My study abroad program is actually based in Geneva, but for the past few weekends, I have constantly traveled away from Geneva. I barely walked around Geneva even though I have been here for over 6 weeks. I decided to take a break and chill out in this past weekend. Initially I thought stay at home and probably study for a bit can be relaxing, but I ended up going out the whole weekend.
Our university took us to Art Basel, one of the biggest art fair in the world. The field trip took the whole day Friday. We traveled to Basel, which was a nearly 3-hour train ride one way. The art fair was indeed mind opening. I have been to a lot of museums but never art fair. New experience, great experience.
Saturday, we went to Mont Salève, a mountain at the border but actually in France. The cable car was pretty cool. In less than five minutes, it lifted us to the top, about 1100m. The view up there was good. You can see Lac Léman, Geneva city and Mont Blanc in a clear day. It was sunny at the place we were at but we were able to see places that was raining. A bit weird. I felt like I was Thor that I can control the rain.
We hiked up a little bit. I rained the day before so the road up was very muddy. But somehow on the way down, it reminded me of the poem, the road not taken by Robert Frost.
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Well, there were people hiking up and down. It was the dim light and muddy condition that reminded me of that. There is another reason that make me feel that way.
We saw the younger Dala Lama!! There is a Tibetan Buddhism Temple up there and we accidentally went inside for like 10 minutes. He was preaching, with an interpreter translating and video camera recording. At first, we didn’t know it was him. After we came out, I briefly asked the people working at the reception and then we were shocked. Can you believe it?! In a not famous mountain at France-Swiss border, a very small temple.
Sunday morning, we went to the red cross museum (Musée de la Croix Rouge et le Croissant Rouge). The topic was very heavy and I felt sad for the people who are suffering. But those are the information that everybody should know. It is very hard for people who live in peace to imagine how hard life can be. They have witnesses that tell you their real stories. It really touched my heart. A few photos there even made me cry.
This weekend also belongs to music. It was the music festival in Geneva this past weekend called Fete de la Musique. We went to several events. There was one classical vocal performance in a church. This was my first time listening to a concert in a church. We also went to outdoor music festival.
Even event like music festival, which is supposed to be a little messy, Swiss made it pretty well organized. They recycle cups for drinks. You pay extra when you buy it and once you return the cup, they will pay you back.
The music was also refreshing. There was one group that I absolutely loved: Corps de Rêve. I guess they are a new band. They performed about five songs and when asked “encore”, they didn’t have new ones to play, so they can just play one of the song again. I was so attracted that I just cannot leave.
This was the last weekend that I spent in Geneva. I have travel plan this week and I will leave Europe next weekend. Getting closer to leave the city, I already start to miss it. Anyway, no other thing can be better than going back to my beloved Beijing.