Adventure in Europe: Day 2

Day 2 – Friday, Sept. 3, 2010:

Today we landed in Sweden and spent a short time in the Stockholm airport. It was beautiful and bright with lots of windows and gorgeous wooden floors. It was interesting to note the security in different airports. In Sweden we went through security again and customs too. We got our passports stamped which we weren’t expecting…SWEET!

Along the way, we met some memorable characters. I told my friend Liz that we should have asked there names, but since we didn’t, we gave them nicknames instead. 

On our plane ride we met “airplane girl” (I know, so original). She was actually on her way home to Geneva after spending a year in Chicago working as an au pair.  She had taken a year off after high school to do this and was returning home to start university. She was very nice and a friendly welcome to the start of our journey.

We finally arrived in Geneva about noon on Friday. After a little bit of searching and money exchange (Switzerland uses the Swiss Franc, as opposed to the majority of Europe, which uses the Euro), we bought our tickets for a later train to France. Then we stored our luggage and were free to roam around the city!

We went to the information booth for a map and some direction (in English thankfully!) and we were off to walk around! What a beautiful and unique city!

We first walked to the Cathedral St. Pierre, which is famous for where Calvin preached. It was grand and beautifully restored.  

We walked the streets and found a paper shop where we bought colored pencils. It took awhile, but we finally found a decent priced sandwich shop to refuel and rest. We walked down by Lake Geneva and saw the famous fountain. The sky was blue and the water was calm.

We needed something to drink, but we didn’t have cash and no one was taking credit card, so we happened to walk by a Shell gas station where we found bottled water and met another memorable character. 

“Gas Station Dude” was a welcome addition to a day full of travel and dealing with being in a foreign, unfamiliar place. He was speaking French to another customer but quickly switched to English for us, sounding very American.  He was British but lived in the states for 15 years, first in Montana, then in Hawaii. He then moved to Paris for 5 years and worked in the fashion industry. He tried to start his own company, but failed and ended up in Geneva. He got paid better at a gas station than in fashion, but would be back to London next month to try again. It was very helpful and fun to talk to. If we had stayed longer in Geneva, I’m sure he would have been a fun person to explore the night life with!

We decided to get gelato before our train ride and it was well worth the walk!  Sitting by the lake and relaxing was perfect!

We caught our train to Chambery, France and met Kory and Sam at the station. We were very thankful for beds to sleep in after a long trip!

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