Geneva Journals

Mountains and cheese - in and around Geneva

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An October 2004 trip to Geneva by jaybroek

Restaurant Le Leman Photo, Geneva, Switzerland More Photos
Quote: Frequent visits to the Pays de Gex and Geneva bring welcome interludes of big scenery. Long lunches in snow-bound mountain refuges, dizzying views, and a studied examination of the quality of vin chaud fill our days.

Mountains and cheese - in and around Geneva

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Overview

Skies over the Geneva valley Photo, Geneva, Switzerland
Quote:
Geneva’s rise to international prominence began in the Middle Ages, when its location close to the centre of continental Europe made it an excellent location for trade and fairs and something of a target for assorted acquisitive kingdoms. The arrival of the Reformation and John Calvin turned the city into an austere "Protestant Rome" in the 16th century. Hardly party central with music, dancing, and jewelry regarded as frivolous and illegal, Geneva was still a massive draw for persecuted Protestants from France and Italy. With a couple of minor blips, one being the rather insistent incursion by Napoleon’s armies, Geneva’s wealth has grown and, along with the other Swiss cantons, has become a be...Read More

Restaurant Le Leman

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Restaurant

Restaurant Le Leman Photo, Geneva, Switzerland
Quote:
Until my most recent visit to Geneva, a pleasure that had eluded me was the lake. Sure, I’d seen the southwestern tip, where the city straddles its constriction into the Rhone, and seen the totemic Jet d’eau, but I hadn’t indulged in any lake-based fun. Lac Leman is the biggest body of fresh water in Europe, and it has panoramic mountain backdrops and plays host to every water sport you care to name. I asked the Blonde how we might enjoy the lake – surely there was some youthful activity she had fond memories of from her years of living a few minutes from its shores? Her eyes lit up – Filets de Perche. Food. I should have known. The sad irony that most of the perch that is enjoyed in the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 8, 2005

Restaurant Le Leman
Rue de Rive 28
Geneva, Switzerland
022 361 22 41

Cafe de Paris

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Restaurant

Cafe de Paris Photo, Geneva, Switzerland
Quote:
The Café de Paris is something of a Genevois institution and warrants a visit. The salon is all tightly packed bistro tables, wood paneling, and mirrors with white-shirted, short-tempered waiters squeezing hither and thither, bubbling platters held aloft. It’s big on atmosphere. The menu of the Café de Paris is somewhat one dimensional; in fact, it is renowned for it. To paraphrase Henry Ford, "You can have any dish you’d like just so long as its steak". Or, to be properly French about it, entrecote avec les pommes frites et la salade verte. That’s it; no argument. That’s your lot. I exaggerate slightly; there are some choices to be had at the Café de Paris – you can choose just...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 8, 2005

Cafe de Paris
26 rue de Mont-Blanc
Geneva, Switzerland
022/732 84 50

Le Refuge de Florimont

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Restaurant

Le Refuge de Florimont Photo, Geneva, Switzerland
Quote:
Perched on the switchback-crazy ascent of the Jura’s Col de la Faucille is the handsome Refuge de Florimont. We visited on a crisp autumnal lunchtime and were rewarded with the restaurant’s spectacular view over the Pays de Gex and Lac Leman, reaching to the striking outline of the Mont Blanc massif some 50 miles or so east. We wandered across the terrace where hardier souls than us dined alfresco. We are excused such foolhardiness now that we have the little Tomato in tow, however many snowsuits, hats, and blankets he’s buried under. The interior of the restaurant is something of a talking point should you arrive without your conversational topics preplanned. The wooden beams, pillars, and wall...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 8, 2005

Le Refuge de Florimont
3097 rte de la Faucille
Geneva, Switzerland
04 50 41 88 59

Musings on Geneva

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Story/Tip

Looking up the Lake Photo, Geneva, Switzerland
Quote:
For the Blonde, a trip to Geneva is a trip home. Bar a year or two on either end, her childhood and sizeable chunks since have been spent living in the pretty French villages of the Pays de Gex, a wrong turn under the airport runway away from the city itself. We fill most visits with long lunches in the Jura mountain restaurants, catching up with friends in village bars and the odd lung-cleansing burst of activity. What we don’t do all that often is go into Geneva. This entry is an attempt to explain why. My first visit to the region coincided with my proposal to the Blonde, and she enthusiastically endorsed a trip to the city to buy a ring. There’s a funny thing. Central Geneva does not lack je...Read More

Market Day in Ferney-Voltaire

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Story/Tip

World of meat Photo, Geneva, Switzerland
Quote:
Saturday is market day in Ferney-Voltaire, a town in the next commune where the father of the Blonde enjoys his French living. Market day in Ferney is something of an event, as it is across all of France, and is an excellent opportunity to sample something of the local flavour. The streets in the centre of town are closed to traffic, and with the grand mairie festooned in tricolores serving as the backdrop, I made myself useful as a vegetable carrier while Savta did the purchasing for a planned dinner party. As we strolled between stalls and sampled interesting tidbits, my father-in-law answered my questions about the town and the influence of its patriarch; the so-called squire o...Read More

Up the Mont Blanc the easy way

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Story/Tip

Below the snow line Photo, Geneva, Switzerland
Quote:
You can see the Mont Blanc from the Father of the Blonde’s front terrace. Some fifty miles or so to the east, the massif forms an awe-inspiring wall on the horizon. On my first visit a few Septembers ago, I didn’t acquit myself well in the conversation stakes until the clouds descended and the view was lost. My future father-in-law must have wondered what his daughter saw in this unworldly mute. Now I understood why the Blonde finds the rolling pasture of the East Midlands somewhat understated. Clearly, I needed to work through this whole Big White Mountain fixation. Ascent was fixed for the following day, and we headed for the Chamonix valley, nestled at the base of the Mont Blanc range on its ...Read More