Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fete de la Musique

Earlier this week I'd tried to make plans with people to get together over the weekend... these didn't really turn out that well, but they did prompt me and Zach to get up early(ish) yesterday morning to go check out the farmer's market in Carouge. We were very pleasantly surprised to find a parking garage that's FREE until 1pm on Saturdays, and that at about 11am still had plenty of spots. Woot! Looks like we might be doing this more often. =)

The market was great-- smaller than some of the ones we'd go to in California, but with more than enough yummy fruits and veggies being sold to make up for it. As I went to buy a cantalope I suddenly was struck with fear of making some cultural faux-pax-- in California, usually you'd grab your own bag, pick your fruit, then hand it to the guy behind the stand to weigh and price it. Here I watched a bit, and it seemed people more point to the produce they want and the workers bag it for you. Hmm, ok, I guess that's how it works here. I can do that. We didn't buy much, just the cantalope, some very shiny strawberries, some tomatoes and a loaf of bread. But it's definitely nice to know that it's there, for future trips.

We also discovered a tiny used bookstore just around the corner from the market, where we found French copies of The Jungle Book and the 1st Harry Potter book, for a grand total of chf$7!

Around noon, my friend Ciska (from French class) met up with us, and after walking around a bit trying to find a nice cozy lunch spot, we ended up sitting at a cluster of outdoor tables under some trees, enjoying the cool, sunny weather. It was quite nice. =)

During lunch we got a call from Bob, he and little Jules were in Old Town listening to some free outdoor music. Turns out Geneva was having its Fete de la Musique yesterday, which we'd sorta heard of but didn't know much about. So after lunch Zach and I headed into town to meet up with them, and were amazed at the festivities going on... starting in Place Neuve there were small stages set up in different areas with music playing, and people all over the place lounging in the grass and playing around listening to the music and eating food. Everything was just open air and free. We walked up to Old Town and past the cathedral where Bob and Jules were, with some friends of theirs. Jules, of course, ran up and gave me a huge hug when she saw me. =) That girl is too cute! The range of music playing everywhere was huge-- from jazz to reggae/rock to the symphony we saw and heard inside the cathedral, and the piano-accompanied opera singer at another stage. It was sort of like a mini Austin City Limits Festival. ; ) We stayed for a few hours, then around 5 or 6 we headed back to the car to go home-- and were very pleasantly surprised to only need to pay chf$1 for our several hours of parking (yet another reason to go into Carouge on the weekends and use that garage!).

Zach had spotted a potentially great fishing spot on one of his bike rides recently and was really wanting to go try it out soon, so that's what we did after stopping by home and picking up his fly rod, and a blanket and some reading material for me. Unfortunately, the spot he'd seen before now had a sign that claimed it a natural reserve spot and no fishing was allowed. =( We looked on our street map to see if we could find another access point to the stream somewhere else-- we found one that would sorta work, it was a bit difficult to get there, but then later on the way home we found an opening to a hiking trail that had some great fishing spots in it. By then it was getting darker and there wasn't enough time to really do much, but at least we have 1 great spot to go back to now.

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