Go Geneva Go
Updated: Jan 30
Kat and I went to Geneva on December 11, 2019. From Geneva, we took a day trip to Annecy, France and a day trip to Montreux, Switzerland. All in all, the trip was amazing. But with every trip, there were a few hiccups in the road. This time our flight was extremely stressful and our Airbnb was disastrous.
Things We Did
1. Mont Blanc Bridge
Mont Blanc Bridge is a famous bridge in Switzerland. It is great to walk over because you can see the Jet D'eau and take in the amazing views of Rhein River. It is also nice to stop and take pictures there because the bridge has several Swiss flags on the railings.
2. Jet D'eau
In English, Jet D'eau translates to water jet. The Jet D'eau is known as one of the cities most popular land marks.
3. Parc Des Bastions Christmas Market
Since I visited Geneva during December, it was necessary I went to the Christmas market. In terms of food, the Parc Des Bastions Christmas Market had the best. When I was there I ate fondue in a baguette and Rósti.
4. Longest Bench in the World
Fun fact about Geneva: It has the longest bench in the world. The nice part about the bench is that it overlooks Geneva.
5. Brunswick Monument
The Brunswick Monument is a mausoleum, which is a large building housing a tomb. This monument is for Charles II, Duke of Brunswick. It is located in the Jardin des Alpes.
The St. Pierre Cathedral was built as a Catholic Church but during the reformation, it turned into a Reformed Protestant Church of Geneva. It was the church of John Calvin, one of the leaders during the Reformation.
To be honest, the church was kind of hard to find since it is located on top of a hill in the middle of old town. Kat and I got lost for a little, which gave us the opportunity to see more of Geneva, including a rainbow over looking the city!
When we found the church, we were taken away by its beauty as well as the views that were offered from the top of the hill.
If you have read my stories from London and Edinburgh you probably know that finding a place to stay is definitely my weakness when planning a trip. Before the trip, I always tell myself I would rather stay somewhere relatively cheap so I can spend more money on experiences and food. In most cases, this philosophy has been great for me. Unfortunately, Geneva is another place where the cheap housing did not turn out well.
Before I give my honest opinion about the Airbnb I stayed in, I would first like to say that the location was amazing.
Aside from the location, everything else about the Airbnb was terrible. From the start, we had a bad experience. Our host gave us the wrong address and we could not find our apartment for the longest time. After waiting 45 minutes for a response, she finally gave us more clear directions to the apartment.
The second issue Kat and I had with the apartment was the amount of construction going on. On the hosts Airbnb site, she did not mention that the entire apartment building was under construction. The construction created a lot of dust which made it hard to breathe. Kat and I both got terrible colds on this trip and we think it was from the amount of dust in the room.
Since we were on the fourth floor, we wanted to open the windows to get fresh air. We decided against it because there was also construction on the outside of the building so there were stairs leading right up to our room. If we left our window open there was a possibility that someone could have gotten into our room.
On top of the bad quality of air and not being able to open a window, the hot water was turned off in the morning. The work also started around 6:00am so Kat and I were not able to sleep in during our vacation.
My last complaint about the Airbnb was that it was not clean at all. It looked like the bathmat hadn’t been cleaned and there was hair in the shower. On top of that, the fridge had half eaten food in it.
Although I am notorious for staying at questionable places, this was the only place I have ever given a bad review. Typically, I can look on the bright side and find some positives, however, after getting sick from the apartment air I felt like a bad review was necessary.
On December 11, Kat and I planned to take the 7:42am train from Durham to London. From London, we had a 2:00pm plane ride to Geneva.
However, the night before was my last night in Durham with Kat, Elise, and Teagan before winter break so we decided to go out. Usually, I wake up to the sound of my alarm clock. Unfortunately, on December 11th, Elise came in my room at 8:00am to ask me what time my train was.
When I realized I slept through my alarm and missed the train, I ran into Kat's room panicking. Kat and I quickly packed the rest of our bags while Elise looked at new train times for us. She found a train that could get us into London an hour and a half before our flight to Geneva.
Kat and I Ubered to the train station to get there faster. As we were waiting for our train, the second wave of panic hit me - Are we going to miss our flight?
When Kat and I got off of the train in London, we had to find another train to get us to the airport. We had two minutes to catch the train or we were going to have to wait another 20 minutes. Since we were already cutting it short to our flight, we sprinted through the train station trying to find the correct train. Thankfully, a nice man working at the station ran with us to help us find the correct train.
After catching the train, Kat and I had another reason to panic. We had an hour and ten minutes before our flight, but we both had to check bags. Unlike our other trips, Kat and I did not pack light because after our vacation, we were going back to the United States for two weeks. In our confirmation email, we were told that the airline would stop allowing checked bags an hour before the trip. So the second the train pulled into the airport, Kat and I sprinted to find the check in desk.
Once again, Kat and I got extremely lucky and made the cut off time by a few seconds.
Since every aspect of this adventure was stressful, we had our final wave of panic. Kat and I had to get through security quickly in order to make it to our gate, which was the farthest one.
When we made it through security, we found ourselves sprinting (once again) to the gate. Kat and I made it to the gate on time. We looked up at the screen and saw our flight had just been delayed for 20 minutes so we had time to grab snacks and water. This was a huge game changer because Kat and I were thirsty from running and we did not have the chance to eat during the day.
As Kat and I walked on the plane, I expected to feel relieved. Instead, I felt ashamed with myself. This was the first time in my life I slept through my alarm clock. It was extremely lucky that Kat and I were able to make our flight, but I was upset that we jeopardized our trip. Going forward, I will never drink before a long day of traveling.
Although the beginning of our travel was unenjoyable and stressful, the rest of Kat's and my vacation was awesome!