In the last few days there have been some major improvements to the trams and buses which is good news for us - more frequent buses on our route and now three instead of two trams to choose from. Two of the trams have increased the length of their routes and the number 16 now goes not just into town but continues further north towards the airport and has a stop right outside Balexert, one of the main shopping centres. I haven't been back to Balexert since we were shown around it by the relocation agent before we moved here. I remember it had an excellent range of cheeses there and at the time I assumed that was typical of Geneva. Sadly, that isn't the case! I find the supermarkets here very boring, not a patch on the British. You would think with France only metres away from our house, we would have a great range of French produce too but we don't. I assume there must be market restrictions or some such thing because even Kuwait had more choice than we have here.
Anyway, I decided to hop on the tram today and see if it was as I remembered. Well, the first thing I noticed is that they have taken all the older trams off the route. I was looking forward to a longer ride and being able to sketch but the new trams are more open and have seats facing each other. So no sketches today, very disappointing!
I bought a new camera last week, a small compact Canon that I can carry around more easily than the digital SLR - which I hope means I shall be posting photos to the blog more frequently! As I got off the tram and looked at this nasty great lump of concrete I thought it would be interesting to take a photo of it. Nobody takes photos of shopping centres these days because they are all so hideous! Just like this one, they are surrounded by car parking spaces, no attempt is made to make them aesthetically pleasing probably since they are guaranteed crowds of greedy consumers. To be fair there is some attempt on the other side of the building where the buses stop, but this is what awaits you when you get off the tram. I'm just glad there were people around to follow or I would never have guessed where the entrance was.
The interior. Maybe I just didn't have the Christmas spirit today because I found it very dull and boring. I did one circuit around and found a sketchbook with brown paper - it was just the shade I've been looking for but not such good texture - then gave up and went for the tram, hoping maybe there were some older trams after all and I could sketch on the way back. No, only the sleek new ones. I'm probably the only person disappointed by that! Still, it was great to be able to make the journey in half the time it would normally take. This is the route that we take to the airport and the roadworks along here have been causing delays at least since we moved here. In fact, I was under the impression that this shopping centre was much further away but now the roads are clear it's actually only about five or ten minutes from town!
I wasn't in the mood for shopping but I was in the mood for taking photos and today I was going to finally get that box I've had my eye on! This is my new favourite I think.
Another one I like in town by the river.
As I was taking those two, I happened to spot some more. This is very serene on a very busy crossroads!
A dutch theme surrounded by ugly building works.
And there are a few more, but I'll save those for tomorrow!