There are many differences between our lifestyle here in Geneva and that which we were accustomed to back in the states, but at the top of the list might be the fact that I never have to drive! Yes, we have rented a car to take our various trips, but whenever we are in town, virtually everything we want or need is within easy walking distance or a short bus or tram ride. (Geneva’s light rail is called the “tram” so I will use that terminology from now on.)
This post offers a partial list of some of the coolest things we can experience or access within 2 blocks of our apartment. Some of them, as you will see, don’t even require leaving the apartment at all, because we can see and hear them from our balcony. For example – and I’m not making this up – every day this pigeoncomes and sits on the wire that supports the street light outside our 3rd floor apartment. And yes, for you doubters, that is the same pigeon because she has very distinctive markings. So, cool thing #1 that we experience from our apartment is that we have a pigeon that comes and visits us on a regular basis! I am guessing that most people reading this have little choice but to get in their cars and drive to the city to get this close a look at a pigeon!
Another really cool thing that’s just a block away is this church. We like being able to sit on our balcony and see the church steeple. And as an added bonus… well, check out this video, which I shot from our balcony.
The most important close amenity to our apartment is this tram stop, called “Poterie”, which really renders a car unnecessary. I am not exaggerating when I say that the longest I ever have to wait for a tram or bus is about 4 minutes. The tram on this video goes to the airport and the shopping mall. Heading the other direction, it goes down to the train station, the lake, and the old city (restaurants, museums, etc…) The bus station that goes to school and work is only about 2 more blocks away. We bought “all you can ride” tickets, so we don’t even have to mess with the ticket kiosk anymore!
I know what you’re thinking… “But what about fine art?? Do you live within 2 blocks of any museums??” No, we don’t, it’s a 10 minute tram ride to get to the museums,but there is some pretty damn cool street art a block away, like this on one of our neighbor’s garage. (Best I can tell, it says “YEA”, which is French for “YEA”.)
You might also be wondering what businesses and other amenities are located within 2 blocks. This list is very partial, but here are some of the more interesting/convenient ones:
Our neighborhood grocery store. Here I am showing my friend Ken a bottle of French tarter sauce, which interestingly has the same name as a certain former Minnesota Twins second baseman.
This park, where we take walks and throw the frisbee, is one block away.
Here’s our library….
… our bank…
… our favorite pizza joint…
… Sports equipment store, theater, and a nice café:
And finally, here’s an auto mechanic garage, which is on the same block as our apartment. I think that’s kind of neat, but I’m glad I’ll never have to patronize it.