Geneva

Geneva - travel to the little city where the four corners of the globe come together

Geneva has been attracting a cosmopolitan crowd ever since the days of the Reformation, when John Calvin made the city his home. Boasting a beautiful setting on the shores of Lake Geneva, with views over Western Europe's highest peak, Mont Blanc, the city benefits from a mild climate with pleasant summer temperatures and plenty of sunshine outside the winter months. Air France's regular flights from Johannesburg offer a great chance to travel to Geneva, whether on business or for a holiday. Airplane tickets that won't break the bank can be found by avoiding the tourist high seasons, which fall during the school holidays in summertime and in the main ski season from January through to April. Switzerland is not part of the European Union and has retained its own currency, the Swiss Franc. For relevant information about travel documentation and customs formalities, it's well worth checking out the 'preparing your trip' section of the Air France website. French is the main language spoken in Geneva, but the presence of so many international bodies means that many residents also speak English.

Although the city is walkable, it would be a shame not to make the most of the highly-efficient local public transport system, which to boot, is free for anyone staying in a youth hostel, campsite or hotel. The Geneva Transport Card gives you access to trams, buses and trains within Geneva and is even valid on the Mouettes Genevoises taxi-boats!

Geneva - a journey to one of the cradles of the Protestant Reformation - and of the modern human rights movement

Geneva has played a seminal role in both the Protestant Reformation and the development of standards relating to the treatment of prisoners of war and non-combatants in military conflicts. A total of four treaties, the Geneva Conventions, were signed in the city between 1864 and 1949. The city houses two not-to-be-missed museums that look at these topics in greater detail, the International Museum of the Reformation and the Museum of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
One of Geneva's most recognizable symbols is the Jet d'Eau, a 140 metre high fountain that has been delighting (and drenching) visitors to the city since 1891. The Cathédrale St Pierre, meanwhile, towers over the 'Vieille Ville' (the Old Town). As well as providing a very enlightening look at the city's religious heritage, the cathedral's archaeological tour takes you on a journey from the 3rd century BC to the 12th century AD with the help of 21st century technology! An interesting follow-on from the Cathedral tour could be a visit to the 'Murs des Réformateurs' in the Parc des Bastions. This monument depicts the story of the Reformation and some of its key figures and, in a highly-symbolic gesture, has been built into the old city walls.
For non-history buffs, Geneva has a number of world-class festivals and events that draw the crowds. Most popular are the Geneva Motor Show held in March, the Bol D'Or Mirabaud Regatta (the world's biggest inland lake yacht race) in June and August's Fête de Genève, which features a jaw-dropping fireworks display.
If you would like to explore further afield, why not rent a car or take a trip to the Salève cable car over the border in France for panoramic views of Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc?

All the best websites to help your Geneva holiday run like clockwork!

These internet sites will be useful in planning your trip to Geneva:
Eda.admin.ch/pretoria
Redcrossmuseum.ch

Site-archeologique.ch