Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Day 60 (Wednesday April 9) – Geneve

After breakfast we took a walk through the city of Saint-Gall, visited the cathedral, and finally visited the Stiftsbibliothek. This famous library used to be the library of the Abbot of the convent of Saint-Gall. I don’t know if the convent is still in operation, but the building where the library is located is now used as a parochial high-school, so this is the one high school that has a world-renowned library of the 18th century (I am pretty sure they don’t let the students loose in the library).

The library is a real dream for anyone who likes books. It is not very large (but still a lot larger than my library at home), but it has two levels, beautiful bookshelves and display cabinets, and over 150,000 volumes. I could just sit there for hours and hours.

We left Saint-Gall at about noon, headed for Geneve. We were to arrive at 3 pm, but Aurel had to work and would first be able to meet us at 7 pm, so we figured we would be tourists for a few hours. No soon had we left Saint-Gall that a heavy storm started pouring buckets over the highway. Poor Chrissy had to drive all the way to Geneve under the downpour, but as soon as we got to the city the rain stopped and we started out tour. Geneve is a lovely city, nestled against the southeastern shore of Lac Leman. The old city dates back to at least the 10th century, and in the 16th century became the center of the religious reformation. Calvin himself did most of his work in Geneve, and the city became the bastion of the Reform movement in Switzerland (a tradition that is proudly maintained in the city to these days).

Here are some very cool pictures we took from the tower of the cathedral, along the Wall of the Reformation, and along the shore of Lac Leman. The only problem of being a tourist is that you forget to eat, so come 5:30 pm we were pretty hungry. And then we discovered the sad truth about Geneve: These poor people don’t eat! At least they don’t eat between 3 pm and 7 pm, when all restaurants are closed. You can have a beer or an orange juice, but absolutely no food. Coming from Mexico and Germany, where there are eating places in every corner, we were sadly disappointed and ravenous by the time we met Aurel at the train station. Fortunately he is a fabulous host, and after a few minutes chit chat at the house he suggested we go out to his local restaurant, where we once again had a delicious fondue.

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