initial trip costs
£ 18.50 return national express coach ticket southampton - heathrow; heathrow - southampton
£ 119.00 return ticket to switzerland: flying swiss, heathrow - geneva; geneva - heathrow. the ticket included health and baggage insurance
i left southampton in the 1.30am coach to london heathrow terminal 1. my flight was at 7.30am. at the geneva airport the immigration lady asked if i spoke any french, 'parlez-vous francais?' to which i responded 'un peu', and added (using finger gestures) 'je reste ici trois jours'. right away she asked: 'et apres?' i said that after the three days i was going to return to england, where i live and am a phd student, more or less like this: 'apres je rentre a angleterre, ou je suis une etudiante de phd'. the woman opened a wide smile, and stamped my passport. i smiled back and left.
my dear friend fran was waiting for me at the arrival gate. big hugs and greetings and we took the bus to city. first stop was at manor, this immense department store with whatever you may want (i suppose). there we had a fantastic breakfast at the terrace area, as it was a sunny and nice day. then we walked around town for about four hours and i saw a lot about geneva: the banks, the expensive shops, the beautiful streets, the commercial area, the 'jet d'eau', a book fair, the amazing geneva flower clock and so much more around leman lake.
we walked to a square where lots and lots of people were sitting at the cafes enjoying the beautiful day. we were there for a while. i had diet coke and fran had panache, a drink which is beer mixed with carbonated lemonade, called shandy in the uk. very nice. the streets and the old buildings look so nice in this very expensive city. i photographed the court of justice. after the cafe we walked to a park where there just another bunch of people on the grass relaxing, eating, or sleeping. we stayed there for quite a long time talking about life. fran and i had some nice, honest and serious conversations about brazil, europe, family, longing, and the gains and loss we are faced with every time we make choices in life.