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Pathfinder pics: Geneva, Switzerland

By Maria McKenzie   8 February 2016 10:56am Europe/London

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Lonely Planet Pathfinders Peter and Kia of Atlas and Boots recently embarked on a road trip from France through to Geneva in Switzerland. Here’s a round-up of their favourite sights.

Geneva is the very definition of a global city. With nearly half the city’s population made up of foreign nationals, it seems only right that the municipality is home to the UN headquarters, as well as a further 20 international agencies. It was here that the Geneva Conventions were signed and today the city is a symbol of progress with CERN, the largest particle physics laboratory in the world, within its city limits. From a charming and historic city centre to world-famous international landmarks and institutions, we found Geneva to be emblematic of modern 21st century Europe.’

The big sights

‘The Palace of Nations (Palais des Nations) has served as the headquarters of the United Nations and its precursor, the League of Nations, since 1936. Overlooking Lake Geneva and the Alps, the Palace of Nations hosts thousands of intergovernmental meetings every year.’

Meeting the experts

 

‘We brushed up on our particle physics before our visit to CERN, but despite the efforts of our tour guides (who are also nuclear physicists), we didn’t really understand much! Scientists here operate the largest particle physics laboratory in the world and are probably the smartest people we’ll ever meet.’

Scenic city

‘We spent a romantic evening wandering the banks of Lake Geneva looking out across the Jet d’Eau (before indulging at one of Geneva’s many gelaterias). It’s one of the city’s most famous landmarks and reaches a height of 140 metres, making it visible throughout the city.’

Museum meandering

 

‘We visited the fascinating Red Cross museum and explored its permanent exhibition, The Humanitarian Adventure, as well as a temporary exhibition about Gandhi. The main exhibition explores three major challenges in today’s world: defending human dignity, restoring family links and reducing natural risks, while simultaneously conveying a unique history of humanitarian action.’

Swiss time

‘This was once the largest flower clock in the world. Unfortunately, it holds the title no longer but it does still have the world’s longest second-hand at 2.50 meters! The icon was created in 1955 as a symbol of the city’s watchmakers and a dedication to nature. Unmistakably Swiss!’

Where it all happens

 

‘In an international city like Geneva, you’re never far from a world map or iconic emblem. With a beguiling mix of modern and classic architecture, international institutions and engaging museums, this important and historic city makes for a perfect city break. We loved it.’

Are you an aspiring travel writer? Or is travel photography more your bag? Find out more about our Pathfinders programme here.