Switzerland Part I: Geneva

All I know of Switzerland is the Oriol family, my incredible hosts this weekend. To say that they gave me a favorable impression of Switzerland would be the understatement of the year.

my twin sister Léa Oriol and I
tasting wine in Mendoza, Argentina eight months ago

When I arrived on Thursday night, my dear friend Léa met me at the train station in Nyon, a small town just outside of Geneva (separate blog post on travel experiences to come later). Anyone who reads this blog should remember Léa as the main character from my summer in Argentina: she was not only my perfect travel partner but also a much-needed friend in what I experienced as an unfriendly city, and a soul so compatible that meeting her was like finding my long-lost twin. Needless to say I was overjoyed to be reunited with her.

We took a bus back to her house, a beautiful home with a downstairs graced by a wall of tall windows. I want a house like hers, with hardwood floors and lots of natural light. We more or less went straight to bed, because she had an interview early the next morning.

Before 8 a.m. the next morning I was in Geneva, the gem of Switzerland and a hub for many international organizations. While Léa did her interviews, I enthusiastically explored the city on my own.

First, I visited the United Nations.
and the Red Cross headquarters.
I saw a tree growing out of a stone wall.
Then I got shouted at for taking this picture of the United States Mission (whatever that is).
Apparently you’re only allowed to take pictures of it from this exact spot. I considered pulling out my American passport to show the guard that I wasn’t trying to infiltrate them.
I’m envious of anyone whose casual run looks like this.
Geneva sailboats.
They have swans!
I don’t know what this little bird is but I thought it was adorable.
I got a coffee in this perfect cafe.
I paid $10 for this beauty.
For some reason this jet of water is famous.
I visited some archeological foundations underneath a cathedral. 
This is a very pretty tiled floor from a very long time ago.
Next, I climbed this creepy stairwell very high up into the cathedral’s tower.
I met some Spaniards who were happy to take my picture. I was happy to meet someone whose language I could speak.
Geneva, from the cathedral tower

Léa’s interviews ended around 4 p.m. After returning to her house to gather our things, we caught a two-hour train into the Alps to meet up with her parents, who were waiting for us at their chalet in the mountains…