Today we left by train to Geneva; we were a little nervous of our entering into
unknown territory and beginning this next stage of our walk as ‘real’ pilgrims
(that is to say having to find places to stay at each stretch).
We booked the first night in advance - the Fromagerie at Beaumont.
The walk around Geneva was quiet as, being Sunday, there were not many people about.
The Way is well signposted but we did need to be vigilant so as not to miss a turning.
We went to the Cathedral and although the lady on the door was pleasant, the sacristan
was grumpy and first said that the stamp was only available in the office during office
hours and that visiting wasn’t until 12.00. (in fairness, there was to be a service in a while).
But then he kindly gave in and showed us where the stamp was. We found a church with
a statue of St.James in the Holy Cross church and the lady there was so friendly.
Carourge was very nice and they had a market. We walked towards Bardonnex and suddenly
there was a cupboard on a pole that contained a stamp. We had walked through a
little park that seemed to be called Paradise. We came to Bardonnex church and a
museum of the Order of Malta and a grave yard with some interesting graves.
There was an organist practising and we listened for a while.
The ceiling of the church was in a ‘patchwork’ style and was very interesting.
It also had a painting depicting St.James with a stamp underneath. Shortly after,
we came to the barrier making the border with France and a sign wishing us well on
leaving Switzerland. Crossing the road, we began to climb to Neydens.
There was a very plain church where I lit a candle for us. (There was also a toilet here).
We stopped at the camp site for a snack. From there we climbed again to Verrières
and saw a little chapel and a lovely view of Geneva.
Climbing again, we crossed fields but it began to rain - thinking that it we were nearly there,
we didn’t put on our ponchos and get very wet. (It was the only time we did this, having learnt
a valuable lesson that getting wet is not pleasant and it is alway worth getting out the poncho!).
We met with a grandad and his grandson out for a walk and exchanged thoughts on the churches.
Not knowing what to expect, and having no experience we thought our stay to be not too bad,
but with hindsight we would now comment that it was not the best.
We found ourselves sharing the sleeping area with three German ladies which was fine,
but we would not liked to have been more. Supper came late (we were all hungry and tired).
The owner was very pleasant but the meal a little sparse.
There is no bedding and we used our sleeping liner. We met Dijana and were to meet up with her again.
She was walking from Constance to Compostelle.