Geneva, Switzerland

Yes, Geneva is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live. Many waiters and waitresses make around twenty five dollars an hour and still can’t afford to live in the city. Geneva is regarded as an international city because of the Geneva Convention papers and also because it houses many U.N. offices. Being that things are so expensive, Geneva ranks third in the world in standard of living. You will find evidence of this wherever you look. Geneva is a play ground for the rich and famous looking to escape the summer heat in their own countries. Many Middle Eastern oil millionaires come to Geneva in the summer to hang out and do whatever rich people do.

Even though money is crucial in the city, it doesn’t mean that some backpackers don’t show up from time to time. In fact I have been to the Geneva twice.  My favorite spot is down by Lake Geneva.  In July of ’09 the waterfront park had a jam band festival packed with hippies and local artists doing their thing. No charge at all.  Lodging is a different story. Luckily, we stayed with a local resident in his loft the first time in Geneva but the second trip was not so fortunate, since we didn’t have a cell phone to reach him, we had to sleep outside, which in Geneva is relatively safe. If you do it, just go to a well lit area, which for us meant outside the train station on a nice cement mattress. If you need to stay in a hotel in Geneva just bring about $400 U.S.

The symbol of  Geneva is the monumental Jet d’Eau, a fountain that pumps water 450 feet into the air. It used to be a  pressure release for hydro-power generation on the Rhône River, but the locals liked it so much that in 1891 the city created a permanent fountain.

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