Trip to Geneva – March 2018
Members of the South West & Channel Islands Region visit Geneva, 21-24 March 2018
At our Regional Meeting in March 2017, two Soroptimist International representatives at the UN in Geneva came to tell us about their work. From that visit came the suggestion that we should visit the UN in Geneva. Thanks to the efforts of Sabine Kinzer (SI de Nyon) who was one of the representatives and Daphne Dowsing (SI Tiverton) Regional President 2016-2018, that suggestion became a reality. Sabine also planned activities and entertainment during our visit to ensure we saw the best of Geneva and the surrounding area.
On Wednesday 21st March, 20 Soroptimists from 7 Clubs flew from Bristol Airport. The Clubs were SI St Austell & District, SI Bath, SI Plymouth, SI Taunton, SI Tiverton & District, SI Weston-super-Mere and SI Yeovil Sherborne & Districts. They were accompanied by 4 husbands (Soroptimisters!) from SI Taunton.
Wednesday afternoon was spent settling into accommodation, finding one’s bearings – and in true Soroptimist style – exploring good places to eat in the evenings!
On Thursday we went on a day trip around the north side of Lac Leman by train and bus. The morning and lunch was spent at Chaplin’s World to see the house and gardens where Charlie Chaplin lived for 25 years. Then on to Montreux at the east end of the lake to explore the historic Chateau Chillon.
On Friday morning we had the visit to UNOG, the United Nations Office in Geneva, the main purpose of our visit. After a rather long queue by Swiss standards, we were taken round the buildings by our Portuguese tour guide and given an insight into the workings of the UN at that location. Staying in the International Area, we had lunch across the road at the Red Cross Museum.
Friday afternoon was an opportunity to do our own thing in couples or groups. It was glorious weather, still quite chilly but with blue skies and sunshine. Many went down to the lake and enjoyed people watching on the promenade, delighted when the famous water fountain started to flow in the late afternoon. On Friday evening Sabine had organised a meal of the local speciality – filets du perche, lake perch fillets fried in butter with lemon and parsley. We were joined by some Swiss Soroptimists from the local Clubs Genève-Fondateur and Genève Rhône and a good time was had by all.
On Saturday morning Sabine took us on a tour of the old town, starting with the Parc des Bastions and the history of the Reformation Wall. After a wander around the streets of the old town and a look inside St Peter’s Cathedral, we enjoyed refreshments and lunch in the sunshine until it was time to return to the hotel, collect our belongings and make our way to the airport for the flight home.
We had a fabulous time; Geneva is a lovely city and we are indebted to Sabine for all her time and efforts in ensuring we have many happy memories of our visit. We saw new places and learnt new facts and figures but, best of all, we made new friends and strengthened existing friendships.