A Brief Encounter of the Swiss Kind

Visiting CERN
Visiting CERN in Geneva

Do you remember the song, ♫ “One Night in Bangkok” from the 1980’s, by Murray Head? You know, the one that goes…  “One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble … Can’t be too careful with your company … I can feel the devil walking next to me … ” ♫ Well I feel that tune/motif would be a good song to summarize our brief trip to Switzerland.

♫ “One day in Geneva and your bank account tumbles… I don’t seem to have enough money … and I don’t understand why no one will talk to me.. One day in Geneva and the world is pricier … Be careful what you order for lunch… they don’t take cards and it costs a bunch…” ♫

Ok, so I’m no poet laureate, nor do I claim to have Shakespeare flowing through my fingertips, but a description of Switzerland, from our brief encounters would be: clean, friendliness level somewhere between cold and frozen, and essentially looking just like France.

I don’t have much else to say really about Geneva – except for our trip to the LHC (that’s the Large Hadron Collider) at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). They are doing some amazing work at trying to figure out the universe, its origins, our future, and probably about a million things I don’t know enough about to even pretend to be able to explain. We only wandered around a couple of interpretive sections available for free to the public, as the actual tour of the facility was for adults only! Or at least kids older than ours – so a bit disappointing to not see how the actual scientific work was done, but it worked out okay, as the interpretative areas were pretty interesting. I still think it was worth the day trip from where we were staying (about 1.5 hours each way).

Something that I didn’t know before our trip to the chocolate country was that Switzerland isn’t actually part of the European Union (EU). It is still independent and has it’s own money – very convenient for a day trip, as you can imagine! I just assumed it had at least adopted the Euro… but nope! So, with another colourful bill in my wallet we wandered looking for adventure and food! Not necessarily in that order. Of course, unless you are preparing to climb a mountain, getting dressed up for skiing, or there to embezzle lots of money, it may be a less than exciting place to be! We found a geocache, visited a tiny overpriced bookstore, saw a huge ejection of water, and ate a mediocre to poor (and overpriced!) restaurant in the supposed interesting part of the city. So, while it was clean with cool old buildings and had a big water spout that jetted into the lake, it lacked any kind of feeling as a city I would want to spend anytime in. I’m sure there are a million reasons to visit and spent time in Geneva and locals or others could tell me all the reasons why Geneva is amazing, but from our experience it was something I could have skipped and not missed anything. Just our opinion.

So, that’s all I have to say about that.

M (Director of sarcasm and beer consumption)