Weekend in Geneva: The trip so far

I’ve waited for weeks to finally escape my busy workplace at least for a weekend. And finally this morning, my husband and I flew to Geneva, Switzerland for a weekend trip, thanks to last KLM’s  Superfly offer which allowed us to fly for less than €200

We have booked a 6am flight. To  save ourselves the stress of an early flight, I booked a double room at Yotel Hotel in Schipol and planned to take the train to save us parking fee. I thought that paying €100 for a smooth departure is worth it. Unfortunately I did not consider the fact that I have a meeting on a Friday at my favorite bar so the chance of getting hammered was high. And indeed, the stress-free night that I had planned was ruined when I decided to drown myself in cocktails. We ended up spending at least €200 including the parking fee because I couldn’t haul  my drunken ass to the train station anymore. We only had 4 hours of sleep and thankfully we had made it in the nick of time at the boarding gate. The plane was only half full so it gave me at least an hour to calm my senses and come out of that bad hangover.

Caffeine-fueled morning

We were rushing to catch the plane so there was not enough time to drink coffee in Schipol. As soon as we’ve checked in at Kipling Hotel, we set out to find a coffee shop to fuel our headsl. It was a grey morning and while devouring our croissant and coffee breakfast at a cafe in the metro station, rain started to fall. It was a bit depressing because it had been raining in the Netherlands for two weeks already. We were expecting a little sun and a warm weather. To kill time, I went shopping for a new blazer because my husband left my jacket at home – blaming me for being so drunk and forgetting to tell him to bring it. Thanks to the many small malls in Geneva, I did not have a hard time finding an H&M.But my lord, clothes in this part of the world are very expensive, even at a supposedly affordable chain like H&M.

Warm and alive again, we decided to go back to the hotel to see if they already have a room for us but we saw a Starbucks beside Metro Shopping Cornavin. If we have not missed it earlier, we could have had breakfast there instead of spending €20 on bad coffee and bread. Since it was still raining, we decided that it wouldn’t hurt to drink our third cup of coffee in 2 hours. After lounging a bit, we headed back to the hotel. The staff was very nice to arrange our room at 11am, three hours before actual check-in.

A chic Chinese lunch

At 1pm we both started getting hungry. I think that is already expected when you only had a piece of bread each for breakfast. I didnt know how I managed that long because I’m used to a rice breakfast every morning. With a hungry stomach, I didn’t go far to look for a restaurant so I walked in at the first restaurant that I saw, Tse Yang Chinese restaurant in Quai du Mont-Blan.

My husband was worried about the price because the restaurant has this intimidating ambiance of an expensive dining place especially because it’s one of the restaurants of the 5-star Grand Hotel Kempinski. But we walked in anyway and found out that indeed, it’s pricey. Appetizers starts at €35 but since it’s a Chinese place, I knew that the main dishes will be a lot.

I did not regret my choice – the food was fantastic and the service is impeccable. They treat us very well eventhough we were not really dressed for that restaurant (we were in t-shirts and touristy get-up). Eventhough we rack up a bill of €100, we were very much satisfied. And they serve us this decadent chocolates and sweetened walnuts when we asked for the bill.

“Let’s not eat like this every meal,” my husband said after settling the bill. Geneva is really an expensive city.

Getting lost

We didn’t have a plan, a guide book or even a brochure to guide us around the city. As usual we walked without really going to anywhere specific. When we saw the yellow boat taxis which the receptionist told us are free when you have the public transport ticket, we immediately hopped on it despite not knowing it’s going. It took us to Rue du Mont-blanc, Gevena’s most glamorous shopping area. This high-end shopping street has all the luxury brands, from Hermes to Louis Vuitton, they all have their own intimidating boutiques lining up in Rue du Rhone. Watch stores are all over the place, from Patek Phillipe to Cartier and other Swiss watch manufacturers. It’s impossible not to salivate over a diamond-encrusted leather watch which could already build a small school in the Philippines. Geneva is such a rich city and when you see the display of richness around, you’d doubt that Europe is actually in the middle of a very bad financial crisis.

“Why do we always end up on a shopping area?” my husband wondered before we reached Bucherer. Maybe because he was with me, I thought.

But I really don’t have any plans of buying anything except for a watch which I don’t I can afford if I buy it at Rue du Mont-blanc. After taking some videos for my travel story, we headed back to the hotel for an afternoon nap. By this time, the weather in Geneva has dramatically changed from gloomy to a perfect Autum weather – sunshine, warm but not hot and it made the city even more beautiful to me. We hang around the little park at Quai du Mont-blanc to admire the lovely Lac Leman, now bustling with boat traffic and tourists. Then we went back to the hotel, despite the lovely weather to catch some sleep – which the husband is noisily enjoying right now while I update this blog.