in a Bearsac Wonderland
Debra said she had just booked a flight to Switzerland
and that she needed to find my passport, my little furry
heart leapt with joy.
arrived at Luton Airport in plenty of time for Debra
to check in her large ruck-sack holding her micro scooter
and tri-pod, which she thought might look like weapons
on the x-ray machine. She was sent to oversized luggage
to get it checked out on the x-ray machine. The lady at
the desk let us - that is Choc-ice and myself - go through
the machine so Debra could see what we looked like on
the inside. The plane was not full and we managed to get
a seat each, I think mainly because people avoided sitting
next to Debra because they proberly thought her insane
in the membrane.
flight was reasonably smooth and we saw the patchwork
look of the countryside with little fluffy clouds floating
lazily below us. We got the number 10 bus to the city
centre of Geneva, which is where we were staying in a
hostel. It was getting dark by now and was raining lightly.
room was tiny with three beds in it two were as bunk beds,
we took the one that was not as Debra gets up early and
thought it would be less disturbing to the other two inhabitants
of the room. We checked out Lake Geneva (Lake Léman) at
night with the lights reflecting on the water and had
quite an early night. As is common with hostels, you often
share with the opposite sex. Debra shared with 2 men.
lay awake a few hours before getting up about 7.30ish.
We went exploring for about 10 hours in the drizzly rain.
took lots of grey photos, which really pictured the scene
of a beautiful wet Geneva.
spottoed a St Bernards dog with a brandy barrel round
it's neckand pretended I was close to death by freezing,
hoping he would rescue me with brandy. However, he turned
out to be stuffed and the brandy barrel was made out of
fabric and also stuffed. We then went to look round the
town and came across a teddy bear shop, a very expensive
teddy bear shop, (put me to shame).
ventured further and happened upon St Pierre Cathedral.
The building of St Pierre Cathedral begun in the 12th
Century and is a mixture of Gothic and Romanesque styles.
There was a classical facade added in the 18th Century.
The cathedral is the highest part of the old town of Geneva.
stained glass windows are a wonder to look at. When we
returned to the hostel for a combined late lunch/early
dinner there was a new roommate. A nice young lady from
Thailand who lives in Sidney but had been travelling since
August. Later the other roommate arrived, an also nice
young lady, from Japan. We talked about going to the mountains
next day but the weather was going to be better on the
Tuesday so we thought about the Red Cross Museum instead.
Red Cross Museum (Musée de la Croix-Rouge) (Founded by
Monday after a look around the shops and a few photos,
our two roommates and we headed to the Red Cross Museum,
which was opposite the visitors entrance of the United
Nations. The museum was very informative with very well
designed displays. There was the Red Cross flag and the
Red Crescent flag above the strange looking statue men
who were gagged and blindfolded. This represented the
continual worldwide violation of human rights.
were display boxes with bandages and other Red Cross items
and little rooms with artificial legs to replace legs
blown off by mines. There were even some cute little teddy
bears with Red Cross t-shirts in the shop and everything.
After all that I needed a sit down and sat with three
stony silent gentlemen on a cold stone bench.
at the hostel we quickly had some dinner and went out
on Debra's scooter for a couple of hours before retiring
to the bedroom to discuss which mountains we would go
to with the lady from Thailand.
got the 7.30am train to Bern, where we changed for Interlaken
Ost arriving just before 10.30 after passing by beautiful
we got to different level we had to change mountain trains
and rushed to get a seat by the window. The air was wonderfully
fresh. When we reached the top of Europe we felt on top
of the world as we looked out upon the snow topped mountains
was freezing; my fur was all stiff and everything. We
visited the Ice Palace inside the mountain where I met
some polar bears who were colder than I was.
the way back to Geneva we had to change at Bern. The lady
from Thailand was staying in Bern that night so we said
our goodbyes and Debra and I ran around Bern by night
for an hours photo session before returning to Geneva
and talking to people on the double-decker very clean
train. We had the room to ourselves this night.
day started out rainy as we did a tour of the old city
but by lunchtime had developed into bright warm sunshine
and a few fluffy white clouds.
said Debra, I'm going to swim in that lake and there's
no turning back. We returned to the hostel for Debra to
get her swimming costume. She left leaving choc-ice and
me in the room returning a few mins later for her forgotten
towel and rushed out again before she changed her mind.
Rejuvenated by her swim, Debra returned and took me out
on her back scooting.
scooted round to the opposite side of the lake where we
came to a children's' playground area with rope ladders
and swings hung from the lake edge trees. There were children
playing and this brother and sister merrily playing together
prompted Debra to get out her camera and take photographs
of them at play against the lake. Debra then struggled
into one of the tyre swings with her tri-pod and me on
her back. Quite soon the little girl asked in French if
we wanted a push. We understood the word poussée (push)
- from endless doors from our shopping expedition with
the roommates - so said "oui s'ilvous plait". The brother
and sister pulled together in unison at the rope to control
the swing. Afterwards Debra pulled the rope for the little
girl as she sat in it and she went so high she nearly
went into the branches. After
a while Debra and little girl thanked each other and we
continued by scooter around the lake about 3 miles out
of Geneva where things quiet and slow down. Taking it
all in for some time before scooting back to Geneva and
our side of the lake where we came across the only two
mad person in Geneva.
large man in a large coat with large red buttons shooing
away the swans. By the time we got back to the hostel
we had done about 9 to 10 miles on her micro scooter and
she was worn out.
(day of departure)
- who had been ill all week - was well enough to come
to the United Nations with Debra and me. The United Nations
office in Geneva is the second main office after the United
Nations office in New York. It is located in the Palais
des Nations, which was built in 1936 as the Headquarters
of the League of Nations. The UN was founded in 1945 after
World War 2 to maintain peace, develop friendly relations
among nations and promote social progress, better living
standards and human rights. In 1946 the UN took over the
Palais des Nations as its home for working mainly on Disarmament
and Human Rights issues. There are hundreds and hundreds
of meetings a year and everything.
guide took us to three different conference rooms, the
first holds 900 people, the second 2000 and the third
is smaller than the other two but more decorative. He
explained what each of the wall murals was about.
were paintings in a large hallway donated by different
nations and the different coloured marble for the floor
were also donations as were the monument things in the
gardens, which we saw only from the window on a very very
was so wet when we got back to the hostel at about 12.30pm
that she was still wet 5 hours later when she rushed out
to buy chocolates to take back home. Choc and I were under
cover so we stayed dry. She had packed up already so could
not change her clothes.
left for the airport about 7pm for our 9.50pm flight back