I want to see mountains, Gandalf, mountains...
When Bilbo, bored with the Shire and hungry for a last adventure, decided to finally leave Bag End behind, a move to Geneva might have suited him perfectly. He wouldn't even have to give up the good food.
Located on the plain between the Alpes and Jura mountains, on the shore of, surprise surprise, Lake Geneva, the city undeniably offers some pretty stunning landscapes. There are certainly worse things than being sent to CERN for work.
The mental image one might have of a "particle physics laboratory" has to correctly quite quickly after arriving at CERN. Huge halls with heavy machinery and high tech labs can be found on the huge premises. But as a data analyst and software guy, my life at CERN is basically confied to the triangle auf Hostel, Restaurant 1, and Building 32, where my office is. And that's a pretty small triangle.
But that's fine. When the sun is out, the terrace of R1 becomes a corner stone of all life at CERN, because why meet in an office while you can discuss in the sun over a coffee? And who could blame us, given the view. Just those power lines need to be put underground at some point.
Unfortunately, from time to time we have to work, and that means going back to the office. And in many cases at CERN, this kind of rattles the impression of word leading laboratory a bit.
But I shouldn't complain, building 32 is decent enough, and there are people who have it much worse. And in the end, the money is better spent on the accelerators than on fancy office buildings. And there are a couple more presentable sights at CERN, for example at the entrance, where the science globe draws the visitors.
An important aspect of live at CERN, and a big part of its appeal, is of course the internationality of the place. You can't see it on the picutres, but there are indeed people from all over the world working here. Just not on Sundays, that's why the place looks a bit deserted here.
But to remind you of the european and nowadays world-encompassing character of the place, you are greeted at the main entrance by the flags of all the member states. Here there are flying at halfmast because of the Stockholm attacks last week.
But enough about work, sometimes there is a day off, and that's when a lot of people are drawn up into the mountains. For an amateur like me, the Jura is most suitable because the mountains aren't that high. But stil, they are pretty steep, and so this time I kind of cheated by driving up to one of the skying locations and only walking up the last couple of hundred meters. And the view is totally worth it.
This early in the year, there is indeed still a bit of snow up there, especially in more shaded places. For a few moments, it can actually feel like a winter hike.
The sunburn on my forehead however proofs that is indeed already spring up in the montains around Geneva, and I hope I can get back up there soon.
A couple more pictures can be found here: