Ugh. I’ve been sitting on this post since I returned from my long weekend trip to Geneva. I don’t want to write this, but I also don’t want to be dishonest.
My trip to Geneva wasn’t as great as I wanted it to be. There. I said it.
I feel so guilty about feeling this way about a trip I took to see my best friend, but it’s the truth. I don’t know if I had set my expectations too high or if the place was truly that horrible, but either way, I am not happy about it.
I usually write glowing reviews of my visits to new cities, but Geneva was just completely uninspiring. I was excited when I got there on Friday, and was absolutely giddy walking around the Old Town at night. It was beautiful in the darkness with all of the restaurant windows softly glowing onto the sidewalks. It was chilly, but I was more than happy to walk around bundled up in a wool coat, scarf, and gloves. I even donned an ear-warmer, which I usually forego in favor of keeping my hair in decent shape. Some stores had started decorating for Christmas, and the twinkle lights were beautiful.
But my hosts were probably my downfall. I don’t want to blame my disappointment in Geneva on them, but they complained about the city before I arrived. They complained about it when I arrived. They complained for the duration of my visit.
And I started to see what they saw. Geneva is (and I hate to say this) dirty. There is trash in the streets. The buildings are all gray with soot or dust. It seemed like everyone was smoking on the sidewalks, to the point where it was uncomfortable to breathe. And it is so expensive.
Another disappointment was the lack of things to do in Geneva. There are quite a few international organizations in Geneva and a few museums, but other than a giant water jet in the middle of the lake, there are not many tourist attractions. I consulted Trip Advisor for some advice, but there isn’t really much to see that I was interested in. I’m not interested in fine art (oh, the shame!), and my hosts had already toured all of the cathedrals and did not want to do it again, so I was at a loss for what to do.
Three of us ended up renting a car to go to Lyon, France, on Saturday. I was really hoping that the weather in Lyon would be better than what we were seeing in Geneva. No such luck. I absolutely love taking pictures of my adventures, but the weather was so incredibly bad that very few of them turned out well. Was it because I was shivering or was it was because I was feeling uninspired? I had a wonderful time in Lyon with two amazing ladies, but the lack of beautiful photographic evidence is a real letdown for me.
There was one bright spot (and I do mean bright) in Geneva that I did to enjoy. The pedestrian walkway under the busy intersection in front of my friend’s apartment building had some very colorful and interesting graffiti.
Other than this graffiti, I got nothin’.
I don’t want anyone to think that I am ungrateful for the opportunities I have while living here in Europe, but it isn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows. I have to accept that not every trip will be “the best day ever.” Sometimes things are going to suck, but now that I’ve experienced the letdown of a less-than-stellar trip once, maybe it won’t come as such a shock the next time it happens. …but I really do hope it never happens again.
Have any of you had a similar experience? Share your story in the comments.