TRAVEL WITH KELLY Misa-Fernandez : Switzerland, A Cultural Gem
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Our time in Switzerland—nakamamangha ang cities of
Lausanne and Geneva

Worth it talaga bisitahin ang malinis at magandang bansa na ito

Everyone was quiet on the bus for two solid hours. When Josef announced that we were at the border of Italy and Switzerland, a cheer went up among the Australians. Hip hip – Hurrah! By the third hip hip, the whole bus was cheering and laughing (kasama rin yung
driver) The bus felt normal again.

But I was still tied up inside. Minulto yata ako nung babaeng yun. Kada pikit ko, nakikita ko ang mukha niya. But we were now in Switzerland and a safe haven for me. I have Swiss cousins, but they were three hours away near Zurich.

The difference between Italy and Switzerland was immediate once you cross the border. Para kang pumasok sa Forbes Park. The forests are cleaner and thicker. Then the lake came into view. What a wonderful sight. The rest of the trip, we did not stray far from the lake. We passed by two cities, Montreux and Vevey and many other smaller towns and villages. Next stop was Lausanne, our stop for lunch. Back to big meals of unlimited salads and giant meat sizes. Three waitresses took care of the whole bus with efficiency. Dapat silang pumasa ng waitressing course. As usual, kung di libre ang meals, mama and I shared one order. After lunch, we were told that Geneva was about an hour away. We can leave immediately or take an hour’s bus tour through Lausanne. The unanimous decision was obvious. Lausanne tour. This is a city of 200,000 and has been consistently in the top 10 best small cities in the world to live in. The old town has really beautiful churches, and not far from the center are magnificent chateaus, palaces, grand villas and manors. Switzerland has not been in a war for more than 1000 years and being a very rich country, was able to preserve and maintain their heirlooms.

It seemed like there was no sense of leaving Lausanne and entering Geneva. The lakeside was dotted with chateaus, villas and vineyard estates. Geneva has one of the highest percentages of millionaires per population. It is an expensive city and about 20 percent of its residents are foreigners. With a population of close to one million, it is the second largest city, next to Zurich.

Geneva is a very modern city which started by the lakeside more than a thousand years ago. The old town center is near the river that flows into the lake and the city grew outward and upward on the nearby mountains.

Our hotel was not lakeside, nor mountains. It was a 19 th century structure with a good view of Geneva. We still had the rest of the afternoon and evening, so we put on our walking shoes to explore our area. We were advised to buy a transport day pass for the next day so we can board any city tram, train or bus anywhere in the city. If you get lost, it is not hard to find someone who speaks English. Officially, Switzerland does not accept the euro currency because they did not join Europe’s single currency, but most establishments are
lenient about accepting euros, and give a fair exchange. An afternoon in a park where the flowers were in full bloom and a food stall nearby was my kind of afternoon. Next to the park was an equestrian school and I enjoyed watching the horses and riders interact. The riders looked sexy in their tights and boots.

The following morning, Wang had already made an itinerary for us. He claimed it was so much easier than Venice since we had our day pass. Sumama sa amin yung Chinoy couple. We took a tram down to the lakeside and got off near the Notre Dame Basilica and leisurely walked our way to Cathedral Saint Pierre across the bridge. We went up the tower of the Cathedral to soak in the wonderful view and by the time we were done, we moved to the Bourg de Four, a nearby plaza, which has been in existence since Roman times. There are many little restaurants around the park and we found one for our fondue lunch. Di yata nagustuhan ng Chinoy couple. Then we took the tram down to the lakeside to see Parc de la Grange, the waterjet, the English Garden and the flower clock, then another tram across the bridge towards Palais de Nations, the Red Cross-Red Crescent, then, back to the hotel. There were so many sights we still wanted to visit, but we had a full day already. Now that we had mastered the tram routes and color scheme, it was time to go. Sa totoo lang, ni walang nag inspection ng aming ticket. Madaling makalusot, pero pagnahuli ka, malaki daw ang multa.

Hindi na kami lumalabas for dinner. Sa bag ng mama ko maraming makakain: half sandwiches, prutas, nuts, tinapay, butter, queso at chocolate.


A quaint ourdoor cafe. Parang set ng movie sa ganda.

Lausanne is a small city that has consistently won top 10 best place to live in.

Ito ang mga facade  ng gusali na madalas makita sa Geneva.

Eto yung traditional tile roof nila sa Geneva.



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