Daron, Melanie, Stephen, Kassie, and Kenny

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Exploring Beautiful Geneva!

What a wonderful day! Our dear friend, Lydia Hansen - a missionary from the ward - was kind enough to spend her Saturday morning showing us all the great sights of downtown Geneva... she definitely earned something yummy we'll bring her to church tomorrow! Spring is around the corner, as you can see from these gorgeous flowers just growing randomly everywhere you look... this is at the Geneva Botanical Gardens ~

We started the morning at the United Nations Building -- and we couldn't have a better tourguide, since the Hansen's mission is focused on the political/religious relations throughout the world - so they attend meetings regularly here.  You can see the 193 flags representing the countries that are part of the UN.

In the picture below, towering above us is the 'Broken Chair Memorial' - a sculpture done in 1997 commissioned by Handicap International, urging all countries to sign the Mine Ban Treaty - helping mine victims and clearing mined areas. (Note the obvious symbolism of the 4th chair leg being disfigured).

Here the kids are petting Kito, a sweet dog who's name means "promise" - his owner told us that he even has a passport - something that animals must have to move freely between countries! Who knew! (It's the kids' favorite phrase: "Si vous plait, es que je pu caressa lu chien?" - please may we pet your dog?)

Another war memorial  - see how the end of the gun is tied in a knot... the message - make peace, not war!

Next, on to see the Jet d'eau, Europe's tallest fountain after 107 years!

The grounds around the UN have such interesting statues... Kenny called this one "family in a ball"...

The kids enjoyed climbing on this one - a statue honoring refugees. All the people on the right are leaving their 'motherland' ~

Here we are approaching the Geneva Botanical Gardens, which feature exotic plants from all around the world! Regardless of the outside weather, these jungle, tropical, and desert biomes stay perfectly intact - we LOVED them!

Almost done with our tour... walking out through a rock garden ~

And greeting a pretty swan ~

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