As I already mentioned, we planned for a longer holiday in Switzerland for this year. This trip involves also a Christmas holiday in the Alpes, near Gstaad, and some other activities, most of them related to my personal life. One of the most important is getting in touch again with my sister, who’s living here for more than 8 years now.
We got here by plane, on 20th December, flying Swiss. We’re in the full formula, meaning my wife and my daughter. We enjoyed a good and silent flight, shorter than the average period you need to cross Bucharest from one side to the other. That’s around 2 hours, by the way. We landed in Geneva and checked in to a hotel. Haven’t had any difficulties on the logistic side. We didn’t had any schedule made in advance, we adjusted things on the fly. Each afternoon or evening we are at my sister’s place, enjoying family life, and the mornings are set for some spontaneous activities.
Yesterday, for instance, we tried to do some shopping at IKEA. What should be a regular ride to a store in my country proved to be completely different in Switzerland. IKEA Switzerland is outside the city, at around 40 minutes by train, in a small city called Allaman. Getting there was funnier than we thought, we had to switch buses and trains only to got there. But it was fun.
Life Cost In Switzerland
The thing that surprised me the most was the unbelievable high price of the life in this city. I knew that Geneva was one of the most expensive cities in the world. I had a previous trip here in 2005 to the Auto Show which is held at Palexpo, so I already had some insight. But seeing this again in the light of a regular tourist, the city is simply unaffordable. Especially the transportation and the food costs are too high… I know this is one of the most important cities in the world, and setting a price barrier is one way of keeping it safer, but things are simply not justifiable. Whatever.
On the other side of the high price I must reckon that the quality of the products and services delivered is over the average. Way over the average, so I have to admit that there is some justification for the high prices, after all. Especially the food is looking and tasting much better than in other cities and the public transportation is on time and clean. Extremely clean. Taxis are unaffordable, we paid 10 EUROS for a 3 minutes fare. Clothing is ok as long as you don’t shop from the fanciest boutiques downtown.
The first thing I noticed in my first trip to Geneva, 3 years ago, was the cultural diversity. I noticed the same thing 2 years ago, when I was visiting the city with my wife. Somehow, I’m not impressed anymore. After I visited New Zealand for two weeks this summer, I think there will be quite difficult to be surprised again on this topic. Geneva is a multi cultural city but not nearly as multi cultural as Auckland, in my humble opinion.
There is a good deal of money on this city, and I can see that by the diversity and sizes of the cars. I had the biggest car portal in Romania for more than 8 years so I’m pretty much on autopilot when it comes to cars: I just look at them and tell you the class, target market and average price. Cars in Geneva are expensive and well maintained. It’s not unusual to see a Lamborghini or Maserati on the streets. I knew that from my first trip and things haven’t changed that much on this regard. It is a rich city.
Raw Food Habits
It’s quite difficult to keep a raw food diet on this trip. I knew in advance it would be difficult so I readjusted my goals. I intend to be 95% raw during this trip. It’s quite impossible to eat raw on the plane, for instance. Eating out in Geneva is not on the raw side also. So I just readjusted my goals and feel much better. I know I will be back on track once we will be back at our house, so it’s an acceptable price.
Breakfast at the hotel is spartan from a raw food eater, to say the least. You can only have apples, the rest is cooked. And no salads, by the way. I just had to do some shopping at one of the local supermarkets to be sure that I won’t starve and start to have delusional manifestations. Piled up some bananas, oranges, olives and dried fruits and I am almost set. Psychologically, I’m doing great, I have food.
Eating each evening at my sister’s family was another good thing. I was in charge with making the salads, which pretty much put me in the position to prepare whatever I wanted. So my evenings were pretty much covered. I did some nice assorted salads from tomatoes, cucumber, onions and lettuce. I also tried some proved combination of carrots, celery roots, raisins and nuts, and I must say they were very well received by the audience.
Enjoying The Travel
Other than visiting my sister and planing each evening what we will do the next day, I don’t have any expectancies from this trip. I just want to enjoy it as much as I can, vibrating on a relaxed frequency and let unsolved things to rest for a while. Or, who know, by just moving focus from my unsolved things, they will finally have a chance to erupt and burn dead for good.
The only two digital activities that I’m affording right now are twittering and blogging. My other projects, including my wordpress plugin, are on hold for now. The good thing is that we have free internet in the hotel room, something we didn’t had 3 years ago. Not even 2 years ago. Technology advance is a good thing sometimes. 🙂