MIKE WONG

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Geneva, Switzerland

Quai du Mont-Blanc

Quai du Mont-Blanc

Switzerland is known for its mouth-watering, delicious, and irresistible chocolate. When we got off the train from Neuchâtel, we hopped on the tram and headed over to Rue de la Confédération to check out a few chocolatiers and got ourselves some chocolate goodness. Geneva is a French-speaking city, so I decided it was a great time for me to practice my French. My non-existing French language skills. My high school French teachers are probably disappointed right now, knowing navigated Geneva speaking mostly English. We explored the streets for a bit before hitting up a sushi restaurant for lunch. 

Coming from Toronto, I was expecting to bundle up while walking around Geneva on a December morning. To my surprise, however, it wasn't too cold. It was similar to what I would imagine early November would feel like in Toronto - a little dry, wind gusting in from any direction every now-and-then, but only mildly chilly. 

We strolled around in a busy shopping district, so understandably, the streets and shops were festively awaiting Christmas. We even bumped into some models posing in a window case.   After a satisfying conveyor belt sushi galore, we headed out to several museums for a quick tour. Two, to be exact; Patek Philippe Museum and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. 

Patek Phillippe Museum is a watch museum to commemorate the Swiss watchmaking company, Patek Philippe. The manufacturing company was founded in the mid 1800s, and had produced some of the most expensive, luxurious and   The museum is set in a three-storey building. The top floor was dedicated to the work of watchmakers Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe. The lower two floors featured a gallery of watch history since the 16th century, and the different workstations of each watchmaking step.  It was pretty cool! It's got pictures of the old watch factory and such. I wish I had pictures to show, but it was a no-camera zone. 

 

Next up was the Museum of Modern and Comptemorary Art (MAMCo). Right down the street from Patek Philippe Museum was the art gallery of modern and contemporary art. The gallery sits in a refurbished industrial building and could be easily dismissed as a school. At one point (which, if I may add, was a recurring thought in our mind throughout the entire day), we thought we were lost. Having taking Visual Studies 101, I thought it'd be worth the visit to check out some collections. One particular one that stood out was the Corridor Store Front, by Christo (1967). Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude created life-sized empty store fronts back in 1964, with paper and cloths covering doors and windows, to represent consumerism in America. It was a project they endowed upon when they first emigrated to the new country. 

The one on display at MaMCo was the corridor, where several storefronts were a narrow walkway was created between empty stores. The emptiness and silence of the environment created a sense of eeriness, which really left a lasting impression. 

Before we headed off to dinner, we walked around the city for a bit, ran into a marathon (which, unfortunately blocked my way to go see Martin Luther), and checked out some cathedrals. 

 

It was reaching five o'clock at this point, and we were trying to squish in as much sight seeing as we could before the sun set (metaphorically speaking; we hadn't really seen the sun this entire day.) I always like to compare places I visit to Toronto - how is it different? Looking around, the streets look cleaner - not because of trash on the streets or anything, but because there aren't any wire posts throughout the city! With nothing hanging over my head, I suddenly felt like there was more air to breath and more space to move around in. 

After dinner at a nearby restaurant, we headed to the Christmas market next to the train station. We checked out the lights, bought some souvenirs, and headed back to Neuchâtel.

Here's a picture of a souvenir Baboushka doll. 

 

Mike WongComment