If you asked me for my preference, I’d tell you I like walking our neighborhood of Geneva in the dark of early morning when the only signs of life are me and the dogs and the few men hurrying to the 6 am call to prayer at the local mosque. At that hour we avoid the dozens of velos, bikes, Razr scooters, roller blades, and skateboards whizzing by and taking people to school and work. There are no other dogs out then either, ambling by off leash and driving my leashed terrier mad with jealousy. In that hour, the only sounds of life are our measured breaths, shoe heels and sharp toenails hitting the cobbled walkways, and the rumbling of engines as buses begin their rounds.
However, it’s hard to get a good photo in the dark, so the dogs and I have made several walks in the light of day as well – up to four miles each day: around le Petit Saconnex, in the older sections of Geneva below the river, and just across the border in the market town of Ferney-Voltaire, France – so you could see some other favorite aspects of the new home base.
Walks and Parks
The amount of green space within the city is staggering. Within less than a mile radius of our temporary apartment, we can visit six large parks. These spots all contain a nice mix of old-growth wooded area and vast lawns for strolling, running, spreading out a picnic blanket, or tracking scents (if you happen to be a curious dog).
Public drinking fountains, water fountain sculptures, stone or metal sculptures of stags or famous monsters – there’s something unusual in every neighborhood.
Markets and Food
I had been visiting local bakeries and buying our fruits and vegetables a couple of times a week at the nearby bio ferme, le marché à la ferme de Budé, but friend and fellow author, Terry Repak, called our attention to a superb Saturday market in the French border town of Ferney-Voltaire. At her suggestion, we took the local “F” bus there last weekend, shopping bags in hand. The market was so vast, full of so much color and texture and noise, that I felt like I was six years old again and at one of the wild Italian feasts in Boston, the smallest being in a crush of adults, unsure of what was going on around me. The scene was overwhelming; it was also wonderful.
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©2015 Jane A. Ward