Four Seasons in 10 days

In my last holiday, I have experienced an unimaginable new level of thrill. The timing, the weather, the locations, the activities and the planning were all factors that made this one of the most memorable trips of my life.

Geneva (2 days) – Spring Season (18-20 Sep)

Our first stop was in Geneva. It was very green and exceptionally colorful. Geneva is known for its great lake and for being a good city for cycling.

As you walk in the streets of Geneva, you feel its classy style, its richness, their prude care to discipline. You feel that the city is speaking to you and telling you "you are lucky to be walking my streets". Geneva is a quiet city but not a boring one. The streets are busy with people who are walking, dining, sitting in the parks or by the lake side. As I've said earlier, the best way to explore the city is by cycling as the roads are wide and it is well facilitated for that.

Personally, Geneva has a special place in my heart. It is where I learned cycling for the first time. Yea I Know I know. I was lame and I didn't know how to cycle when I was a kid. After half an hour of trying and falling, I learned how to balance myself on the bike in spite of the mockery of a group of bystanders who were waiting for me to get frustrated and return the only bike available for rent to the store. Oh well, I toured the major parks in Geneva for over 3 hours before realizing how stupid I was for dehydrating my body while fasting. Yea, my consciousness was killing me and I felt obliged to fast the remaining days of Ramadan


Interlaken (4 days) – Fall Season (21-25)

The place may not sound familiar and that is what's great about it. It's a small town in middle of Switzerland. Its residents speak German.

The best thing about this place is its location. What more can you ask for from a place that is between two lakes (on the east and the west) and between the Alps Mountains (from the North and South). They have one major central park and the views and the sceneries and the landscape you experience are among the best you might ever enjoy in your life.

Four days were barely enough for Interlaken. There was not much to do at night other than dining (such trying the infamous "cheese fondue") and relaxing, which was compensated by the variety of activities that you perform during the day that can range from skydiving, paragliding, hand gliding, canyoning and skiing. I personally did paragliding (a very relaxing and enjoyable activity. You are in the air before you even know it) and canyoning (rappelling and doing impossible jumps is not my thing. I will leave such stunts for Lara Croft. But the water was refreshing despite its temperature being 3 degrees Celsius).

Another must see site that I happened to know about when I was there was the "Mystery Park". I caught three shows there: "The Contact", "Maya", and the "Megastones". Each show is 15 minutes in general shown where they use holograms and 360 screens to narrate to you a brief and simple introductory about the history behind each story & site.


(1 day) – Winter Season (23 Sep)

It was a one day trip to the highest railway station in Europe. It is referred to as "top of Europe" with an altitude of 3471 meters. It is in one of the summits in the Alps Mountains. There are 3 basic sites to visit here. The Ice Palace – a small walk through a gallery of sculptures made of ice, The sphinx observatory – a place with a 360 panoramic view of the mountains. You will find a variety of restaurants that you can choose to cater your food appetite. Finally, the open area where you get to hike, play winter sports such as sledging and airlifting. And of course, nothing beats getting an "ice sun tan" (tan that you get from reflections of sunlight on snow..or whatever they call it)


Nice (3 days) – Summer Season

Away from the luxuries and quality life, the extreme sports, Nice is a city that target tourists with a special appetite to the sea. Like many of its sister cities, Nice's life revolves around its " Promenade des Anglais" coast. Every traveler who comes to Nice for the first time will notice the rough landing of the plane. This is mainly because of the small runaway. After all, the airport is surrounded from three directions by the sea.

Another great thing about going to Nice is that it is right in the middle between Cannes (30 minute metro ride to the West) and Monaco (30 minute ride to the East). In Cannes, we spent half a day to tour the city and be educated about the famous celebrities that visit each hotel during the Cannes Festival Ceremony. From there we took a boat cruise to the small island of Ste Honorat. Being on a small island gives you the luxury of solitary, whether it is hiking around the island or swimming by yourself.

At night, we explored the city of Monaco and Monte Carlo. I hardly classify Monte Carlo as a city as all I can see there is Casinos. The city has an exceptional road structure as the city has 3 main roads. Those 3 main roads are parallel and run above each other. While walking around, there were areas that we could only reach by using elevators from one road to another. Sometimes if you are unlucky and get lost, you might find yourself taking an escalator to a casino and exiting on the other side to go where you want.

Swimming on Nice's beach wasn't a pleasant experience. First of all, the beach is very rocky. It is hard to lie down without experiencing some sore pain in your back. Other than that, my swim didn't pass by without some distractions. For someone, like yours truly, who has been swimming in beaches in the Arab region where women bath in normal bikinis, the sight of women swimming topless was an odd one that you try to avoid. I could not deny the constant internal temptation to keep an eye on the beach in case I catch a woman who does not want to deny her twin assets their share of sun tan. Unfortunately, most of those who did were oldies who are in their 40s or 50s and the sight of their aging wrinkled boobs can be a horrifying sight that you would wish if they remained sealed. Overall, let's say that I started appreciating the value of bras.

Our other activities included a visit to Eze village – you walk in small alleys on a mountain where you are surrounded by souvenir shops all around you before reaching the top mountain to enjoy a panoramic view of Nice & Monaco. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read about a 'Cactus garden'. There they were showing you all different shapes and sizes of cactuses. Another thing worth doing is the tour of the Fragrance factory there.

For a city populated by the youth, Nice is more of a partying city with a high unemployment rate. A great activity to watch at night other than dining was the sight of roller bladders who were doing stunts around ice cream cones and dancing on musical beats. One exceptional guy was doing the moonwalk with his roller blades while dancing on Michael Jackson's "Scream". He even portrayed him with the hate and the infamous white glove. Some of the guys were really talented.

Nice 2009

[P.S: this post has been in draft version for the last one month. LOL]


KJ said...

I refuse to comment on anything you have invested in writing as you did not mention your trip to Dubai!

Hamza said...

no my dear, Don't worry, there is a whole separate blog post dedicated just for will be featured in it. :P

asoom said...

are those your pictures or ones you copied? Either please!!!!!!

Ms Loala said...

OMG this has to be the longest post ever!! I'll read it when i get back ..

Welcome back dude ;P

Hamza said...

asoom - those are MY pictures. if you mean pictures that include "me", then those are only available on facebook

ms loala - looool. you are worse than me. you disappeaaaaar for sometime and then when you come back, you tell me you have no time for my posts..fine..*delays reading ms loala's post for some time*

eshda3wa said...

glad u had such a good time !

im definitely coming back to get ideas for my next trip!