A nostalgic look at Geneva whilst on a visit there in late September 2009.
Postcard from Genève
I am sitting here outside Chez Ma Cousine ‘on y mange du poulet’, (literal translation – at the house of my cousin one only eats chicken) which is just one of the little cafés in the square, having a rest after walking around the Old Town (lots of ups and downs and cobbled streets), sipping a large café crème. The sun is shining and it has been another very warm day for late September, so the shade of the umbrella above me is welcome. The Place du Bourg is lovely!
This is the centre of the Old Town and has an 18th century flowered fountain, which I am sitting next to. I have got into fountains in a big way since coming to Genève – they are everywhere, and all so different, flowers, sculptures, swans – fascinating!
As I look around me I notice that this spot attracts lots of little sparrows alternating between sips of water and splashing in the fountain to cheekily trying to pinch crumbs off the tables. They land on the tables and chairs all around me, but are too quick for my camera, though I manage to capture one poised on the edge of the fountain, with his back towards me, of course! There is the sound of someone playing a recorder, badly, from within one of the apartments in the square. Shutters and windows wide open to the sun and the constant murmur of people in conversation buzzes in the background.
Although it is only four o’clock in the late afternoon there is very little space at any of the cafés. Empty tables are soon filled. People are now drinking cold beers and white wine; groups of friends meeting up – standing up to greet each other nosily with the flamboyant kiss/kiss/kiss on both cheeks.
“Eh! Comment ça va?” | Hey! How are you?
their happy smiling faces. Husbands wait patiently for their wives to stop their shopping in the Rue du Rhone, Rue de Rive and Place du Molard (watches, parfumeries, fashion and chocolatiers); elderly ladies, very smartly dressed and coiffured, read a book or a newspaper and a young student sitting opposite me with her study books open on the table makes notes whilst casually sipping her Evian water
Occasionally a young boy on his way home from school will arrive at the fountain and climb up for a drink, casually dropping his school bag in the dust and eyeing my camera with curiosity. Small children amuse themselves by running around the circumference, giggling as they hide from their parents. It is a busy, lively place, sunlight streaming through the autumnal trees. I have had to buy another coffee as I am reluctant to leave just yet.
An elderly gentleman has come to sit at the table next to me, he is also alone, his red polo shirt matches the red umbrella under which he sits in the shade and together we observe all who pass by. Two young Genevois couples meet up and order bottles of Rosé wine and a tall jug of Pimms: they all light up cigarettes.
It strikes me how many young Genevois smoke. Must be how they keep so slim! Funny how we have become so used to no smoking in public in the UK that it is now so noticeable in Europe!
At another table in the next café along which has white umbrellas, a beautiful Italian-looking lady is wearing the classic dark glasses. Silver bands hold back her glossy black hair and she talks loudly on her mobile phone – hands gesticulating in the air – her large cup of cappuccino forgotten and going cold. Ah life is wonderful, but now I must go and make my way to the Promenade de la Treille to see the avenue of Chestnut trees and the world’s longest bench.
Ciao, ciao – I’ll write again soon xx
This post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.
24 thoughts on “Flashback Friday #16”
I really enjoy reading these posts, Jude. So many happy memories and often a place we are yet to visit.
Thanks Carol. I am enjoying revisiting these places myself! Seems soooo long since we left Cornwall never mind went abroad.
We’re the same. We got home from our USA trip mid January and that was it. We’re lucky we’ve been able to travel within our state and now elsewhere in Australia.
Well Queensland is big enough and the rest of Australia even bigger. I reckon you could spend the rest of your lives exploring your own country.
Yes, that would be easy but I’d like to think we could do both again one day.
An evocative memory of a place I have never been. Thanks for taking me there, Jude.
Best wishes, Pete. x
Geneva is a lovely city. Expensive though. Good for a weekend break in the future perhaps?
Nothing better than a good spot to sit & enjoy people watching. Geneva sounds like a wonderful spot to do so. Thank you for sharing your lovely memories.💕
Seems so long ago that we sat outside and people watched.
A lovely post bringing out the best of relaxing in a foreign place with plenty of appeal – and good weather.
The weather for the end of September was amazing. Very warm.
What a lovely reminisce, Jude
Great pics to bring back wonderful memories. 😊
It’s good to reminisce – in fact it’s essential at the moment if we are not to forget everything. This is a lovely post and it reminded me of so many things.
Being amongst a crowd is going to take a lot of getting used to.
You sound very at home here. Nice reminiscenses, Jude 🙂 🙂
My first place abroad other than a school trip to Germany when I was 15.
That will do for a lovely virtual trip today in lieu of a real one. Thanks!
Glad to have your company Janet.
Thanks for this. Filled me with nostalgia. I love Geneva especially walking through the old quaint town of cobblestone streets and charming squares
The old town is rather lovely.
Indeed it is 😊
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