If you know me, then you'll agree with the statement that I am a cheese fanatic. A good cheese plate is my kryptonite and I would enjoy it for every meal if it had better nutritional value, alas a girl still needs vegetables. It makes perfect sense then that I am Swiss, since I'm pretty sure enjoying cheese is a pre-requisite for citizenship. It's not the only thing that defines me as a Swissie (endearing term for a Swiss person, generally employed to describe our relatives, i.e. the Swissies are coming to Boston), but it's certainly a perk of being in Switzerland that the world's greatest cheese is always just around the corner from you.
After two and a half months of traveling, I've settled in Geneva for three weeks. In an effort to make myself more employable in the French-speaking region of Switzerland I enrolled in an intensive French course at the University of Geneva. I am no stranger to the city having studied abroad here during college, but post-grad gives a different lens to this magical place. Geneva is the place of the Protestant reformation where John Calvin sought sanctuary, where international arbitration began with a settlement between the U.S. and England, and where multitudes of international organizations and humanitarian aide groups have set up their headquarters.
The city is located on the far end of lake Geneva and on top of multiple waterways. Walking through the city means crossing a number of bridges and enjoying view of the lake from nearly every place in the city, sounds terrible right? The main feature of the lake is the jet d'eau, literally translated to the 'jet of water', and it rises 460 feet in the air. I spend my days in French class and the early afternoons exploring new parts of Geneva. I particularly love the Vieille Ville, the old walled city that is a maze of cobblestone streets, buildings, and courtyards that date back to Roman and medieval times. Grab a coffee at one of the many sidewalk cafes or enjoy a meal of fondue at Les Armures, and before you come don't forget to brush up on your French.
Oh, and to clarify, the Swiss do not eat cheese with holes in it. I'm not sure who made that one up, but the cheese here is way better than the holey concoction sold in slices back home. Trust me on this.