Geneva, my first on-site city. It makes me smile, for, it has given me countless nice memories. And it is like my second home after my India.
Mumbai-Amsterdam-Geneva. That was the route I was taking. Though I was traveling alone, unlike many first time overseas travelers I was not nervous at all. I was excited. New place, new work and new challenge. I just wanted to run away from Mumbai because it was mid August, raining horribly and I hate Mumbai rains and roads.
At the airport all usual questions were asked.. who packed your luggage, are you carrying a knife etc. I had a suitcase and a rucksack besides my handbag. No hugging/kissing/crying and last minute advice for me as my family was in Delhi. Only people came to see me off was the family I was staying with.
The flight was comfortable and on time.. nearly 8 hours to reach Amsterdam. I didn’t have any difficulty with seat-belt, overhead indicators or closing/ opening of washroom door. I knew all. The only thing that really irritates me is blocking of my ears and when the airplane decides to descend at a speed which starts hinting you through your stomach to say your final prayers.
I slept for sometime as next day was Monday and I had to report to duty (Ohh how much I hate my SBU head for that). The connecting flight from Amsterdam was in 50 minutes, so not much time wasted there.
At Geneva airport one of my seniors had come to receive me.
After waiting for good one hour for my luggage (there were many like me), I came to know that due to overloading at Amsterdam, my suitcase along with many other passengers’ was held back, to be sent within 24 hours to Geneva. They said this was a normal practice due to heavy traffic within Europe.
One can imagine my predicament as within two hours of landing I was supposed to be in office and there I was standing confused in jeans and a Tee without a single set of extra clothes with me !! However, I had learnt my lesson, after that started carrying one set of clothes on my person.
The Geneva airport is very small compared to other international airports like Frankfurt, Sydney, Singapore or Amsterdam. I found it extremely clean and shining. In fact whole of Switzerland is so pure and clean.
Can you see those painted small birds at the ceiling ? They looked so fascinating. Restrooms are on the right.
Come out of the arrival section and you have to pay for using the restrooms. That’s what I also did. My first use of foreign currency abroad was for using this facility. But I didn’t mind paying because they had kept it absolute sparkling clean and dry. Going from India to Switzerland, everything looked so good and beautiful. 🙂
The airport has an underground railway station from where frequent trains run to Geneva city and other cities of Switzerland and also to neighbouring countries. Come out of the building and you have bus service connecting to different parts of Geneva.
But we took a cab (first time in my life I sat in Merc, In Geneva most cabs are Mercedes Benz) directly to the place where I was supposed to stay with other colleagues in a rented apartment, very close to the lake.
I looked outside and smiled. The weather was wonderful. Geneva was welcoming me with open arms…