Our journey begins on the shores of Lake Geneva, also known as Lac Léman to the Swiss French, and Genfersee to the Swiss Germans. Geneva, as most visitors would know, hosts the headquarters of some of the biggest non-governmental international organizations in the world – the United Nations, the Red Cross and the World Health Organisation being three of the most important of these. Major world decisions are made on these shores, and people from all nations congregate here, to be part of this decision-making.
As a result, the city has always been the most cosmopolitan of all Swiss cities; and along its fashionable streets and water-front, one can very often hear languages and accents from all parts of the world. The waterfront, in particular, exudes an old world European charm, channeling Nice or Cannes with its marina, charming boardwalk, and Neo-classical architecture.
As the French would quip, c’est très genial – “it’s all very pleasant and elegant”; a charming gateway for first-time visitors to the rest of the country. This elegance comes at a price though. The city is probably one of the most expensive cities in the world, even by Swiss standards.