Although I was born Vietnamese, Switzerland has always been a second home to me. Having spent most of my childhood there, my first trip back to Switzerland since 2008 was somewhat an emotional one. I had the chance to revisit the places that were once familiar and rekindle with some of my oldest friends. This country remains undoubtedly one of the most peaceful and picturesque places that I’ve ever been to. The paths around the Léman, the small alley ways across the Old Town, the green spaces inside the Parc des Bastion and the steps leading up the the Saint Pierre Cathedral were all familiar sights which brought back so many memories… I remember when I was 8, having memorised all the bus routes and tourist attractions, I would be the assigned tour guide to show my relatives and family friends around whenever they came to visit. It was somewhat entertaining to swap roles and return there as a tourist this time instead.
I had scheduled my trip so that I would be able to experience the renowned “Fêtes de Genève” during my stay. Throughout the weeks surrounding the Swiss national day, the shores of the Léman lake became populated by vibrant carnival rides and fragrant food stalls – a stark contrast to the usual calm and peaceful ambience in the area. The main event that everyone had been eagerly awaiting for however was the closing Great Fireworks display. Over a hundred thousand people were expected to gather up around the lake to catch a glimpse of the display. I went there with a bunch of friends and got ourselves a really cosy and spacious place to lounge around while watching the fireworks together. The show was accompanied by lively background music and was meant to narrate a particular storyline. This year, the theme was “L’Homme et le Temps”, meaning “Man and Time”, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Patek Phillip. I’ve experienced quite a few fireworks display throughout my life and must say that not many can really compare to the one at the Fêtes de Genève. It was simply grandiose. Perhaps it was the company as well as the fact that I we weren’t squished like sardines while watching the display that further enhanced the experience but it is definitely something worth checking out if you happen to ever travel to Switzerland around the month of August!
Anyhow, those are just a few snapshots of my trip back to Switzerland. I’ve spent quite a bit of this summer travelling before work begins and shall be posting a bit more about my summer travels shortly. Until then, take care!