government office even!
They say that if you go up its north tower, you’ll see a panoramic view of the Alps and the lakeshore. We weren’t able to go up though because we got there late. Too bad! I imagine the sights would’ve been breathtaking.
Inside the church, you’ll see a lot of beautiful stained glass,
This is the Musée International de la Réforme. I didn’t go in this museum but from what I’ve read, it’s where the Reformation movement is heavily documented.
I was more interested in this museum. I took this photo of my surroundings from the inside of Maison Tavel. Maison Tavel is the oldest private dwelling in Geneva.
These are some of the actual furniture used in this house during the medieval times.
This is how the city of Geneva looked like during medieval times.
I found the faucet (top right photo) the most interesting out of all the little discoveries I made while touring the medieval house. However, it’s the clock that I want to bring home.
This is philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s birthplace–right here at 40 Grand Rue.
What travel diary is complete without food? Our first meal in Geneva was at Brasserie de l’Hotel de Ville which is located, well, right across Hotel de Ville! I don’t know why but for some reason whenever I’m in Europe, I crave for fresh mussels. They’re always so good with fries.
Cheese fondue to cap off our first day in Geneva. Just look at that cheese! This is one of the most famous dishes in Switzerland so obviously, I had to order one. Being a cheese lover myself, it’s practically invented for me! I can’t believe this is my first ever cheese fondue. I’ve been missing out!
And now that I’ve left you salivating, time to wrap up my first travel diary from Switzerland. More coming next!