Frankly, I never had Geneva on my travel bucket list. I've certainly read about the countless prestigious and globally relevant public and private entities calling the city on Lac Leman their home. But beyond that my knowledge about the town, its people, and its culture was rather limited until I had the joy to meet with two old friends for a weekend together at Ruby Claire Hotel & Bar.
Arriving in town was quite convenient; the bus (there are cabs aswell) dropped me right in front of Passage Jean-Malbuisson where the smell of fresh croissants, sweets and recently brewed coffee guided my nose to Guillaume Bichet. From there, one looks to the side to see the entrance of the Ruby Claire.
I took the elevator upstairs with the thought to quickly self-check in and jump under the rainfall shower – which is my absolute highlight after countless hours at the airport these days – but upon spotting the various cozy spots both roof terraces have to offer, my plan had to be amended. One of the lovely hosts noticed my inner struggle with a cheeky smile and asked me if I´d like a drink, the plan had changed. Little fast forward, now sitting with a Gin Tonic on the western terrace catching the last rays of sun of the day, I finally arrived at this welcoming place.
A little while later, with the sun behind the horizon, invigorated by Ruby’s light gravity elixir and my earlier hyped yet postponed rainfall shower, I meet with my companions, and we took to the streets to discover the nightlife this part of Switzerland has in store for us.
As we strolled some 10 minutes along the Rhône, passing several establishments, our ears caught some cool-sounding tunes, and with a thirst for live music, we stumbled into a place called La Jonquille. Gently slipping through the spaces in the crowd, we had more Gin Tonic, which was emitting a light bluish-purple luminescence – did you know G&T glows under blacklight? Amazed by this discovery about this delicious drink, we went to the music stage and let ourselves go with the flow of the tunes.
With the night progressing, energized by the gig, we were graving to explore a little bit more of Ruby Claire´s neighborhood. Following the Rhone further up, we couldn’t help but notice the summer vibes of Geneva, with the streets engulfed in laughter and distant songs from all the different localities echoing along the river where groups of people gathered to share a drink while enjoying the warm night under the distant stars.
With rising curiosity, together we headed to a place where the Rhone meets the L´Arve at Pointe de la Jonction, wanting to sit for a while before we´d return to Ruby Claire. As we got closer to our destination, we came across the Fonderie Kugler, which turns out to be a center for culture and arts as well as an event place for fantastic world music and inclusive society populating the site. An event called the Rojava film fest was taking place. Sadly, we had missed the films earlier in the evening, but various nice fellows and their critical reception accompanied our last drink of the day before I said good night and fell quite tired into my big comfy bed.
The story doesn´t end here, but this would turn this long read into an essay. To keep a long story short, Geneva is a gem in the heart of Europe you simply have to discover yourself. With a weekend full of charming discoveries and activities, from a head dive into the fresh clear water of Lac Leman, over the various cultural sights and the “tout le monde” flair of the city to the breakfasts & staff at Ruby Claire, Geneva will see me again.