Our Trip to Geneva, Switzerland

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So when we told people Mummy and Daddy were off to Switzerland, everyone assumed we were going skiing when in fact we were going nowhere near the ski slopes.

Our annual trip is a time for us to be together, to reconnect and not have a toddler, teen and so much work in the middle.  We originally decided to go to Iceland but when we realised how popular it was and just how many people we knew had been, we decided to explore somewhere a little less explored, hello Switzerland.

Our Hotel

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Staying close to Lake Geneva but not overlooking was our Hotel NvY.  Super trendy, arty and well located we chose well.  With couches by the fire, it was great for that last drink before bed.  Downside, the sound of a million empty bottles being disposed of outside early hours of the morning as well as the price tag for a G&T at a whopping £14.

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We decided to get the train from the airport into Geneva and it was fairly straight forward and saved us around £100 on transfers, which was obviously needed for our extortionate drinks!

On the plus side, public transport in Geneva is FREE, tram, train or bus, there is no charge.  The same goes for some of the attractions we visited, FREE FREE FREE, who doesn’t love a freebie.

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Now it’s no secret that Mark and I like a drink in the form of beers or a nice New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, so our first task was to suss out the cosy pubs and trendy bars. These days we much prefer to get cosied up in a pub and drink lots more than we really should and talk rubbish, by the end of the night (OK 9.30pm we’re getting old) we’ve put the world to rights as well as talk about the kids non stop, sound familiar?

So what did we do and where did we go…

Our Top Pubs & Bars

Our favourite pub was found on the very last day and was called Lord Jim Pub, it was cosy, friendly and they kept on bringing the snacks! No matter which pub or bar we went to it was around £10 for a pint and £10 for a teeny glass of vino.

We managed to find an Irish Bar, because let’s admit it, everyone looks for an Irish Bar wherever they are in the World. However the only irish bar similarities was the sign outside, no thank you!

Grand Duke Pub & Mr Pickwick, proper pubs with proper pub grub, they had sport on the TV and comfy booths to relax.  All bars and pubs visited were visited on foot, we walked a fair few steps! Maybe stumbled a few times too 🙂

Our favourite swanky bar was probably Riverside Cafe, sitting outside on the couches with tapas and drinks watching the world go by and over looking the lake.  I loved it here!

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The Converted Garage!

And for all of you who loves the authentic touch, Yvette de Marseille was one of the bars we found which had been converted from an actual persons garage, you could tell it was where the cool locals hung out.  I’m not sure we pulled off ‘cool’ to fit in with the locals, but we stayed anyway, there was just something really authentic about it, it was most definitely not a chain. We’re all for the independent’s! If you like authentic and not so much the swanky prim and proper , straight back designer watch joints, then this is your place.

Lake Geneva Attractions

Running with the free theme, well most of the tourist attractions here are FREE! Except the Phillipe Patek museum, if you are a watch lover, yes i’m talking to all you men, then it’s pretty fascinating seeing all the watches from when they were first created, to those created for the Royals, to those with such detailed paintings on them.  No photos were allowed though, in fact you had to leave your belongings in a locker and there were plenty of security to make sure you did.

The Natural History Museum was excellent, the dinosaur exhibition and animals were really impressive, i almost wished i had the kids with me..almost!  Set on 4 floors, there is plenty to see and a cafe for a rest in between. It was cool, it was arty and really quite busy.

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Musée d’Art et d’Histoire

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For all the art lovers and even if you aren’t an art lover to be honest, i think you would still appreciate the collections on offer here.  I found myself at one point sitting and just looking at some of the pieces, i looked like a real professional 🙂 They had everything from Egyptian artefacts to Art Nouveau, some of the furniture i’d love for my house now. Again, no photos allowed, i obviously realised this after taking the above shots, sorry Musée d’Art et d’Histoire

Les Bains de Lavey

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For me this was heaven! Set in the snowy mountains, only a bus journey away from the centre of Geneva, was the natural thermal baths of Bains De Lavey.  With both indoor pools and a selection of outdoor pools, although there were many people it wasn’t too busy.  The water was so warm and clean, they had a small cafe and shop on site and even turkish baths amongst other wellness areas.

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I lay with the sun on my face and a slight breeze through my hair in utter heaven whilst the hot bubbles massaged my whole body.  For around £25 for 3 hours, it was worth every penny.

Saint Pierre Cathedral

I think we have been spoilt living in Durham City with our fabulous cathedral, it’s quite hard to top it.  The cathedral in Switzerland was great to visit and explore, but it didn’t beat Durham.  However, we paid a few pounds to go up the towers to overlook Lake Geneva and that was impressive. Make sure you aren’t scared of refined spaces though, those spiral stone staircases get very tight and steep.

So our verdict overall, Switzerland was a lovely place with lots to see and do.  It would be very expensive to go for more than a few days, as drink and food is very highly priced.  But as long as you are prepared for that then it really is great.  And although every time i leave the kiddies i get a horrible feeling in the pit of my tummy, it was much needed Mummy and Daddy time, to just be us without a million things in between.

Michelle x

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