Nice quiet flight, with a few turbulence due to weather conditions – easiness in finding the baggage pick up place but, alas!, no luggage carrier – we needed to buy a token (that wasn’t refundable) for 2€. Welcome to Switzerland.
Getting a cab was an easy task and two minutes after we were in the cab I thought the meter was broken because it kept sucking in CHF like a kid sucking on a lollipop.
We get to the hostel and I was too busy trying to calculate how much the 10 mins cab drive had cost in my currency, when I was brutally interrupted by a closed glass door: had we arrived too late? No, you had to ring a bell to go in. Of course.
It took forever to get someone to open the door and the gentleman who did it didn’t even say ‘sorry’ for taking so long. On the way into the reception we notice that the cab driver gave us less change than what was supposed to. Maybe he took is own tip – because we certainly didn’t give him any.
Such a nice welcome.
The guy at the reception was… not the friendliest person. Not a single smile, not even a ‘welcome’. I didn’t get half of what he was saying in french and even less in english, which just made us feel even better.
Then one of our cards was declined – and you should’ve seen the look on the guy’s face. Alas, more good news! But the next card worked perfectlyand the guy promptly handed us sheets and one small towel – you should’ve seen the look on my face. I’m clearly not used to this kind of half-hotel, half-campsite that are so kindly called hostels. Never in my life had I made my own bed while paying a considerable amount of money to do so. There’s a first time time for everything, I guess.
Do *not* take me wrong: I’m not saying hostels are bad or anything of the sort, I’m just saying my first impression of this one, specifically, was not a good one (and it is also my first time in a hostel – call it bad luck).
So we climb a flight of stairs to our bedroom and when we open the door there’s a bunk bed and keoshi goes ‘this is *not* what I asked for!’ – he ordered a twin bed room, huh, yeah. Needless to say, the comfy bed and pillow we left in Berlin were definitely very far away – we missed it dearly.
There wasn’t that much space to move around but there was a big window leading to the main street that we could open, which was a good thing. There was also a lavatory with hot and cold water – also a plus.
The bathrooms were clean even though tiny, but in a small amount for so many people (the hostel was fully booked), which made me predict that the day after we would have to get up like *REALLY* early if we wanted to get out of there in time for the check out, which was at 10 am.
And it was already late when we finally got ourselves in bed.
The damned bed was so tiny we didn’t get much sleep at all…also the trash truck came to collect the trash bins *right* outside our window…at 6 am. At 8 am I got up and just wanted to get out of there. At least the bathrooms were clean (yes, I know I already said that but I have to keep enhancing the good things about this day).
At 9 am we were out the door, having left our luggage at the hostel for a €10 deposit, we were free to walk around Genève. The lady at the reception was very nice and I thought that had she been the one to receive us the night before, I would have had a better impression of the whole thing. Any way, free to see Genève!
And what a let down.
I always imagined Switzerland to be this clean place with happy relaxed people strolling around…I dunno whether there were happy people but they certainly didn’t show it. We walked by the lake shore and I kept thinking it was nice, the clear water, the fresh breeze, people working out and riding bikes, the cute old buildings… but then you get to the center of the city and everything seems a bit…dead. And I cannot think of a better word.
The streets are packed with trash that hasn’t yet been picked up (which surprised the hell out of me because I was awoken by a trash truck at 6 am!) and there was random trash along the sidewalks and the stores were in their majority closed and everything seemed so old and abandoned… We got to the Apple Store (because keoshi wanted to buy a case for the iphone) and there were 2 lines forming to buy the iPhone 4… and they didn’t have any cases for the thing. Nice.
We went to this place to eat some breakfast, and while I had eaten a croissant I had gotten at KaDeWe (oh dear KaDeWe! ♥) the day before, so I asked only for a cappucino, keoshi asked for a croissant and a chocolat chaud… that wasn’t chocolat chaud at all. It tasted like water…and a bad one. My cappucino was a little better but still far from what I call a cappucino. Bad luck? Probably…
By this time I wanted to get out of the city as soon as possible, I felt I’d seen enough, and it was only 11 am. We got to the train station, where supposedly we would get train tickets to Annecy and the place seemed completely abandoned. We went to this other train station, this one better taken care off where we were told we could catch a bus directly to Annecy. Music to my hears. There we went and after an hour drive we arrived the beautiful Annecy.
Still about Genève, I felt really dissapointed with the city. I expected something beautiful, I expected something modern and clean, and yet I found a dirty city that seemed to have stopped in time. I felt sad even.
While riding the bus to Annecy I still wanted to think we didn’t see it all, maybe we saw the bad side of the city (every place has one) and we had yet to see the good side… I remember when I left the Netherlands and stopped by Paris, I felt the same, and odd city that looked so much better in my head. But then I went back and now I love Paris. Maybe it was the weather, rainy and gray… but later on I’ll get a better view.
Oh one last thing about Genève and Switzerland overall: everything is freaking expensive.
Annecy, oh beautiful Annecy.
We arrived at the hotel after walking for like an hour or so with the damn luggage -only to find out that the train station was merely 5 minutes away after all – and the lady was so nice! We were directed to out bedroom and we found a spacious room, even though it has an extra bed and there’s a tea kettle with tea cups and various types of coffee, milk, tea and sugar. There’s also a flat screen tv and free wifi internet. *free* *freaking* *internet*. Finally good news.
We were both pretty tired when we got there so we took our time resting.
When we woke up we were starving so the first place we went to was Quick (the belgian/french McDonald’s). After we went on a stroll through the city, and everything was as beautiful as I remembered. The tiny streets with the canals where one can see running crystal clear water, the colorful flowers alongside the streets, and the mountains up ahead. Beautiful.
We found a bar where a band was playing outside so of course we sat, ordered a few beers and just relaxed remembering that we went to Annecy to do precisely that.