Geneva (2011)

As the maximum visiting time at CERN was there days, I spent the other days in central Geneva. My hotel on the west side in France was not connected to the tram, so I took the bus or my feet to CERN and then the train to the main station.

Geneva has a central lake with a fountain, which is quite the sight. I'm currently reading the book by Snowden and he describes how he sits on the banks of the lake. This reminded me of myself sitting there and writing about this journey.

"jet d'eau"

Close to the lake I saw a clock made out of flowers, that looked like a lot of work! Geneva has a tradition of clock and watch manufacturing, therefore the flower clock does not come unprecedented.

"horloge fleurie"

In general Geneva is a rather rich or expensive city. One can easily see that when ordering some food. I had some lasagna in an Italian restaurant there and although I am not sure I would say that I payed more than 20 EUR for it. Coincidentally I saw the waiter in the tram towards France in the evening, I presume that he lives in France where it is cheaper.

Swiss flag on a bridge over the lake

There are many very fancy hotels with tons of fancy cars there. I played with the thought of spending a night there, but they were prohibitively expensive and I rather looked at them from the outside.

While walking through the city I found many small parts all over. This was really nice in the summer as one could relax in a part before continuing to stroll through the city. Together with the lake this city has a really nice climate.

Although Geneva hosts some large institutions like the UN, all I could do is to look at them from the outside. They all have really fancy buildings, but without getting inside there was not much interesting to do.

entrance to the United Nations

United Nations building

All in all it has been a nice trip with some insights to CERN and also an impression of a beautiful but expensive city. During my course of study I found myself not drawn to experimental particle physics and never actually went for CERN to do actual research on my own. A few of my colleagues have stayed at CERN, but I never did any of the detector or experiment stuff there. So in retrospect this visit might now have primed me for experimental particle physics, yet still I increased my interest in physics.