One of the most exciting things, for me, about moving to Geneva is being so close to the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival! The Festival spans 16 days and has over 1000 musicians, many of whom are free to hear. I am a real music lover, and for me there is nothing better than hearing it live. Last year I bought my husband and I tickets to see Paolo Nutini, but ended up going with a girlfriend that I met through the AIWC, because he was traveling on business. She returned the favor when her husband was away for the Jimmy Cliff concert that she had bought tickets for. My husband is not the music lover that I am, but I decided to make it more enticing for him by booking two nights of music and spending one night in Montreux. Even though Geneva is just an hour away, and the trains back to Geneva run late during the festival, I thought he wouldn’t be able to resist a romantic weekend getaway. My planning paid off and we were able to relax and enjoy the atmosphere of the Jazz Festival. The view from our hotel room was amazing! And it was located right in the heart of the activities, so we were able to return to our room anytime we needed without much effort.
Our first concert was a double-header! First we saw Van Morrison who sounds as brilliant live as a great recording. He didn’t engage the audience much but perfomed one hit after another. After that was an old favorite of mine, Buddy Guy. He was more engaging and even left the stage and walked around the audience with his guitar and microphone at one point in the show. Buddy also introduced a young 13 year old prodigy, Quinn Sullivan. Quinn really stole the show with his amazing perfomance.
The next day, we decided to take advantage of the free bus pass that the hotel gave us upon check-in, and visit the Chillon Castle. Of all of the castles that I have visited since living here, Chillon is my favorite.
Later we went back to the festival and had a relaxing lunch along the lake while we enjoyed watching the paragliders soar over the lake and land on an air mattress located about 100 feet from the lake shore. Stands are set up all along the lake shore selling food, drink and lots of handmade goods for the shoppers. Besides the scheduled musicians, there are also plenty of crowd drawing street musicians.
We finished off the evening by seeing a long-time favorite, Bob Dylan. It is really amazing to be in such a beautiful place and have such a great venue to enjoy these talented musicians. For me, it is a dream come true.
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/.