In the US I can take an hour and a half flight from Pasco, WA to Salt Lake City, UT. The scenery changes, the people change slightly, but overall I feel like I’m still in the United States. I was amazed by the cultural shift that an hour and a half flight can do in Europe. The difference between Spain and Switzerland is phenomenal. Not only is the language completely different, but the people look different, the food is different and the daily “schedule” is very different. Switzerland doesn’t have its own language, it’s mostly German speaking, however since Geneva is sitting right along the border with France, it is a French speaking city. This provided some unforeseen problems while staying there for a few days. I only knew a few key words in French and it was really difficult to communicate with people, especially in restaurants which is where all or communication occurred. Most of our eating took place in Italian and Chinese restaurants, it was a nice change from Spain. The food there was really great, but really expensive. The choice for eating: Really expensive restaurant, or normally expensive restaurant. I didn’t discover until afterwards that Geneva is the WORLD’S 4th most expensive city. Definitely not a college student destination by any means. So we did eat well, a normal dinner started at 20 Swiss Francs or $18 for the plate and then add the $5 water because in Europe tap water is an unthinkable thing to simply hand out for free.
We did find some free things to do there. We visited the Cathedral de San Pierre, which is this very large Cathedral where John Calvin spent much of his time. We also visited the UN headquarters there, along with a rather dull museum of ceramics and another museum on the red cross. It was a good wintery weekend.