Late September saw us jetting to Geneva, Switzerland for a watch factory tour. We were invited by LK Boutique and Patek Philippe to visit the Patek Philippe factories and see behind the scenes of watch making. I will focus only on the food, hotel and scenery in this post. We unfortunately were not able to take photos while in the factory but let me say it was a truly amazing experience.
We traveled with Emirates to Geneva with a stopover in Dubai. On previous trips to Europe it has always been after a week in New York, so it was a novelty for me to fly west and north from Sydney. The flight is of course LOOOONNGGGGG, nearly 14 hours to Dubai with a 2 ½ hour layover, then a further 7 hours to Geneva. Of course First class lounges help.
The first meal of our trip was dinner in the Qantas First Class lounge in Sydney. A glass of rose Champagne got the trip of to a nice start. Mr. CA4G ordered minute steak with chips and salsa verde and I ordered pork with kale and sweet potato.
For our second course we ordered the cheese selection and a fig, toasted hazelnut and honey tart with a rosemary infused cream, housemade ricotta whey sorbet. Great cheeses and the tart was delicious and light.
Flying First Class is a rare experience and when you can upgrade to First you really enjoy the treat.
We arrived in Dubai early in the morning and after going through all the barriers, we stumbled along to Emirates First Class lounge. OMG!! Talk about a lounge. Massive, with water features, plenty of lounging areas, dining room, spa(you never know when you might need a quick massage or facial), business desks. One thing I really liked was the charging lockers where you could charge all your gadgets securely while you relax. The service was impeccable and the lounge very relaxing.
Freshly squeezed juice and bakers basket.
The only thing missing from breakfast was some bacon but it is a small thing. The sausages that we had (veal or chicken) with our scrambled eggs were sensational
Back on to the plane for the second leg of the trip, the sun had fully risen so we got some shots of Dubai as we left.
We forgot to take some photos of the fabulous food served in Emirates first class between Sydney and Dubai but here is what lunch looked like.
The flight from Dubai to Geneva saw us fly up over Iran, then across Turkey and the Balkans before crossing the northern parts of the Adriatic and Italy, over the majestic Alps and then in to Geneva airport.
After landing we headed to our hotel, The Beau Rivage, Geneva. Located across the road from Lake Geneva, it offers an old world touch of luxury with modern conveniences(namely excellent wifi!!).
Our room was one of several that had a balcony facing the lake and the Jet d’Eau, with views to the Alps and Mont Blanc in the distance.
After settling in, we had a little time to ourselves and decided to take advantage of the sunshine to explore a little. Our group was given public transport vouchers for the duration of the stay. We decided to use ours to take one of the Mouettes Genevoise across the lake. The Mouettes Genevoise, are wooden boats that have a long history on Lake Geneva. There are three routes to choose from and we took the one that goes directly across the lake and offers good views of the Jet d’Eau fountain.
From our drop off wharf we walked back to the city centre, a walk of around 10 minutes. Naturally, we had to find some watch boutiques.
We were also successful in finding M.A.D. Gallery, where Mr. CA4G was to catch up with Mr. Max Busser later in the week.
We also found the carousel/merry go round located in the street leading up to the cathedral.
A bit more walking found us at the Quai de l’Ile, historic headquarters of Vacheron Constantin. This building is now home to a Vacheron Constantin boutique as well as home to their heritage department.
At this point, Lake Geneva starts to narrow again and become the mighty Rhone River. I never realized that the Rhone River starts its 812 kilometer journey down from the Lepontine Alps in the canton of Valais. You can see the water starting to flow quite quickly in the photo above and below.
Peak hour traffic was a nightmare! We thought Sydney was bad, but the traffic in Geneva shocked us a bit. Although we were later told that the road in front of the Hotel is the main one people use to go around the bottom of Lake Geneva and there is only the one vehicular bridge at that point.
Back at the hotel we had enough time for a quick freshen up before meeting the other members of our tour group at a welcome cocktail party/dinner. Only a few shots of the food, as it was also dinner there was plenty of food and all delicious.
Tiredness was starting to catch up with us so we headed back to our room where we had this stunning view out the window.
That was the end of our first day in Geneva, stay tuned for more on our trip.