• Onto Switzerland

    September 19, 2019
  • We were up early at 5:00 AM. We both hate these very early  mornings but the EasyJet Switzerland flight would get us into Geneva by 10:00 AM, and it only cost $55.00 Canadian each. So it was worth it. The airport known as Rejnik Airport was about a 45 minute drive from our apartment.

    View From Our Apartment and Alley Below!

    The transport arranged by our landlord Bruno was down in the alley at 6:00 AM and everything was going according to plan. The driver was very chatty and very interested in Canada, same as the guy who picked us up at the ferry port a few days ago. We arrived at the airport shortly before 7:00 AM.

    ReJnik Airport, Croatia

    ReJnik Airport is the second busiest airport in Croatia, after Zagreb. It handled close to 3 million passengers in 2017, and is mostly a destination for tourists. Interestingly, passenger flights dropped to nearly zero during the war in 1991. It is a small, basic airport with plans for expansion in the next few years to cope with the exploding demand for flights particularly in the summer season!

    We had so much fun in Split, Croatia!

    Passage through security was quick and smooth and we were at the departure lounge by 7:30 AM, with lots of time to spare! There were a lot of Turkish passengers in the departure lounge and their destination was Istanbul after a few days of shopping in Split. You could be in Istanbul before lunch!

     

    The Interesting Streets and Ruins of Split

    Our flight left on time. We were flying EasyJet Switzerland SA which is a Swiss low cost airline, an EasyJet franchise. The service was top notch and above the EasyJet flights we have taken in the past.  Quite a bit more efficient too, very Swiss!! Our flying time was only 40 minutes and we arrived at 10:05 AM. We had some really great views of the Alps flying over Geneva!

    The Alps From Our Plane!

    Geneva Airport was the model of efficiency. We were starting to get the Swiss reputation. We cleared Passport Control and Customs by 10:30 AM. The train down to Geneva central train station was easy to find and for 20 Swiss Francs we were downtown by 11:00 AM. Our apartment which we had booked on AirBNB was not available until 2:00 PM, so we had 3 hours to check out downtown Geneva.

    Geneva Train Station and City Centre!

    Geneva is a global city, a financial centre and home of numerous international organizations. In fact Geneva hosts the highest number of international organizations in the world. The metro population exceeds 1 million, and is the seventh most expensive city in the world. Lunch that day at a restaurant around the corner from the train station confirmed that, over 50 Swiss Francs (CHF) for a couple of sandwiches, a couple of beers and a glass of wine. The Swiss CHF is roughly equivalent to the US $.

    Waiting out our time in Geneva City Centre before we could check in! The Swiss Franc is a Money Killer if You are a Tourist!

    The weather was cool, around 20C but sunny, although breezy. After lunch we purchased a few supplies for the apartment, water, beer, gin, wine, snacks etc. We caught a cab over to the address around 1:30 PM. Camille was our host this time and she had left instructions in the mailbox of the apartment entranceway to access the apartment. The rate was $140.00 Canadian per night, not bad for close to central Geneva which is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Hotel rates in this area were double our apartment rate. We were booked in for two nights, before going to Portugal on Saturday.

    And Yes Geneva did sell Cannibus Legally Before us Here in Canada!

    We did not meet Camille, interesting how our respective hosts interacted so very differently. Camille had an apartment next door to the one we were renting from her. Our apartment was essentially one room 35 M squared, with a bathroom. The bed was small, a problem for Hubby and his big frame but it was only two nights and we wouldn’t be spending much time there, only to sleep. There was a compact kitchen about as big as a closet but it had all the necessities and the apartment had a great patio deck with Southern exposure with sun un til 8:30 PM. It also had a great view of the “Saleve” Mountain!

    Geneva City Centre on a Very Warm Sunny Day!

    There were lots of markets in this area, a few nice restaurants to choose from too. The area is known as the Champel Neighbourhood and is considered rather posh, a high class neighbourhood due to its numerous parks and natural spaces. There were very luxurious apartments and with the proximity to the city centre is was a great place to stay for reasonable money. However, our apartment was not luxurious but it was indeed a very nice area to stay!

    The View From Our Room with Camille’s huge Horse Overlooking Her Patio From Ours!

    After a little nap, and catching up on the 5:00 AM rise in Split, we sat out on the patio and it was very nice at 22C and lovely sunny evening, great for a Gin and Tonic. The view of the mountain was spectacular and also a view of Camille’s Horse Sculpture, completely life size, and kind of quirky. We tried to see Camille, but she was keeping a very low profile. For dinner we chose a restaurant called Grand Bleu which was just around the corner on Avenue De Champlel 28. There were others to choose from, mostly notably Bistro Dumas, literally right next to our front step, a perfectly nice spot, but just a little too convenient for our first night!

    Dinner Out and the Big Ass Animal Next Door!

    Restaurant Grand Bleu had a great vibe with a  beautiful marble bar, old world tables and lots of room between the tables. It looked like it was frequented by many of the locals from who were eating at the tables next to us. We each had Escargot in butter cream sauce as a starter, and we had a very nice pizza to share for 70 CHF and with a few glasses of wine it was a great dinner, one of the best on our trip so far!

    The Grand Bleu Restaurant Geneva, Switzerland!

    It was a very nice night to walk back around the corner to our apartment. We were just too tired to go out onto the patio again, and we had to be up very early again the next morning to be down to Gare Routiere Bus Station by 7:45 AM to pick up a previously booked tour of the Swiss Alps. So we figured we have to get a taxi by 7:00 AM, so up by 6:00 AM. Another early morning!!

    MK