Published: July 9th 2005July 7th 2005
Last weekend Laura and I went to Geneva to see my other friend Laura. I loved it, but I've always loved Switzerland! The 4 1/2 hour train ride up there was beautiful, and once we got near the border it was very serene. I wasn't aware that Lake Geneva was SOO big, but the atmosphere there reminded me a lot of downtown San Diego. Because the lake is so big, it is kind of like the center of the city, and there is the waterside, with cute little cafes and boats etc. The weather was gorgeous, and a nice change from Milan in that there wasn't much humidity and there was a breeze. Plus I always love having water nearby (makes me think I'm at home). :) So we met up with the other Laura and cruised around the city. Geneva is fairly large, but easy to get around, they have air conditioned busses and the train station is central to the city. We had some delicious food (I actually got a salad with a whole avocado on it!) and ate lots of Swiss chocolate,which of course was great! We went to the Red Cross museum there, which is actually a really neat museum, not like some where you start to feel like you're looking at the same thing over and over again. This museum had a variety of mediums presenting the work of the Red Cross around the world over the years, including actual equipment and rations used in emergencies, a timeline on the wall of all the conflicts in the world since its starting. There were also videos of work they were doing more currently, such as turning a few old trains into a homeless shelter in France to help people get back on their feet. Anyway, it was a neat museum and I learned a lot I didn't know about the organization. It was on this big hill by the United Nations building (up the road a bit). We also took a boat ride around the lake seeing famous sights but really just enjoying being out on the water. It was a nice place to visit, not a whole lot of tourist stuff to do, but I enjoyed that. I feel like I am in a post-toursit phase right now...like I've seen too many churches and gone on too many guided tours in too short a time. I prefer other reasons to go places now...like visiting Consualr Agencies to attend their 4th of July celebrations....which is exactly what we did last night in Trieste.
My boss and I left work warly to catch a 2:45 flight. When we arrived in Trieste, Paolo, who is the Consular Agent there, met us along with a woman who ran the Italian-American organization there. They share an office, so they have worked together a lot and hosted the reception last night together. They took us to our hotel, on the way telling us the history of Trieste, which is very interesting. Trieste is in the northeast corner of Italy, right up against the Austrain border and was a part of Austria before. It was after WWII that it was decided it would belong to Italy again, but the city has had a lot of "identity issues". It is on the water, beautiful, with mountains in the background and you can see Croatia from the waterfront. We went to the reception and then to dinner with the headmaster of a school there. It was a really neat experience and a place I would lvoe to go back to. A lot of the architecture and atmosphere is very Austrian, which also makes me want to go to Austria....I may have to plan a trip to Vienna!
So that was my last week or so. I took today (Saturday) to sleep and catch up on exercise and relaxation. Laura and I are going to dinner tonight and to Lake Como for the day tomorrow. It should be a nice trip. The weather has been cooler with some rain here which has been a welcome change. I am planning some other trips since Laura and I cancelled our trip down south. London is a possibility and who knows where else. It is nice being able to get out of town so easily.
I think this experience is turning out to be very profitable. I can see how everything really is like it is for a reason. I have been blessed with everything I needed for this trip, including a place to live and money to spend here, and I can tell that the things I am being exposed to and learning about will be valuable in my life. I am enjoying Milan more than I thought I would....it is such a fun city and really diverse. I got moved into my new place at my boss', which is really nice, and finally have an air conditioner! I am much closer to work, about a five minute walk from the Duomo and we are right in the middle of the financial district. So things are working out nicely. Its funny how last weekend seems like a montha go to me and yet the work week seems to go by really slow sometimes. There is this strange contrast of time passing really fast and seeming really slow. But overall it is a good pace and I think I will, as always, be happy to get home. I still wish SOMEONE wanted to come visit me....I have an extra bed in my place! :) Well the invitation stands if anyone changes their mind seeing as my travling bussy Laura is sort of ditching me because her boyfriend is here now. I know most of you can't take time off work to go spend that much money....but I'm here if you can. :)
Well, I am off to dinner.......another beautiful weekend in Milan!
P.S. new pictures are up also...same website as before: http://community.webshots.com/user/harelm