I was in Geneva from the 8th to the 11th of April to attend a triennial exhibition/conference related to my work. For a change, I went via Emirates Air and even though it meant a 4-hour transit in Dubai both ways, it also meant fantastic food (unexpected choice of word for airline food, I know), fantastic in-flight entertainment (heck yeah, I’m a Directioner! haha), and the opportunity to charge my electronic devices the whole way!
This time around, we stayed at Hôtel Suisse which was located right smack across Cornavin main train station and an easy 5-minute walk to Lac Leman.
This triennial trip has become a love-hate sort of thing for me — love because Switzerland is simply beautiful and who’d want to turn down a free trip to Europe anyway; hate because it meant meeting marathons from morning until evening (dinner meetings included) and by the time I’m done, all the shops would have closed already by 6 or latest 7 pm.
But life’s too short to dwell on the negative stuff so I chose to find happiness in the little things instead, like finding free tickets for the bus/train just before exiting the airport.
I’ve also *finally* figured out where to buy prepaid SIM cards — at the post office inside the airport building. The starter pack cost CHF14.90 and it included CHF20 credit.
As always, Geneva hotels issue a free Geneva transport card. For the first time in my 5 trips in Geneva, there was actually a spot check inside the bus for tickets and transport cards. They rarely check and if you get caught, I heard the fine is pretty steep.
Oh, and I finally managed to complete my Tintin French comic book collection, thanks to the close proximity of our hotel to a Payot librairie (‘bookshop’, not to be confused with bibliotheque, which means ‘library’). No pics of the comic books though ;)
The weather was a bit chilly for spring but the sun was bright so I could not complain. In between meetings, I sneaked in a pic or two of the beauty outside the hall where I was having my meeting marathon.
The highlight of the trip for me was the opportunity to run beside Lac Leman, even if it meant dragging my derriere from the warmth of my bed and into the 5ºC spring morning weather.
I wore my brand-spanking new Nashata A-line ultra top underneath an old New Balance long-sleeved running top that I bought from Cape Town ages ago and the combination kept me warm enough for the short walk to the lake area yet the Nashata ultra top did a great job of wicking off the sweat from my body as I ran.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been battling plantar fasciitis for several months now and this was the first time I ran since Malaysia Women Marathon, thus I took it slow and easy, doing 1.5 km two days in a row at a leisurely 10 min/km pace. I actually found it tough to have to slow down since my pace has already improved to around 7:30 min/km so I ‘slowed’ down by taking lots of pics along the way.
The weather by mid-afternoon was a lot more pleasant, with lots of sun and a bit of warmth, so I did not hesitate to indulge in some gelato one afternoon. Never mind if it meant blowing CHF5 (approximately RM20 ~ almost USD6!) on a small scoop of noisette (hazelnut) and caramel salé (salted caramel) gelato.
And Switzerland being the world’s centre of fine chocolate, it only made sense to bring back as much chocolate as my arms could carry on my flight back! Hint: There is a Migros grocery store in the airport where you can do some last-minute chocolate shopping.The flight back to KL meant more movies and good food on board Emirates Air…and a bit more of shopping at Dubai Airport. Psst…do you know that Dubai Airport now has lots of shower rooms in the airport? And they’re FREE! Just bring along your own towel, toiletries, and slippers.
The highlight of my return flight was, again, food. This time, it was Filipino food called tapsilog (a contraction for tapa-sinangag-itlog or beef-fried rice-egg) which was way too expensive even for airport food…but, digging into the warm rice at 2 am and topping each bite with the runny yolk and the tender beef, I felt as though I was right back home.
Au revoir, Genéve! See you again in three years…