“Franzerland” is what I am officially calling the border area. And here are a few great things that we’ve discovered round these parts so far.
1) Bikes! We got bikes! There’s an amazing site in Geneva called glocals that is essentially a pre-screened Craigslist for only people living in Geneva. It’s how I found my apartment and how Chris got this awesome bike!
I found my bike at a really cool shop, Pound bike Canton of Geneva, that revamps all the lost and stolen bikes in the city after nobody’s claimed them and then resells them for cheap. It’s basically just a hole in the ground under a college, but it is still popular with many residents who refuse to pay Geneva prices for a new bike. You have to get there right at 10am to get the best selection because people start filing in and by the end of the day, most of the bikes are gone.
This is SUCH a biking town, it’s almost essential to have one. To demonstrate, here is the “bike path” I found today that runs between the Wal-Mart-like grocery store by the airport and my apartment. This is so classically Europe – I love it.
There is also a bike-themed bar called La Petite Reine, which is actually how the French endearingly refer to their bikes (“The little queen”), so this explains a lot. Great bar right by the train station with drinks for only 5 chf!
2) Speaking of bars, La Terrasse is the bar where people hang out after work in the summer. They have a fascinating drink called ginger beer, which actually turns out to be fresh grated ginger syrup in something like bud light – surprisingly delicious.
3) Our local cheese shop has all of the amazing French AND Swiss cheeses, and offers samples
4) It turns out that duck and lamb are the cheapest meats here, which makes for some gourmet BBQing on the patio!
5) And, what village is complete without a bakery that makes amazing baguettes and melt-in-your-mouth plain, chocolate and almond croissants in the morning?
6) But in case you forget to go to the bakery or grocery store before they all close at 7pm every day, don’t worry about going hungry…Just get a pizza from the pizza vending machine!