We woke up at like 8:30. Mandy showered while Rob continued to not move a while longer. When we were finally up, dressed, showered, and all that, we left the room to grab breakfast, which was included with the room, at the hotel. With no proper training on how we were supposed to do breakfast in this country, we winged it. I had a piece of toast with chocolate frosting (I believe this was actually something similar to Nutella) and strawberry jam, a stick of Gruyere cheese, and a hot chocolate. I had a kiwi, toast, a cheese stick, and orange juice. No idea if this was the “right” way to do it, but the flavors were delicious!
After breakfast, we brushed our teeth and packed some snacks into Mandy’s purse, then set out for the tram. It was just up the street, around the side of the main train station. We waited just a few minutes for the #18 to arrive, and we hopped on. This is where we need to rewind a moment, to something we left out as insignificant last night. See, when we were at dinner last night out on the sidewalk, a man approached our table playing acoustic guitar and singing in like…Franish? Half French/half Spanish. Anyways, we remember it very vividly – it was Canción del Mariachi by Antonio Banderas and Los Lobos. He (presumably) was begging for change after the terrible rendition. I don’t know, he was speaking French, I think. Anyways, back to today; we were minding our own business on the train when suddenly “AYE AYE MI AMOR” out of nowhere. Same guy, same song. He played for a couple stops, and then got off, just as we were debating getting off to wait for the next train. So we stayed on, and rode all the way to the end.
We hopped off the last stop, and wandered around a while to take a few pictures outside. When we went into CERN reception, we still had about an hour to kill before the tour began. We- okay, MANDY worked hard to get us tickets, so we wanted to be sure we weren’t late. We wandered around the permanent exhibit inside, Microcosm, while we waited. We soaked up as much information as we could about the particle accelerators at CERN before, and during the tour. The tour took us to a decommissioned particle accelerator, the synchrocyclotron, from CERN’s early years. To stand in front of it, it seemed gigantic. To compare it to the current accelerators in use, it is tiny. Although the large hadron collider had no active beams today, we were unable to go underground to the tunnels. We think this is because they were doing maintenance of some sort. After checking out the synchrocyclotron, we went over to ATLAS control room. The control room is ultimately uninteresting to look at; it is just a bunch of computers in an office. But it was way cool to be in the same place where so much cutting edge science happens. Our guide, Alexandro, was a wealth of information about the facility, experiments, equipment, and history. We had a great time soaking up all the information through the tour, and checking out all the equipment on display, and the Universe of Particles exhibit. By the end of it, we were quite hungry and in need of a sit down, so we hopped on over to the tram, and headed back towards the city.
After a little R & R in the hotel room for a bit, we set back out to explore the city some more. We popped into a chocolate shop just to see. We got to talking with the shop owner a while, about chocolate, life and climate in Geneva, snow skiing, and all sorts of things. She was very pleasant, and in the end she gave us a couple truffles for free, and a couple small samples of chocolates. We walked out with a few solid bars of Swiss chocolate, too. We’re pumped to try them out tomorrow. We continued back down towards the waterfront, but this time we headed further east, to a park that we spotted on the map. Once we got there, we threw around our frisbee for a little while, until we’d worked up a thirst.
We were not as hungry as we anticipated around dinner time, but set out in search of food nonetheless. We decided to split a pizza at La Rotonde, a pizzeria. We sat out on the sidewalk again, because the weather was good. I ordered a Lowenbrau beer. I drank water. The pizza we ordered was chorizo, and it came out split 50/50 on two plates. How convenient. We took a few bites and then “AYE AYE MI AMOR”. Same guy, same song, again. What the heck. Eventually, he left, and we finished our meal in relative peace. We enjoyed people watching as we worked on a chocolate mousse for dessert which was amazing. We paid the tab after we finished, and returned to our hotel. We packed up our bags so we’d be ready for an early start tomorrow and then we went to bed.
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.