Country Counter: 2 Cities Visited: Geneva Timeframe: Nov 2015 to June 2016
Road-trip from Lyon
Although I do not have great pictures for this entry, partly because I didn’t carry my DSLR and partly because I didn’t have time to explore much, the time I spent here was truly memorable. The first opportunity to visit Geneva came to us when companies arrived on our campus to present their projects and the work that needed to be done. A group of like-minded individuals from my cohort immediately resonated with the idea of working with a Swiss luxury watchmaker, and thus was formed team Roger Dubuis. What started out with occasional video-conference calls soon matured into our first invitation to visit the Manufacture itself. We couldn’t have been more excited!
Located in Meyrin, near the France-Switzerland border, their headquarters are ideally and strategically located in a city which boasts of loads of other luxury brands. Some consider Geneva to be a part of the European luxury triangle (Lyon-Geneva-Milan). On the way to the HQ, we also passed by CERN, and although we didn’t have time to stop by and quote lines from The Big Bang Theory, we made a mental note to keep it on top of our agenda (someday). My good friend Bryan was kind enough to offer to drive us for the visit in his Fiat 500 (excellent and cute). This was in November 2015. Our second invitation came in April 2016 when we had to present our findings to the company. Strangely enough, the last time we drove, it was winter and Bryan mentioned he needed to put on winter tyres. This time, it was summer and he casually reminded himself out loud that he needed to change back to summer tyres. I’m almost certain he’s trying to get back at me for something or he has lost the will to live and wants to take me down with him as well.
But, apart from the lighter moments we made of the situation, something really struck me from this experience. There is a lot of snow here and it just makes me happy. I can say the same about my family back home, and the millions of others who reside on the plains. The first time I witnessed snowfall was in December 2012 when we were traveling to Germany, so yeah, it is a big deal! In a country where temperatures have already crossed 40 degrees Celsius (April 1st, 2016, Delhi), with the everlasting traffic jams making it worst, no wonder people are happy to see some cold weather, snow and relief. The average winter in India lasts from December to February, that too if we’re lucky. The only exceptions are the top states, which see the bulk of domestic tourism during summer, and have the highest number of hill resorts in the country.
The second time we were in Geneva, our cohort was participating in a workshop on business and regulatory environments. We also had around twenty participants from the University of Connecticut joining us on the trip. Their brief stint at our school turned out to be one of the best times I’ve ever had connecting with people. Our study trip to Geneva took us to the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation, followed by a walking tour of Geneva (see picture) and ending with a traditional dinner at a restaurant.
All these trips have mostly been for academic purposes. Bryan keeps mentioning about all the amazing places he’s been to in Switzerland. He has been traveling a lot around the country and knows the known and the off-beat places quite well (still doesn’t change his tyres on time though). There are a lot of chalets that have excellent stays and Chamonix is definitely on the cards next. He’s been kind enough to invite me for ski sessions and camping trips, and I hope I’ll get to visit more of Switzerland in the coming months.
Time to start learning how to ski I guess!