I have to be honest: I’ve been totally wrapped up in trying to power through the 90-degree Fahrenheit/32-degree Celsius temperature inside our un-airconditioned Geneva apartment and get some studying done for exams, and did not realize I was due for an anniversary post until my trusty phone alert late last night. Thus, you’ll have to forgive that this entry is short on thoughtful expat reflections, and accept a substitute of some very wise attic apartment advice instead: When it’s 90 degrees outside, do not leave your windows open all day in the hope that a breeze will bring some fresh air into your flat. There is no breeze and your apartment will somehow stay at a sauna-like 90 degrees all week as a result — even though it’s back down to 70 degrees outside. (You’re welcome.)
Outside of studying for exams — four more to go! — Gui and I have been spending our time down by the lake relaxing between workdays and classes, and soaking in what I really do think is Geneva’s best season now that I’ve experienced them all: Summer. (I know, it’s still officially spring, but this weather says otherwise.) The city comes to life with swimmers, sailors and festivals, and it’s really a different atmosphere from the quieter winter months when downtown empties out in favor of the nearby ski slopes.
Two weekends ago Geneva had what is known as “Caves Ouvertes” (in English, open cellars), where you can pay 10 CHF (~ $10) for a wine glass and a bottle opener and have access to free-flowing wine tastings at the canton’s many fabulous vineyards. We opted to stick with the caves on our side of the lake (the left bank) and, after a 15-minute ride on bus #33 to the Choulex stop, took an easy stroll through the Swiss countryside to visit five different wineries. Each had picnic tables set up for the wine-goers, and most had different cheeses and meats on offer as well (sometimes free of charge, sometimes for a small fee). Coupled with the perfect sunny weather, it was a glorious day. We returned home with several bottles of delicious and extremely affordable local wines, so come visit our “cave” for a glass (or several) soon!
Once I finish exams, we’ll be gearing up for a summer of family visitors and perhaps experimenting with one of those ice-fed cooling machines if the weather stays steamy. I’d love to hear what everyone else is up to, so drop me a message to say hi whenever you have some free time. From our wine-filled home to your almost certainly cooler one, happy summer!