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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Geneva

We had a 2-hour train trip from Lyon to Geneva.  It's still amazing that even though you're crossing borders there are no customs, security or passport checks.  In fact, they didn't even check our train tickets - perhaps we were asleep when that happened - or have we been watching too much James Bond ?!?!?

This is the station at Lyon - not as flash as we were expecting for an "international" departure.





We've arrived safely in Geneva - not really knowing what to expect from this city.  First appearances indicate that whilst it's a nice place, it doesn't appear all that special - until you get into it.  The day we arrived was fine but cool.  The next day (Wednesday) was wet and pretty miserable - but that turned out to be a good thing because we decided to take a tour of the city on one of their tourist buses, which included a tourist train trip through the old city as well - you know those little dinky trains that travel through the cities.  The sort you promise yourself you'll never be seen dead on!  Well, it was one of those trains -- but no photos 'cos we wouldn't want to be seen on it !!  

So, many of the following photos were taken from either the tourist bus, or the dinky tourist train - that's our excuse for the poor quality.

                           


The photo doesn't do justice to what we saw.  We could easily see a snow-covered mountain in the background  --  we've highlighted it for you!  

The 'fountain' you can see is called the "Jet d'Eau" (jet of water).  Some interesting facts for you:
1. the water velocity at the spout is 200 km/hr
2. the mass of the water in the air at any one time is 8 tonnes
3. the water shoots 140 metres into the air
4. two massive pumps run the Jet d'Eau.
We hope you're impressed.  

                           


The photo shows part of the ancient wall that surrounded the old town.  The guy on the horse was responsible for starting the Red Cross organisation.  It was the first international association inaugurated in Geneva  --  since then, many other international organisations have made Geneva their home. 

                          


A rather magnificent memorial to a German prince who lived his last 30 years in Geneva and donated all his wealth to the city. 




Bollywood comes to town!  We stumbled across rehearsals for an up-coming movie.  For some reason or other, they love shooting in Geneva.





This is one of the longest memorial walls you'll ever see.  It features, in the centre, four of the main religious reformers (including Knox and Calvin).




Because we wanted to maintain our great interest in world affairs, we took a guided tour of the United Nations buildings and park.  (Actually, it was because it was still raining!!!)

We were invited to give a presentation for the General Assembly, but we politely declined.



The flags outside an entrance to the United Nations buildings.  
Competition 73:  spot the Australian flag!




Art works throughout the building are donated by different countries.  This one from China has been likened to the Mona Lisa in the sense that the pathway follows you no matter where you walk (just as Mona Lisa's eyes follow you).






There are always demonstrations around the United Nations complex.  This demo has been running since the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl.



Here's another ...



This chair was in the Australian news.  The lost leg symbolises the limbs lost when people stand on land mines.  


Mathatma Ghandi

After a long, long day of more walking, we treated ourselves ....












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