Geneva: To Market, to Market on a Saturday Morning

As this blog’s tagline would suggest, I’m currently living in Geneva – though you would be forgiven for not realizing that, given the recent dearth of Geneva-related posts.

The reason for that is simple, I suppose. For one, I work full-time during the week, and by the time I get out of work in the evening, it’s dark – not exactly ideal conditions for sightseeing. For two, however, is the real reason: I’m pretty much never here on the weekends. The list of places I want to visit is long, and so I’ve been escaping town as often as possible. Plus, let’s be honest: Geneva is not the most exciting of cities, meaning that if it is an eventful weekend you crave, you are probably best served heading elsewhere.

This past weekend, however, I found myself invited to a dinner party, meaning something happened that has never happened before: I spent a Saturday in Geneva.

Faced with the prospect of more time in the city than usual, I decided to spend my Saturday morning exploring a few of Geneva’s markets. I hit up a farmers market and a flea market – each offering an incredibly different experience than the other, but both worthwhile.

I started my morning at the Boulevard Helvetique farmers market, held each Wednesday and Saturday morning on – where else? – Boulevard Helvetique, just north of where it intersects with Cours de Rive. The market contains an abundance of stalls selling fresh and delicious-looking (albeit expensive) fruits and vegetables, plus stands with cheese, olives, and soaps. My favorite part? The cheese stands, naturally. You cannot deny the awesomeness of free cheese samples.

(Those strawberries looked delicious, but at almost eight bucks for a tiny carton? I can only say this in response.)

From Boulevard Helvetique, I headed to the Plaine de Plainpalais flea market. There is no way to describe this market other than by saying it is one of the more impressive collections of completely useless junk I have ever seen. And just because there was not a thing in Plainpalais I was tempted to buy doesn’t mean it was not a worthwhile experience; in fact, it was fascinating to browse the market’s array of extremely random objects. Additionally, if you are interested in any of the following items:

Leonardo DiCaprio postage stamps from Turkmenistan:

Your own personal Scotch dispenser:

Disembodied baby heads:

Neon dream catchers:

Surgical instruments in bulk:

Barack’s autobiography en francais:

Your own personal robot:

or knitted finger puppets:

…well, then, I have found the perfect market for you, and Plainpalais it is.

All in all, browsing the tables at Plainpalais and the stalls at Boulevard Helvetique was a wonderful – and weird – way to spend a rare Saturday in Geneva.

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