Monday, 1 August 2011

1000/498: 14 July 2011: Unexpected Geneva

Nothing prepared me for the sheer range of birdlife easily visible in Geneva. There were Black Kites over the city (no photo today though) and the lake was full of birds raising their young. I spent a happy half hour photographing this little group of Great Crested Grebes -

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- while this family of Goosanders were caught by the simple expedient of holding my camera over the lake wall.

Female Goosander and young, Lake Geneva

There were baby coots (cootles? cootlettes?) and cygnets as well. Ten minutes patient stalking on the path to the botanical gardens finally gave me this little guy – which seemed fair reward for the effort – although I was grateful for the random peach stone.

Chipmunk, Geneva

Not that all the life was wild… this guy was finding it very peaceful.

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In the afternoon we visited the old town – which didn’t disappoint – the Roman remains beneath the cathedral were good value – and intriguingly the skeleton from some Gaullic bigwig who seems to have started the whole edifice were visible 10m beneath the floor of the Choir, together with a rather nice mosaic floor from a Roman building which had also previously occupied the site.

St Peter's Cathedral, GenevaP7142136.jpgRue de la Cite, GenevaRoman remains at beneath Geneva Cathedral

This is turning into a longer post than I intended but we did cover a lot of ground today. We spent the evening eating in town – sampling a flammekuche – a kind of Swiss pizza. The one in the picture is ‘Texan’ style apparently. Then on the way back to the hotel we came across a film festival in the park, showing shorts from the university media department as far as we could tell.

Flammekuche, Texan StyleFountain, Musee de l'histoire du scienceUniversity Film Festival, Geneva

And that, frankly, is as a good a way to end a day of surprises as any I can think of.

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