On arriving in the centre of Geneva, I needed to find my way to the hotel, I’d booked at a very good rate.
The tourist office was a short walk towards the river and I got one of the best free maps, I’ve ever got from such a place. I’ve even be charged for an awful map in some places.
I actually walked to my hotel in the Old City, which wasn’t that far. One of the reasons for walking was that I knew hotels were supposed to give you a free travel ticket, for whilst you were in the city.
It was a bit cold, but a pleasant walk and I crossed one of the many bridges of the Rhone.
Admittedly, I had to climb up to the hotel, but despite my problems, I managed it well. I took this picture from the top on the Saturday morning.
This shows the advantage of travelling light, as I always do.
Note however the maps and signposts grouped together. Geneva is a well-mapped city and others could do worse, than follow Geneva’s example.
Incidentally the first thing I got from reception in the hotel along with the room key, was a Geneva Transport Card, valid from Friday until Sunday. You even get them if you are camping, rather than in a five star hotel as I was!
Here’s what the Visit Geneva web site says.
When you stay in a hotel, a youth hostel or at a campsite, you receive free of charge a Geneva Transport Card. Taking the tram, the bus and the train on Geneva territory will not cost you a penny. You even can cross the lake with the yellow taxi-boats for free.
This personal and non-transferable card is offered to you at arrival. During your stay in Geneva, you can use the entire Geneva transport network (UNIRESO: bus and tram (TPG), train (CFF) and taxi-boats (Mouettes Genevoises).
If you arrive at Geneva International Airport, you can get a 80-minute ticket free of charge for a ride to the place of your accommodation. The ticket machine is in the luggage retrieval hall.
The map I have, also points out the location of some of the large free museums in the city.
Madame Tussauds are no advertising on the DLR.
I’ve never been that I can remember and these adverts won’t dissuade me in my view that waxworks are a waste of space and time.
It used to be spelt properly as Madame Tussaud’s, but apparently, they have dropped the apostrophe.
I think it would be very scientifically incorrect to go to a museum, that deliberately misspelt its name.
I also wondered why you see so many French kids and their teachers in the Imperial War Museum. The answers are here in this article in the Daily Mail about the scrapping of France’s new historical museum by President Hollande.
Basically, they don’t have one, and as our museums are free to entry, they just get on the Eurostar and go visit.
As someone of part-Huguenot descent, I would like to learn more about why my ancestors came to London in the mid-eighteenth century. Typical of most in the UK and even those with Huguenot descent, I know little of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.
But that seems to be just one of the arguments that have scuppered the project.
But as the Mail says, other countries with chequered history including ourselves have museums that tell of that past. We have a Museum of Slavery in Liverpool. Do the French have one? I don’t think so, but they are trying to set one up in Nantes.
I’ve never liked waxworks. I went once to Madame Tussards in probably the 1950s with my mother and we weren’t impressed. To me once was enough!
So when I see the pictures and read the reports in today’s Times about Louis Tussauds House of Wax in Great Yarmouth, it doesn’t change my opinion on waxworks. Read what Trip Advisor says here. The Telegraph doesn’t mince its words either and describes the attraction as facing meltdown.
On the other hand, I might go there, as it sounds so awful. But then there are much better things to see in Great Yarmouth.
CrossRail is the biggest project in Europe and sometimes I get annoyed with it, as the works in the City around Liverpool Street do cause a lot of diversions to the 21 and141 buses I use to get to a lot of places. Sometimes, I call the project AngryRail as that’s how it makes me feel.
But they know the problems they are causing and they do their best to mitigate them, be it by green walls or other means.
I have just received an e-mail from the company about the staging of their pop-up exhibition; Bison to Bedlam for a month in October.
They are giving talks on the Wednesdays and offering prizes for visitors.
A Young Friends pass from the British Museum – includes annual YF Membership (the child receives magazines, a birthday card etc), two tickets to sleepover in the museum, two tickets to attend an activity event organised at the museum.
An annual family membership card that covers entry into the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House Kensington Palace and Kew Palace.
They don’t seem to me to be bad prizes.
My only worry about the exhibition is that if the numbers who turned up at the pop-up version is anything to go by, is a month long enough?
When they have completed the railway, and collected a lot more valuable finds, they all need to be properly displayed, together with displays about the engineering. Perhaps there should be a CrossRail museum at Whitechapel?
I like Simon Calder and he gave some interesting holiday advice on BBC Breakfast this morning, when asked about the shortage of package holidays. He suggested having a few days in London, where hotel prices are cheap and many of the best attractions are free.
In fact on the 38 bus last night, I met a father and son spending a couple of days in London.
So perhaps, Simon is only stating what is happening.
There was also some exhibits and documents on Turing’s personal life, including the Coroner’s report on his suicide.
The exhibition says that his mother thought his death may not have been suicide and in his Wikipedia entry, this is said.
Turing’s mother argued strenuously that the ingestion was accidental, caused by her son’s careless storage of laboratory chemicals. Biographer Andrew Hodges suggests that Turing may have killed himself in an ambiguous way quite deliberately, to give his mother some plausible deniability. Hodges and David Leavitt have suggested that Turing was re-enacting a scene from the 1937 film Snow White, his favourite fairy tale, both noting that (in Leavitt’s words) he took “an especially keen pleasure in the scene where the Wicked Queen immerses her apple in the poisonous brew.”
If you look at others like Turing, such as Newton, you find characters very much on the edge. I used to work with a programmer, who always sang and made strange noises as he coded. He argued that programming was such a logical business, you had to do something mad to balance the mind. Turing wasn’t a programmer in the sense we think now, but he was someone steeped in logic and I suspect the same applied to him.
Sadly, in today’s world, Turing would probably be treasured in much the way Stephen Hawking is.
At least now, hopefully his sexuality would not have been the problem it was in the 1960s.
The Cutty Sark reopens on Thursday after a very expensive rebuild. They certainly seem to have done a good job.
I have some doubts about the amount of money spent, but hopefully, the money will be repaid in extra visitors to London and also if it has helped create a new generation of craftsmen.
The Cutty Sark is one of the few sights of London, I can remember visiting as a child, probably after a trip upriver on a boat. What sticks in my memory is the figurehead collection.
It is one of those sites that is worth a visit, even if you have no time to visit the museums. There is a Marks & Spencer and a couple of coffee places, including a small Starbucks to get a quick lunch and quite a few places to sit, so for me as a coeliac, if I’m close, I know I can get a quick lunch, in quiet times like today.
I do feel very strongly, that big projects should leave a legacy. And so, I think it is important, that this restoration should be used to train the next generation of craftsmen. I know there aren’t many Cutty Sarks, but I suspect that a lot of the skills are also applicable to other historic marine craft from Victory and Belfast downwards to the MTBs of the Second World War.
We are getting better at this sort of legacy and for an example look at CrossRail. Part of the deal to build the enormous tunnels under London, was to create a Tunneling and Underground Construction Academy at Ilford. It will initially provide trained personnel for CrossRail, but it also has a wider brief to train people for soft-ground tunnelling projects, wherever they arise.
It is an idea that should be followed.
I suspect though that the French will charge in Lens, whereas, the only charge in Liverpool is for special exhibitions or in the excellent restaurant.