You can meet the most interesting people while traveling! We met Ben and Belinda, the cat parents, last year in Rwanda when we spent a day trekking with the Golden Monkeys. They (B and B, not the monkeys) are Australians, living and working in Geneva. They have been to some amazing places! When they travel, they need someone to take care of their cats. Since we were already in Europe, we volunteered. (All of you with pets understand the problem.) That’s the story of how we came to spend 2 weeks in Geneva, Switzerland with Dunning and Kruger, two sister cats. You can do some Googling and figure out who the cats are named for.
Geneva is a beautiful city although without much to do for tourists. We had a nice time just being “locals”, visiting the markets in Carouge and at PlainPalais. With the UN and numerous other NGO’s, it’s a very international city. I’m pretty sure we heard dozens of languages other than French and we noticed that if a group needed a common language, it was always English spoken with lots of different accents.
The apartment was in the center of the city, close to grocery stores, bakeries, an easy walk to the Old City and to the lake. We used an “old-fashioned” elevator every day to get the 7th floor. It’s a wooden elevators with a cage that goes up through the middle of the building. Think of old spy movies you might have seen.
Mark joined a local gym and worked out every day, stopping at the local bakery to pick up bread or pain de chocolate (croissant with a strip of chocolate in the the middle) on the way home. He was friends with the bakery ladies by the time we left. Susan worked on genealogy and went walking around the area.
One day we had an excursion to Annecy, France, with Jean-Marc. Mark worked for Jean-Marc at HP. He was kind enough to pick us up and take us over the mountains to see Annecy, a beautiful little city.
Another day we had a tour of CERN with Bruce who we met at Ben and Belinda’s. He’s British, a Ph.D. physicist with a specialty in particle physics and lasers. He gave a fun tour of his laser lab where researchers wait for 2-3 YEARS for some “beam time”. Bruce and Ben are climbers. We promised we’d find them a climber among our friends if they come to Colorado!
The weather was great for 2 weeks until the last day when the temperature dropped, and rain came pouring down! Mark finally had to put the shorts back in the suitcase and drag out his jeans. Oh, no!