Lake Geneva was a beautiful backdrop to my New Year’s Eve celebrations. I was excited to be seeing 2015 out and 2016 in after the start of a fantastic, tough journey becoming a travel blogger. Another new country and finally taking advantage of a part-time travel lifestyle.
I started the last day of December with a walk around the lake. It was such a fresh, chilly morning and swans were swimming by the side. It was a lovely view.
I wanted to stroll and take in some of the city with its mountains towering behind. It’s an easy, clean and friendly place. I wanted to go to Mont Saleve on my trip but the cable car was closed until January and the hike took a full day and I was on my own. If I had people with me or knew the route, I would have done this on New Year’s Eve day. I will definitely plan to hike in Switzerland in the future.
I went to the United Nations Headquarters that afternoon which unfortunately were closed. I would love to go back to Switzerland and do another day trip to Geneva and a tour of the UN and other organisation’s museums in the area. The Red Cross and Red Crescent museum is close by but I didn’t get to go in and see the exhibitions. These tours and activities would usually be perfect for me and topics I care about deeply. Opening days and times are often changed for Christmas and New Year period with closures in many places. This is the only downside to travelling during holidays.
As I walked around and viewed some public space art work, it reinforced my desire to do something with social impact. Whether that is in the form of charity work or something in my work or home community, I’m not sure. It definitely made me want to connect on a deeper level through my work, blog or personal life. I’d like to be part of a positive change in society to eradicate the inequalities we still have. Humanitarian issues have been at the forefront for European countries in recent months.
I walked back into town, which took around 30 minutes. After checking out prices for New Year’s Eve, I decided against paying entrance to a hotel and would instead enjoy partying in the street. The big hotels can be really expensive but the street party was free! Most restaurants were booked up or closed halfway through the day so I decided to get a curry near my hotel and went to the Co-op for a bottle of wine rather than buying drinks at the street party.
Night came and darkness flooded the streets and lake area. I got ready at my hotel with a glass of wine and some music. Around 9:30pm, I went for something to eat and then at 11pm, I headed down to the lakeside.
Grand Hotel Kempinski were providing the firework display and it was spectacular. Definitely the highlight of the night.
Celebrations lasted for hours and I left just after 1am. People were singing and dancing in the street. Everyone shouted Bonne Annee at midnight and it was a great atmosphere. It felt safe and people of all ages were celebrating. You could get food and drinks in the tents and there were toilets available too. It was a really good party and perfect for budget travellers.
Have you visited Geneva? Would you like to celebrate New Year in Switzerland?