Even though it has been cold recently, the sun has been shining and the skies have been a brilliant shade of blue. Spring has finally arrived and the bitter weather is behind us.. or so I thought! While it’s nice to watch les flocons fall from the window of my apartment, Paris in the snow is no longer a novelty. Oui c’est joli et j’aime bien prendre des photos de Paris sous la neige mais d’autre part c’est très paralysant, especially for me! Though the snow is not really sticking in my area, the paths are icy in places and as we all know, I’m not the most coordinated human-being on the planet. I have still managed to keep at least one foot on the ground at all times. Alors j’espère que ça va continuer comme ça, je touche du bois! The following two pictures were taken only two days apart. I wait patiently for le printemps to start for real.
On Friday, I spent the day in Geneva visiting WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation). It took about 3 hours to get there from Gare du Lyon. Once again, I am full of amazement and praise for these TGVs. To make the early morning start easier (7:11am departure), my seat even had a dedicated cup holder for my americano. It truly is the little things in life!
On arriving into Switzerland, the initial view was incredible. I tried to take pictures on the train but the reflection from the window distracted from the beauty of le paysage. They wouldn’t have done the view justice anyway. Type Swiss Mountains into Google images and you’ll see what I mean. Magical! Je suis jalouse de mon amie Carly who is currently living in the French Alps and gets to see gorgeous sites like these every day! The trip to WIPO itself was short but sweet. The building in which the organisation is located is very environmentally friendly with solar panels, a cooling system using water from the lake and lots of vegetation around the offices themselves. The sessions we had at WIPO weren’t the most riveting – there’s only so much on IP and climate change you can take in. I ended up reading a book under the table for a while like the model student that I am!
Geneva is home to watches and bank accounts. This was the extent of my knowledge of the picturesque city before I arrived. That and knowing my great-grandmother was born about an hour away in Lausanne. True enough there were des horloges and watch makers everywhere. Some parts of the city reminded me of Ireland. The roads are small and winding and the Swiss drive NORMALLY. Hurray for rules of the road that are actually obeyed (or simply make sense). Red light means stop. Green man means go. Who knew?! Although French is spoken widely in Geneva, the most common language I heard on the streets was English. It is the home of the United Nations after all! Speaking of the UN, I was fascinated by the broken chair that stood outside the Palais de Nations. Apparently it acts as a reminder to politicians and visitors alike of the tragedy that land mines cause. Interesting!
I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t stay for a weekend, but I think it would be a lovely place to visit in the summer. I’ll file that idea away in my ever growing list of things to do when I have the time!! The one thing I will say is that the tram system is a bit unsightly. The trams themselves remind me of the LUAS, but there are so many overhead criss-crossing cables that it takes away from the picturesqueness of Geneva itself. I mean, didn’t they know that I would be coming to take pictures of pretty buildings and churches?!
What else did I learn in Geneva? Well for starters, Swiss Francs look like monopoly money, but les couleurs just scream spend me (aka the sound of happiness)!! I’m starting to realise why everything is so expensive in Switzerland…
Pints of beer are expensive, but pitchers are totally worth it!
It is possible to read Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream in French, but not recommended!
Et quelqu’un m’aime 🙂 Love you too seize, even if you didn’t get me a coffee!!
On the way back to Paris, I learned that I have a renewed love of kids’ games. ‘I went on a picnic and I brought…..’ turned out to be a hysterically funny success and got everyone in our voiture over their tiredness (un peu). It certainly kept us entertained when an announcement was made saying we’d be delayed arriving into Paris almost half an hour. It reminded me of playing ‘I Spy’ during the Junior Cert when all of us cool kids who had finished our exams early had to go into a classroom and ‘study’ for our next exam! My touristic activities have fallen by the wayside recently, but the Louvre is open late on Wednesday nights so that’s my one and only plan for the week! À part ça, dans 4 jours I am officially on holidays for a week. I’ve a few tricks up my sleeve for les vacances d’hiver, y compris working on my thesis while listening to the new love of my life Bruno Mars ❤ J’ai hâte!