thomas m wilson

The White Swan and the Sleeping Sword

July 28th, 2007


A snow white swan cruises the fast flowing river that courses through the centre of Geneva. I’m used to seeing black swans in Australia, so the snowy feathers are a novelty for this rambling tourist at least.

Walking home you cross the river and look down at veins and eddies of silver and black. You are reminded in a salutory manner that this river has run through here for much longer than this quite old city has stood.


The sleeping sword in the hand of a forefather of the city…

One thing I didn’t mention in my previous remarks on Switzerland is that they are gun mad. Well not quite, but let us just say that every adult male has a machine gun locked in a box in his cellar. They don’t have a professional army, and the Swiss are all prepared for immediate mobilization in case of an invasion. The problem is guys, nobody is coming. Italy is in a cafe drinking a latte! France has a croissant to deal with!

(Need I add that easy access to fire arms is bad news when it comes to the issue of suicide.)


In summer in Geneva you can get a bike for four hours for free. I left my $20 deposit and rolled out along the lake. Why doesn’t every city have this kind of scheme?

By the way, that is the famous ‘jet d’eau’ of Geneva in the background of the previous photo, the tallest fountain in the world at 140 metres.


The sight of a summer evening in mid-flow. May there be many more for all of us.

Tomorrow morning I’m off to Paris, then Tuesday I’m going to Stockholm.