After spending the previous day touring Geneva, we thought we would go on a boat trip. Our destination? Yvoire – France. This meant we had to take a train from Geneva to Nyon. The train only took 20 minutes and luckily for us we’d purchased some Swiss Travel Passes before we arrived in Switzerland that would cover the train and the boat. They didn’t come cheap at £500 for the pair, but they included all our travel on trains, boats, trams and buses, as well as some cable cars and museums for eight whole days. Well worth the money!
After a very French breakfast of croissants and other various pastries with Liz, Tim and the kids we made our way to Nyon. Once we arrived I checked the boat times and realised we had just 15 minutes to get to the port, otherwise we’d have an hour and half to wait for the next boat. So without a second to spare, I used my gut instinct to speed walk in the direction I believed was where the port was. We sped through a market and down some very narrow lanes and what I’m sure was someone’s back garden, but fortunately, my instinct paid off and we arrived at the port just as the boat was pulling in. As we had our Swiss Travel Passes, we didn’t have to queue for a ticket, which was a relief as the queue was pretty long!
The boat was packed, but we were still able to fight through the crowds and find ourselves a spot right at the front of the boat. We could’ve had a real titanic moment, but decided against it! An old Australian woman had tried to reserve a standing spot at the front by keeping a small suitcase there, but she also wanted to sit down. Barry asked if they could move the suitcase so he could stand there. She said no as she didn’t want anyone in the way of her view. So Barry being Barry, stood in the middle of her and the case – completely blocking their view! As the boat pulled away we were greeted with some spectacular views of jagged mountains far off in the distance. Geneva Lake itself was an incredible blue colour and very clear. There was a boat race going on at the lake and so we were surrounded by speedboats and later lots of sail boats.
After being on the boat for about 25 minutes, we found ourselves pulling into the port. Yvoire is a pretty little walled medieval town and as we pulled in we could see a chateau overlooking the lake. There wasn’t a lot to do here, except wander round the cobbled streets and admire the medieval buildings. The streets were lined with beautiful, vibrant flowers and the fishing port made for a lovely place to sit and take in the views. There was a small chapel with a shiny silver top and dozens of restaurants. We were so spoilt for choice with places to eat, but rather than splash out on a big meal, we opted to stick with the French theme of the day and go to a Creperie! Now I’m much more savoury than Barry (sweet enough as it is!) so I went for the three-cheese crepe, Barry of course went for Nutella and banana. And boy did they pile in the Nutella. It was oozing. Barry felt so sick afterwards whilst I was comfortably full!
By the time we’d stuffed our faces, it wasn’t long until there was a boat due to take us back to Nyon. So off we trotted. Well I trotted, Barry kind of waddled. Before long, we were back on the boat and waving goodbye to beautiful Yvoire.
In no time at all we were back in Switzerland and headed to the nearest shop to buy a bottle of water. As we came out of the shop a French lady came up to us, speaking crazily in French and pointing at a pot of icecream she was eating from. I was trying to understand her but was really struggling. I told Barry I thought she said free icecream but I couldn’t be right, could I? As we turned round we saw a little ice cream parlour and there was a big queue of people going inside. We walked over and sure enough, they had just opened and were giving away free tubs of ice cream. Of course we had to get involved and it was a great way to cool us down, as it was becoming an increasingly hot day!
We had just one more thing we wanted to see in Geneva before we left the following day, so we jumped back on the train and headed back. Once in Geneva we made our way to Parc des Bastions. We found a few statues along the way that we had some fun with and the park itself homed the Reformation Wall, which honoured lots of historical figures. But this wasn’t the main attraction for us.
Now if you’ve read our previous blogs you’ll know that anything that has ‘World’ status is of interest to us. We’ve seen the Worlds largest filing cabinet, the Worlds steepest street and the Worlds highest letterbox to name a few. So when we heard Geneva had the Worlds longest wooden bench, we just had to go and sit on it. It was a bit of a trek up a steep climb but we made it, sat on it and photographed it. It is 120 metres long and was built in 1767! I don’t honestly know how they can class it as the Worlds longest wooden bench as it’s actually lots of benches joined together, but hey, who am I to argue!