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Thursday, July 8
Last night our train was an hour late, putting our departure after 11:00. The Florence train station sure is boring after about ten minutes. :-( How they manage to make the train so late, I have no idea. We got settled into our couchettes quickly enough. The air conditioning didn't work--a common problem, it seems--so we opened the window a bit. It took me forever and a day to fall asleep because my throat was hurting and my sinuses were making breathing difficult. I woke up in the middle of the night just absolutely freezing cold. My ears hurt too, and they popped when I yawned. Looking out the window, I could see that we were high up in the snow-covered mountains! (It must have been early morning because there was a little bit of light.) Did I mention that it was cold? Good thing the trains provide think blankets even in the summer. This morning they brought us breakfast, which was a surprise. Even better, the food was actually good. It was just two croissant things, orange juice, and chocolates, but it was so much better than nothing. Kinda like airplane food. ;-) The view of the lake that runs from Lausanne to Geneva was so pretty. It's a huge lake, too.
We got into Geneva about 9:45 and pretty much went straight to our hotel. This time we had already made all our reservations days ago. The place didn't have our room ready, but we got to leave our suitcases there. First thing we did in the town was go to a big souvenir shop. Greg and I both bought nice watches, a swiss army knife, and some chocolate. Altogether it was about $200, but I'd pay anything to get him to wear a watch. Oh, we also bought a cute souvenir cow bell. ;-) Next we went to see the flower clock, which wasn't as big as we expected. The big jet of water that they do on the lake wasn't going because it was so windy, so that was another disappointment. We ate at a Swiss restaurant near our hotel. The menu wasn't exciting; everything was meat. Neither of us particularly liked what we got, but we ate it anyway. They charged enough for it. Next we went to the famous cathedral. It took us a while, but we eventually found it. The facinating part--to me, at least--was the excavations they've been doing below it for twenty years now. Apparently the cathedral was built on top of an older church, which was built on top of an even older one, all the way back to the fourth or fifth century. We got to see the excavations by audio tour, which was a bit difficult. It was often impossible to distinguish what the guide was discussing because all the signs were in French. But it was still very interesting. After there we went to the watch and clock museum, which was kinda small. Greg enjoyed it more than I did. Then we walked around to find somewhere to eat, but everything was so expensive. We eventually just ate at Burger King, which neither of us really wanted to do. That was the cheapest place there was, and it still cost about $12 for the two of us. Then we wandered back to our hotel. There really wasn't much night life in Geneva. There weren't even any concerts going on that day. They were showing Kate Winslet's new movie at some open-air theatre, but it didn't even start until 10:00. But we had an early morning train to catch anyway, so we didn't mind going to bed early. Later that evening I was really feeling worse--coughing mostly, but other stuff too--so I went and called my dad/doctor from the payphone. He just said to drink a lot of water and get rest, so I didn't worry too much more.
Geneva wasn't a very touristy city, but they did have a lot of good shopping. I just think that perhaps we should have put it at the end of our schedule instead of the beginning. I have a feeling that we're going to ~rush~ through Paris. Anyway, so Geneva's not on our list of places we want to come back to in several years, but it's still a nice city.
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