Kris à Genève

A Canadian living in Switzerland


with 2 comments

We spent a little less than one month in Canada for our wedding: two weeks before and two weeks after. As the wedding dominated the first two weeks, the last two were hectic with visiting, so Eileen and I were ready to relax on our honeymoon.

We spent 1.5 jetlagged days in Geneva before flying on EasyJet to our honeymoon destination. EasyJet is cheap, and probably good value on the balance, but it always challenges my comfort level. For this flight we left at 6h30 in the morning, one of a number of EasyJet flights leaving every five minutes until 7h00 or so. This meant that there were 15 flights worth of passengers jockeying for the automatic tellers and then waiting in an endless, chaotic line to check bags.

Ahead of us, a young woman vomited in a bag as her friends fanned her – she was skilled enough at least to avoid spilling any on the floor. The flights that morning must have served some party locations, as a fair percentage of passengers seemed to have rolled up straight from the bar. It was a trying experience, given the early hour and our jetlag.

Many people asked me about our honeymoon destination, but unless I talked in my sleep, I do not think I told a soul, the better to conserve the surprise for Eileen. On our travel day, I figured that she would learn our destination immediately, as she knew both the airline and the departure time. But despite immediately finding the flight information on the board, and despite her undergraduate degree in geography (ahem), Eileen did not know in which country Dubrovnik was. I suppose I could have kept the country secret (Croatia) until we landed, but I told her during the flight to avoid any sticky situations at Croatian immigration: “where am I?”

I had booked a modest itinerary for our honeymoon in southern Croatia, wanting to relax more than race around the country. We began with five days in Orebic, a relatively sleepy town at the end of the southern peninsula and then spent the last five days in the UNESCO-designated old city of Dubrovnik.

The weather was very hot throughout our stay in Orebic. We arrived in 38 degrees of heat – luckily it cooled to the low thirties or I would have wilted. We did very little in Orebic: just slept late, swam and read on our shady patio. I rented a little apartment on the water that had a few restaurants nearby, so we did not move far.

Orebic was relatively busy, but mostly with Bosnian and Croat tourists, so we heard little English, which helped to preserve the sense of being alone in an exotic place. Across the channel from Orebic is Korcula Island, a much busier and more international tourist destination that even receives cruise ships. One day we rode the 20-minute ferry over to Korcula, rented a car and drove through the island’s hills, vineyards and quaint towns, finishing in the walled old city of Korcula Town, the main tourist destination.

Despite the crowds, the old city of Korcula is amazing, often called a mini-Dubrovnik. The water side of the old city is devoted entirely to cafés and bars, so it was an excellent place to cool down and enjoy the sunset after a hot day in the car.

A hot bus ride from Orebic returned us to Dubrovnik for the second part of our trip. Dubrovnik’s old city is a UNESCO heritage site and it does not disappoint. At its height it was the rich trading republic of Ragusa and competed with Venice. Its wealth allowed the city to build marble walkways, grand boulevards and ostentatious monuments, not to mention an imposing two-metre thick wall and some impenetrable-looking fortresses to guard their treasures. Despite some malicious bombing by the Serbian army in 1991-2 during the war in Yugoslavia, the modern city is an intact outdoor museum, ideal for walking either on the city walls or through its dense network of car-free medieval alleys.

We stayed in an apartment in the old city and wandered among the many tourists. Despite the crowds, the city seemed relaxed and we always managed to find some quiet spots.

Perhaps our favourite spot in Dubrovnik was a local swimming and watering hole called Café Buza on the rocks approximately below where Eileen is sitting on the city wall in the photo above. Less crowded than the main sand beach outside the old city, it is framed by the walls and looks out on the open Adriatic – fantastic. We spent every afternoon there after finding it.

As always, my favourite times to explore were at dawn and sunset. Cool, no crowds and magic light for photography.

A few days before our arrival, Dubrovnik reopened the cable car that climbs the steep ridge looming over the city. The cable car had been damaged during the war. It was rebuilt, but other reminders of the war remain at the top. The fort on the ridge – now bristling with mobile phone towers – is still riddled with artillery shell holes and encircled by abandoned trenches. Thankfully, nature is growing over these sobering images of the recent war, which are now outdone by the spectacular views from the ridge: over Dubrovnik, its archipelago and the Adriatic Sea.

What a memorable trip to end our six-week, round-the-world wedding and honeymoon tour. It will be difficult to return to real life, where Eileen has to work, I have to cook and clean and we are no longer the well dressed centre of attention. On the positive side, we were starved of chocolate and cheese in Canada and then good wine in Croatia, so our return to the everyday in Geneva will please our tastebuds.


Written by Kris Terauds

August 15, 2010 at 20:59

2 Responses

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  1. Kris and Eileen!

    Thank you for sharing what looks like an absolutely wonderful adventure! Kris, the pictures look amazing, your going to have to give me a couple tips next time we see you guys!

    All the best in your studies and work overseas this year!



    August 15, 2010 at 22:44

  2. hey Kris, congratulations to you and Eileen! The wedding and honeymoon both sounded wonderful. I hope all is gong well with school, work, etc. in Geneva.
    All the best,


    August 16, 2010 at 23:44

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