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Alpine Tour - Switzerland

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Geneva, Switzerland

Chamonix to Geneva Thursday, September 28, 2006
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McDonald's Receipt.

Train ticket from Chamonix to Geneva.

Train ticket from Chamonix to Geneva.

Hotel Albert 1er final bill.

Chamonix to Geneva

Mount Blanc

Had breakfast at McDonald's at 9:30 a.m., then checked out of the hotel at 10:15 a.m. and ready to depart on the bus back to Martigny at 10:38 a.m. Unfortunately, the bus stopped running that hour departure and we would have had to wait for another hour, then it would take over four hours by train to get to Geneva. I elected to just buy French rail tickets, and we departed at 12:18 p.m. The train via France was just over two hours, so we'd get there earlier. I had to use a payphone to notify our host in Geneva, which cost $25 for 5 minutes. Wish I had a Mobal GSM phone at that point.

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Mobal Phone - Good for 140 Countries

Train and bus station in Chamonix.

Economy Class French train.

Train toilet.

Train seats.

En route to Geneva via La Roche.

The run-down station in Geneva at Eau Vive. All other stations were clean - this one was full of graffiti.

Downtown Gevena - old section.

Downtown Gevena - old section.

Downtown Gevena - old section.

Looking down the beautiful old city streets.

Outdoor model.

Fountain in the old town.

Downtown Geneva

Street Car

We arrived at the dirty Eau Vive train station in Geneva - this is not the main station but a branch which was closer to where our host, Sophie lived. We arrived at Eau Vive around 2:40 p.m. and then went for a walk around the historic district at 4:00 p.m.

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Geneva

Sophie and Pepe

Here is a photo of our host, my old Friend Sophie whom I met in the UW Hoofers Sailing Club back in 1988.

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Enclosed motorbike.

Work bike.

River taxi.

Lake boat - free for SwissPass holders.

Lac Le Man

Famous Fountain in Geneva

Here is an account of the famous fountain: The Jet d Eau fountain, the hallmark of Geneva, dates back to 1886. When the new hydraulic turbines on the Rhone built up excessive water pressure after the city engineers closed the valves in their facilities and went home, one of the engineers created a temporary outlet which nozzled a 30 meter fountain to release pressure while a reservoir system was developed. By the time the fountain became unnecessary, a few Genevois caught on to its power as a tourist attraction. Purely decorative, the fountain was moved from the river to an exposed lakeside location, and built with more powerful pumps. Today the jet is up to 140 meters, with 500 liters per minute water flow forced out of the nozzle at 200 kph. On windy days, the plume can rapily drench the surrounding area - and so they elect to turn off the fountain when the wind picks up. It's illuminated after dark.

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Another lake boat departs from downtown Geneva.

The large watch garden near the lake.

Drug bust. We were just walking down a sidewalk when a motorscooter chasing a man came right by us just missing us. About a block away, the scooter ran over the suspect and the cop cars streamed in to haul away the drug dealer.

A visit to the toy store - this 6 foot RC controlled boat was over 6,000 CHF - about $4,500 US dollars. If you're ever in a large city in Europe, always check out the toystore. They have items just not found in our stores.

Tour of Downtown

View of Church

After a visit to the toy store, we headed to our hosts house, about 30 minutes away by car in a suburb of Geneva.

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Swiss Military

Nuke Safe Room

The house we were staying in was built around 1990 - and had a nuclear safe room in the basement - as do most houses in Switzerland. The door must have weighed in at a few thousand pounds. It was about a foot thick with metal casing. My friends Sophie, and Patricia gathered around the table with Jane. Carole came later to join us. All have been to Madison.

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Dinner

Fondue Dinner

My friends Sophie, and Patricia gathered around the table with Jane. Carole came later to join us. All have been to Madison. Sophie made us a fondue dinner. Oddly enough, she had never made fondue before - even though she is a native Swiss.

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