Final Day – Nations Unies

Our final day in Geneva we wanted to catch a train to Montreux…but we still hadn’t done the United Nations tour, and that was, after all, one of the main reasons we came to Geneva! (For anyone who doesn’t know, Paige is majoring in International Affairs and French, and taking a class in human rights violations next semester, so this was something she really wanted to do.) Also, the nasty little bug she picked up was really wearing her down, so we decided to do the U.N. tour, walk around town a bit, and then retire early and get packed and ready for our early start the next day. 




We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and learned so much. We learned about the history of The Palais des Nations. It was built after World War I to serve as the headquarters for the League of Nations. The grounds are quite lovely. It’s located in Ariana Park, which was bequeathed to the city of Geneva in 1890 by a man named Gustave de Revilliod de la Rive, on the conditions that the park always be open to the public and that he be buried there. Geneva honored his conditions. His grave is grave is there, and we saw (and heard) several peacocks strolling by. 

We had the opportunity to walk through a couple of the assembly and conference halls, and were even able to observe a conference on human rights, poverty and access to seeds (I think?) 
We learned about the sculptures in the park, as well. The central piece is the Celestial Sphere, which was donated by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. (President Woodrow Wilson won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919 for his efforts to promote and establish the League of Nations.) The Celestial Sphere gilt has eroded and it no longer turns, but it’s still quite impressive. 


Behind Celestial Sphere is Rebirth, three circles of 193 stones representing the 193 member states of the United Nations. The design is supposed to represent the infinity sign, and the three circles represent the worlds of nature, technology, and a world where people can work together to promote peace, bridge differences, find sustainable development and create dialogue. 

There are other sculptures throughout the park, including one dedicated to the conquerors of space and one for Ghandi, which was a gift from the Indian government. And of course, there’s the famous Broken Chair.


The tour was fascinating, inspiring and heartening. It is a bit embarrassing though, as an American, to hear that we still do not have an Ambassador in Geneva. Or Paris…Brussels…well, basically anywhere, really. One would hope, after several months in his new job, that our president would have realized the importance of diplomacy and of the State Department and the United Nations. 

And the U.N. is important. The dialogue between the member states is critical. The work they do on human rights, sustainable development, disarmament, and gender equality are admirable. We’re so happy we did this tour. 

Eau Potable

One of our favorite things about Geneva (and Annecy and Yvoire) was the plethora of water fountains, most quite ornate and often surrounded with delightful flowers, and usually with a placard stating “potable water.”  We took frequent advantage of those fountains, using them to refill our water bottles at every opportunity! The water was delicious – clear, cold, and tasty. This is definitely one thing we will miss!


Mom/Daughter Adventure ✈️

Paige was supposed to do an exchange with a French family this summer, but because of a lack of communication from the French family, we resolved that we would have our own mother/daughter adventure instead. After Paige returned home from Tallahassee, she spent several days running around filling out applications and interviewing and got a summer job…and when she found out she didn’t start until May 20th, we decided to hop on a plane!

When you are part of an airline family, you learn to be flexible and you learn to be spontaneous- this trip was certainly that! It was planned and executed in about 24 hours! After searching flights and hotels, we settled upon a destination, and off we went!





We had a pleasant flight with fabulous, attentive flight attendants. We arrived in Geneva, got an early check in at our lovely hotel, and promptly took a much needed nap! Once we woke up, we started walking towards Lac Léman and Jet d’eau.


It’s hard to tell in the photos, but the water is amazingly crystal clear. It’s absolutely beautiful. 

The first day was mostly just us stumbling around, jet lagged, but ooh-ing  and aah-ing over how pretty everything was, until we started fading and decided to grab a sandwich and a shower and collapse in our beds…

(Day one)