Week One: 7/30 – 8/7

It’s hard to believe we have been in Geneva a week now. The strengthening of the US dollar makes being in Switzerland much more manageable. Most restaurants are still too expensive to have dinner, but buying groceries and selectively eating out has proved a good strategy.

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The travelers leave Blackheath, London!

We have been lucky to have arrived just as a festival around Lake Geneva started. Along the waterfront, restaurants and bars have set up booths with a large diversity of food.

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Fireworks from our apartment window
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Festivities at the park
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More festivities – a musical water jet boat. They like their water jets in Geneva.

Geneva as a whole is much more diverse than I expected. With a population of 200,000 people, it isn’t a particularly big city and many of the people on the street are tourists. Still, the streets are filled with a mix of languages and dresses.

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The renown water jet (Jet d’Eau) at night. It shoots 460 ft into the air and is powered by two 500 kW pumps. Serious power.

Above are some views of the lake and the water jet.

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Cafe snacks

Geneva is on the french side of Switzerland, which makes up most of the western quarter of the country. The northeastern half of Switzerland is German speaking and the southeastern quarter is a mix of Italian and Romansch, which is a native Swiss language.

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Clowning around
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Our first dinner – ratatouille!

Over the last week, we have spent a fair amount of time walking around the lakeshore. The weather has been very nice, despite a few rain showers here and there. Yesterday we went to a museum of art, which had a refreshing mix of natural history, artifacts, and impressionist art. I really enjoyed seeing prehistoric artifacts found around Geneva. A small exhibit on Nubian history expanded my understanding of east African around 2000 BC.

I’ve been a little slow to set up meetings, but am slowly starting to turn the wheels. I’ve been able to refine what I want to learn from this year, which will greatly help me target people to speak with. I recently had one person get back to me with a positive response; this has boosted my confidence and will help me reach out to more people.

Next week, we will be in Geneva until Wednesday and then will head to Interlaken, Switzerland for a few days of hiking in the alps. Afterwards, we will go to Zurich for a meeting and then onto Vienna for about five days.

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A night on the water. You can see the lights from one of the two carnivals along the lake.

 

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