Hello all, I am back with another travel blog post after a small break about my recent girl trip travels to Geneva, Switzerland.
The symptoms of my travel bug surfaced again in April where I was in desperate need of a fun girls trip to take my mind of the things going on in my life so I joined forces with my Brussels travel squad (Wura, Yasmin, Wemmy and Kule) and took this as an opportunity to visit Kule who lives in Switzerland. After comparing and contrasting flight prices we finally booked our respective flights and we’re lucky enough to stay in a lovely 2-bed apartment courtesy of Kule’s Mr (Thank you both for being so hospitable and generous during the stay!)
*Fast forward to June*
Our flights were very early in the morning so we all met in Geneva before making our way to find Kule who was waiting for us. We took full advantage of using the Uber app whilst out in Switzerland during our trip which was a bit cheap being split between 5 people. The apartment we stayed at was conveniently located by Lake Geneva and the Jet D’Eau with easy bus links to the sights and good places around Geneva.
Thursday 20th June
After finding our way to the apartment at around noon and having a relaxing chat we decided to start getting ready to get cracking on with exploring Geneva. After a quick outfit change, we set off to find some good to eat. Our lovely your guide Kule took us to Parfum des Beyroth which required us to jump on a boat to get across Lake Geneva. But before the boat ride, it was cool the fact that Jet D’Eau is conveniently located near the apartment and I must say it’s a very huge geezer of water that looks beautiful in the sun! Upon arriving at the other side of the lake, the walk to the restaurant involved us walking through some rough looking streets and we passed a black hair shop which always catches my attention whenever I go abroad. Parfum des Beyroth was a quaint and affordable Lebanese style restaurant with very generous food portions indeed which I was able to get a big wrap, a drink, and chips shared amongst the whole table for 13 CHF (approximately £10.50). Upon optimal satiety being reached, we started making our way towards the Old Town for us to have a lovely walk in the sun (though it rained briefly for 10 minutes) and take in the some of the sights and views it has to offer. This walk involved some walking on an incline so I suggest wearing comfortable shoes to do so (I decided to do baby girl and wear flat sandals lool). One thing I love about this holiday group is the ability to find anywhere to be the backdrop of a lit fashion photoshoot. We found three spots during our walk of the Old Town that offered tourist picturesque value: The outside of a clothes shop, a balcony near a water fountain offering a breathtaking view of Geneva and an old cannonball launcher which provided some top quality memes and was hilarious. After our photoshoots, we made our way to St Pierre Cathedral which was situated within the Old Town and I truly liked the architecture and construction of it. I always love visiting cathedrals whenever I go abroad to take in the stained glass art or any Baroque/gothic style interiors with tapestries and stunning art along with the ceiling. The visit to the cathedral was brief so we made our way to various pop-up art gallery exhibitions taking place around Geneva. However, along the way, we stopped at a bar where we all got ourselves a drink (or two) as an opportunity to rest our legs this is when the realisation of how expensive Switzerland can be set in but alas I particularly liked my Hugo cocktail, the service not much. Once at the pop-up art exhibitions, I was particularly intrigued with the art of the 2nd gallery we went to showcasing the art by the Ivorian artist Mederic Turay at Galerie des Bains.
After a couple of hours of walking and exploring we decided to make our way back towards the apartment to do some grocery shopping, however, the store was closed by the time we arrived (which was roughly around 7) so we had to make do with going back to the apartment to prepare for the evening ahead.
After an outfit and makeup change, we made our way to have dinner at Pizzeria da Paolo which was a short walk from the apartment however felt like ages in my heels. I must say I particularly liked my chicken and pesto spaghetti even though there was a huge amount of oil used for my liking meaning I drained it out myself once packing for my take away. The service was good although I must say my friend got cheated small small with her prawn pasta the poor thing. After eating, I decided that I couldn’t hack a while night of wearing my heels so we made a quick stop to the apartment to change I to more comfortable shoes before setting off for Rooftop 42. I was really feeling the design of this rooftop bar and it was nice that I got my first experience of a rooftop bar abroad in Switzerland! I must add that they were playing some good old throwback tunes from the likes of Beyonce, Britney Spears and even Dirty Dancing. We soon decided to call it a night and made our way back to the apartment to prepare for the day ahead.
Friday 21st June
After a brief breakfast, we decided to get cracking with our itinerary for the day. The first stop for the day was the Botanical Gardens which honestly did not disappoint. As much as we found some cute spots for pictures as we always do it was reminiscent of Kew Gardens and so much better than the Botanical Gardens we went to in Brussels! They had some quirky and odd figurines on display as well as the usual variety of various plants and legumes which covered a very vast stretch of land. Upon adequate viewing of the gardens, we headed off towards the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC). The museum aims to portray the work of the Red Cross when there is a humanitarian crisis throughout the world and how exactly they aim to rectify such issues. The main exhibition on display “The Humanitarian Adventure” was split up into 3 sections (Defending human dignity, Reconstructing family links and Reducing natural risks) all which provided novel interactive methods to showcase the purpose and humanitarian efforts of the ICRC. Each section had its architectural structure which was a very nice touch that contributed to the sombre aura of the museum. Overall, it was a very informative visit despite the mellow aura throughout the museum. As we were on quite a tight schedule we cut our visit to roughly 1 hour to move on with the itinerary even though this was enough to see all three sections of the exhibition. The next stop was a guided tour of the United Nations headquarters in Switzerland. The guided tour lasted approximately 1 hour 30 minutes after the thorough security checks. Similar to the ICRC museum, the tour was extremely informative in which I learnt and gained a deeper understanding of the United Nations and learnt many cool facts (Like the fact that Nigeria has been a steady contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping operation efforts for several years) There were many stops to different meeting rooms which also included showcasing the various art and structures donated by various members of the United Nations; I was particularly intrigued by both the Armillary Sphere located in the Arianna Park of the premises and also the mural on the ceiling of the Council Chamber by the Spanish artist José Maria Sert. Once the tour ceased, we made our back towards to apartment to prepare for the two bookings Kule prepared for us in the evening but we made a quick stop to a local McDonald’s first. I must put out a disclaimer about the size portions over in Switzerland. So the small meal is equivalent to the UK medium meal whilst the medium meal is equivalent to the UK large meal so bear this in mind before ordering so you aren’t met with a huge surprise. After we had finished relaxing and chatting in McDonald’s, it was at this point that the Switzerland sun had disappeared and it was pouring down with rain instead sadly.
We got dressed up and went to eat dinner at an affordable Mexican restaurant El Catrin with some of Kule’s friends. Two maghartia cocktail pitchers (original and Strawberry) were ordered for the table and they were delicious and well mixed. As for the food, El Catrin specialises in tacos and has a deal where you can get 4 tacos for 24 CHF as they are a bit on the smallish side. However, due to not being a fan of some of the fillings I decided to only eat two hence I shared the 4 tacos deal with someone else. The tacos tasted nice overall considering it was my first time eating them just wish they were a bit bigger individually. To finish off the visit, a few of us had a shot of tequila which for the lightweights out there would have finished you combined with the amount of magharita consumed. The night was still pretty young so we made our way to La Baroque restaurant, a bougie looking venue that is located not too far from Rooftop 42, to grab some cocktails before making our way back to call it a night. However, we decided to cut the night short due to the possibility of doing a day trip to France along with another packed itinerary. Additionally, the drinks were a bit too expensive for my liking (20 CHF for a mocktail and 25 CHF for a cocktail). I must also add the rude nature of one of the waiters at this venue who was giving us attitude because we hadn’t decided what drinks we were going to have. I can’t and won’t spend my money in a place where I feel a member of staff has bad vibes and is rude. If it was safe to say we drew the night to a close here and made out way back to the apartment in preparation for tomorrow.
Stay tuned for the second instalment of my Switzerland holiday experience! Until next time