When I came to Oxford, I knew that I wanted to make time to do some more travel while I was here. My goal was to see as much as I could during my study abroad experience because I do not know when I’ll find myself in this part of the world again.
For myself, I knew I wanted a chance to visit continental Europe. I also knew I did not want to leave Oxford and my studies for too long, so I decided to try and plan a day trip for myself. One of the cities I wanted to visit the most in Europe was Geneva, Switzerland.
My first instinct was to take a train to the famed city. After some research, I decided the best option was to fly there. With that in mind, I booked myself a flight to Geneva. I would leave early in the morning and come back late at night to give myself as much time in the city as possible.
I knew this was going to be an ambitious excursion. In essence, I would be staying up all night because I would have to leave for Heathrow so early. However, I knew this would be worth it because Geneva was a dream destination in Europe for me.
One major motivation for going to Geneva was because it is the heart of the Swiss watch industry. Being a watch nerd, I was in absolute heaven. Looking across the buildings on Lake Geneva, every major brand was represented. This was a crazy sight because I’ve never seen that many brands from the same industry packed so closely together.
Walking around the city, I was in watch nerd heaven. Every brand imaginable had a boutique, and I got to try on some incredible timepieces. Geneva is also home to the Patek Phillipe museum, which proved a fantastic spot to visit as it holds thousands of historic pieces from Patek, as well as examples of fine watchmaking that predate the brand.
However, my favorite part of the experience was just getting the chance to walk around. This was something I had a lot of fun doing in London, because I got to check out things as I discovered them, which made the day relaxing because it was less structured.
While there were plenty of sights I knew I wanted to get to, my favorites were the ones I stumbled on. For example, after finishing a fantastic fondue lunch, I found myself walking past St. Pierre Cathedral. This was one of my favorite stops during the trip because I got to climb to the top of the church’s towers and get a truly breathtaking panoramic view of the city.
Walking further into Old Town, I also got to see one of Geneva’s calling cards: the world’s longest bench. This provided another great view where I got to admire the hills that surround the city.
Past the bench, I found myself in the Parc de Bastions. The park featured several oversized chess boards that residents played very serious games at. It was a lot of fun to watch the people playing the games carefully plan their moves while a small crowd watched.
My favorite part of the day was getting to walk along Lake Geneva in the afternoon. After having some Swiss chocolate for dinner, I got to walk right up the city’s famous fountain. It was such a peaceful experience to walk around the lake during my last few hours in the city. The shores of the lake provided a plentiful supply of rocks for skipping, and I got to watch the city light up as the sun began to go down.
Eventually, I had to make my way back to the airport. By the time I arrived back in Oxford, I was completely exhausted. I had been awake for more than twenty-four hours, had walked many miles throughout the day, and had to keep track of all the details of my flights and coach rides to and from Heathrow.
However, I can also say that my trip to Geneva was one of the greatest days of my life, if not the best. I was absolutely in my element exploring and getting to experience the watches I adore so much. Geneva is a truly beautiful city and one I would absolutely recommend to anyone traveling in Europe. I count myself very fortunate that I got to do this day trip while I am here in the UK, and it is an experience that I will never forget.
More Blogs From This Author
My name is Brady Judd. I am from Mill Creek, Washington, and I am a third-year history major at Whitworth University. As a history nerd, I am incredibly excited to be traveling to the UK. I have also long been a fan of British culture, watching shows like "Top Gear" and "Sherlock" as I grew up. I am an avid learner, so I can't wait to share all of the things I will be discovering with you.