Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's day from Geneva!

First off, Happy Mother’s Day!  I’ve realized that I have been out of the country for the past three Mother’s Days… what a bad son.

Today was our longest day of travel so far, so I really don’t have much to write about.  We got up early to prepare for over a nine hour coach ride to Geneva, Switzerland.  Along the way, we stopped at a mix between a mall and a truck stop for lunch.  Being that in Europe you are expected to take a good couple of hours to sit and eat a meal, we went real creative and ate Burger King.  Our break for lunch was limited and we wanted as much extra time to walk around and stretch as possible.

One of the most interesting aspects of this travel, at least from an American standpoint, is the use of bathrooms.  All of the bathrooms, well most of them, have a charge for use.  Even bathrooms in restaurants often have a charge before being able to do your business.  I’m not sure if this is just annoying or a great business strategy.  Either way, it does take a bit to get used to.

We arrived to Geneva late in the afternoon, and wow, is the hotel we’re at nice.  It’s one of those classy places you only see in movies, or in real life Geneva.  We had a quick check in then a guided tour of the city.  First, our group walked down and around the streets, then jumped into the coach for a driven tour.  Again, this city has a rich history.  Not only is it rich as far as its past goes, but it’s just plain rich.  The term Geneva stands for banking and is one of the international business capitals of the world and the centre for diplomacy.  It is home to many global organizations such as the  World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Economic Forum (WEF), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC) with the Red Cross being the first international organization in the world.

We had dinner as a group this evening.  It started with a raw salmon dish, the main course was a brat with mushroom potatoes, and then followed by a pudding desert.  I can’t say it has been my favorite meal so far, but I am always ready to try something new.  Tomorrow is a long day, so tonight will be a relaxing one staying in.  Until then, I’m going to practice up on my German an French.  Until next time, Au Revoir.

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