Sights in Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva is a major city in Switzerland and has majestic cathedrals, great museums, gardens, and historic sites worth exploring.

  • Cathedrale St-Pierre (St. Peter’s Cathedral)—an imposing cathedral with a large neoclassical façade, 12th century Romanesque-Gothic walls, stained glass windows, the tomb of the duke of Rohan, choir stalls, and the 15th century Chapel of the Maccabees; Cour St-Pierre
  • Centre d’ Art Contemporain (Center for Contemporary Art)—an art gallery that has displayed works by Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and Shirana Shabhaz with annual exhibits that are interdisciplinary displays that highlight emerging artists who examine art in a cultural context; 10 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers
  • Fondation Baur (Baur Foundation)—the well-preserved collection of Albert Baur that consists of far Eastern art including Chinese ceramics and jade, Japanese smoking paraphernalia, prints, lacquerware, and sword fittings; 8 rue Munier-Romilly
  • Fondation Martin Bodmer (Martin Bodmer Foundation)—a museum that is filled with texts from cuneiform tablets, papyrus scrolls, and parchment to a large collection of first edition and religious texts such as the Koran and Gutenberg Bible; 19-21 Martin Bodmer
  • Horloge Fleurie (Flower Clock)—a 16-foot-wide garden with 6,500 plants in the shape of a timepiece to highlight Geneva’s role in the Swiss watchmaking industry; Quai du General-Guisan and Pont du Mont-Blanc
  • Jardin Botanique (Botanical Garden)—a 69-acre botanical garden with tropical greenhouses, beds of irises and roses, rock gardens, an aviary, a deer park, a sensory garden, medicinal and economically important plants, a seed bank, and a research institute; 154 rue de Lausanne
  • Maison Tavel (Tavel House)—Geneva’s oldest house now converted into a museum with vaulted cellars, ground-floor kitchens, medieval graffiti, 15th century tiles, a guillotine, and other features that focus on life in Geneva from 1334 to the 1800s; 6 rue du Puits-St-Pierre
  • Monument de la Reformation (Wall of the Reformers)—a granite monument dedicated to the 16th century religious reformation led by John Knox, Jean Calvin, Guillaume Farel, and Theodore de Beze with smaller statues of significant Protestant figures, bas-reliefs, and inscriptions; Parc des Bastions
  • Musee Ariana—this museum known as the Swiss Museum of Ceramics and Glass has stoneware, earthenware, porcelain, and glass from 700 years of East-West exchange and modern works in the basement; 10 Av. De la Paix
  • Musee Barbier-Mueller—the expansive collection of the Mueller family featuring sculpture, masks, shields, textiles, and ornaments from six continents and dating from seven millennia; 10 rue Jean Calvin
  • Musee International de la Croix-Rouge et Du Croissant-Rouge (International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum)—a museum that focuses on major challenges in humanitarianism—defending human dignity, restoring family links, and reducing natural risks—and explores these topics through artifacts, artwork, and personal testimonies; 17 av. De la Paix
  • Musee International de la Reforme (International Museum of the Reformation)—a museum that explores the reasoning behind the Protestant Reformation through period artifacts, well-preserved documents, and audiovisual displays; 4 rue du Cloitre
  • Musee Militaire Genevois (Geneva Military Museum)—a museum that examines the Swiss military with uniformed models, weapons, prints, and documents on display; 18 chemin de I’Imperatrice
  • Musee d’Art Moderne Et Contemporain (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art)—an industrial museum focusing on art from the 1960s to the present with temporary exhibits that include works by contemporary artists; 10 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers
  • Musee d’ Art et D’ Histoire (Museum of Art and History)—an art and history museum with Switzerland’s largest collection of Egyptian art, Escalade-era weapons, Alpine landscapes from the 19th century, and modern art; 2 rue Charles-Galland
  • Musee d’ Histoire des Sciences (Museum of the History of Science)—a museum that shows the evolution of modern science with sundials, astrolabes, microscopes, telescopes, barometers, and decorative globes; 128 rue de Lausanne
  • Musee des Suisses A L’Etranger (Museum of the Swiss Abroad)—a small museums with rooms highlighting the accomplishments of Swiss people outside Switzerland with rooms filled with models, paintings, documents, and artifacts; 18 chemin de I’Imperatrice
  • Musee d’ Histoire Naturelle (Museum of Natural History)-a large museum with wildlife dioramas with sound effects, fossils, crystals, precious stones, and polyhedrons as well as exhibits on Swiss geology, the history of the solar system, and temporary exhibits; 1 rte. De Malagnou
  • Palais des Nations (Palace of Nations)—a compound that was built between 1929 and 1936 for the League of Nations and became the European office of the United Nations in 1946 with rooms such as the Assembly Hall where the UN General Assembly and world leaders have met and the Council Chamber that is home to the Conference on Disarmament with symbolic murals; 4 av. De la Paix
  • Parc la Grange—an expansive bright park that was once the private grounds of an 18th century villa overlooking a lake and now has 240 different types of roses and performances during the summer; Quai Gustave-Ador
  • Patek Philippe Museum—this museum displays the collection of Patek Philippe, one of Geneva’s most renowned watchmaking companies including items such as gold watch cases, watch innards, portrait miniatures, pens, fans, pocket knives, and telescopes; 7 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers
  • Site Archeologique—an underground archaeological excavation site set upon the foundations of the Cathedrale-St-Pierre under which remnants of two 4th century Christian sanctuaries, mosaic floors from the Roman Empire, three early churches, and an 11th century crypt were discovered; 6 cour St-Pierre

Sights in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is the capital of South Africa and has a rich maritime history and more somber history of apartheid and discrimination. It is certainly a place worth exploring for its wealth of museums, natural attractions, and family-friendly attractions.

  • Table Mountain—a mountain with excellent views and multiple hiking areas; Table Mountain National Park
  • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden—internationally recognized as one of the seven most magnificent botanical gardens in the world with 528 acres that includes a garden and nature reserve as well as restaurants, a nursery, a gift shop, a bookshop, and a permanent Zimbabwean stone sculpture collection; Rhodes Drive
  • Cape Point Nature Reserve—located within the southern section of Table Mountain National Park and declared a World Heritage site with rugged rocks, cliffs towering more than 200 meters above the sea, and a storied maritime history; Cape Town Central
  • Green Point Park and Biodiversity Garden—adjacent to the Cape Town Stadium with views of the stadium and Signal Hill and themed areas within the garden; Bay Road
  • District Six Museum—a memorial museum to a neighborhood destroyed during South Africa’s apartheid period with maps, photos, and other artifacts from the old neighborhood; 15 25a Buitenkant Street
  • First South African Perfume Museum—includes a permanent collection that provides a glimpse into the world of perfumes; 3 Viola Road
  • Two Oceans Aquarium—provides a glimpse into the oceans surrounding the South African coast with sea creatures such as Knysna seahorses, sea turtles, and giant spider crabs as well as a touch pool and full ocean tunnel; Alfred Basin, Dock Road
  • Company’s Gardens—beautiful gardens with a national gallery, rose garden, vegetable garden, trees, and wildlife; 19 Queen Victoria Street
  • The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum—tells South Africa’s story through its most popular sport with more than 60 audiovisual displays where visitors can watch the history of South African rugby unfold as well as interactive activities for children; Portswood House, Portswood Ridge, Portswood Road
  • Cape Town Diamond Museum—illustrates the evolution of the diamond over time and the most famous South African diamonds; Level 1 The Clock Tower
  • Bugz Family Playpark—a large amusement park for young children with an indoor play area and outdoor playground; 56 Tarentaal Street
  • Simon’s Town Museum—a former Dutch East India Company property owned by the former governor contains crafts and artifacts that depict the cultural history of Cape Town and South Africa; Court Road
  • Chavonnes Battery Museum—home to international photography exhibitions and archaeology exhibits, models, displays, and information panels; Clock Tower
  • Warrior Toy Museum—home to a toy collection that includes model cars, dolls, soldiers, ships, and matchbox trains; St. George’s Street
  • Arderne Gardens—a collection of hundreds of species of trees and shrubs that is the best collection of exotic plants in South Africa; 222 Main Road
  • Cape Town Science Centre—home to science exhibits, workshops, puzzles, and games; 370B Main Road
  • Bishopsford Bonsai Garden—offers bonsai planting courses in the largest bonsai nursery in the Western Cape; 3 Muscat Lane South
  • Museum of Gems and Jewelry—shows the evolution of diamonds over time and teaches visitors about unique and rare gemstones as well as the history of jewelry; Huguenot House
  • Blouberg Beach—a popular beach divided into two bays that provide areas for surfers, sunbathers, families, and for activities such as kite flying and kite surfing
  • Bo-Kaap Museum—built in the 18th century, this museum was once the home of Abu Bakr Effendi, a Turkish scholar and Muslim leader, who wrote one of the first books in Afrikaans, and now recreates the lifestyle of a Malay family in the 19th century; 71 Wale Street
  • Boulders Beach—part of Table Mountain National Park, this beach is known for its colony of African penguins which can be viewed at their breeding beach which is not open to visitors and on penguin-viewing platforms; Kleintuin Road, Sea Forth, Simon’s Town
  • Cape Point—a park with incredible views from a platform of False Bay and the Hottentots Holland Mountains and an old and new revolving lighthouse are able to be viewed; off the M65 (Plateau Road)
  • Cape Town Holocaust Centre—a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust as well as an education center that reminds us of the dangers of prejudice, racism, and discrimination; 88 Hatfield Street
  • Castle of Good Hope—South Africa’s oldest building that was built between 1665 and 1676 by the Dutch East India Company that was designed as a fortress to replace an earlier fort erected in 1652 and has served as the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company and the governor’s residence; 1 Buitenkant Street
  • Groote Kerk—a Gothic church that is one of South Africa’s most famous churches and was built in 1841 on the foundation of a Dutch Reformed church built in 1704 featuring enclosed pews for wealthy families with doors, a large pulpit, and an enormous organ that is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere; Church Square, Parliament Street
  • Irma Stern Museum—a small museum featuring the paintings of Irma Stern, one of the greatest painters from South Africa, with paintings inspired by her trips to the Congo and Zanzibar and a collection of African artifacts; Cecil Road
  • Old Town House—a building designed in the Cape Dutch style that is home to the Michaelis Collection which is a 17th-century collection of Dutch paintings including some by Rembrandt; Greenmarket Square
  • Rhodes Memorial—a memorial dedicated to the memory of the prime minister who presided over the Cape from 1890 to 1896 whose vision was to develop a Cape-Cairo railway; the memorial is set atop Rhodes’s old estate, Groote Schuur; off Rhodes Drive
  • Robben Island—this island has had a long history in various incarnations as a prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, leper colony, mental institution, and military base that is now a museum and a World Heritage site featuring an embarkation center and conference center named after Mandela with interactive exhibits that display photos of life in the prison and boat rides across the water; Nelson Mandela Gateway
  • Scratch Patch—a gemstone factory that allows visitors to buy and fill bags with gemstones picked from a garden deeply filled with gemstones such as rare blue lace agate with an attached store that sells gemstone jewelry; Dido Valley Road, Simon’s Town
  • Slave Lodge—built in 1697 by the Dutch East India Company as a home for slaves, convicts, and the mentally ill, it became the supreme court from 1815 to 1914 and is now a museum that depicts slavery in Cape Town with temporary exhibits that delve into apartheid and racism; 49 Wale Street
  • South African Jewish Museum—this museum has its home in South Africa’s first synagogue and is adjacent to the Cape Town Holocaust Centre with interactive and multimedia exhibits about the Jewish population in South Africa, an active synagogue, a Discovery Center for tracing family histories, a gallery for rotating exhibits, an auditorium, a restaurant, and a shop; 88 Hatfield Street
  • South African Museum—a museum featuring rock art from ancient Khoisan culture, fossils of prehistoric reptiles and other animals, exhibits on sharks in Shark World, a planetarium, and photography exhibits; 25 Queen Victoria Street
  • South African National Gallery—an art museum with a collection of 19th and 20th century European art, South African pieces, and regularly rotating exhibitions on topics such as South African struggles with HIV/AIDS or documentary photography; Government Avenue
  • South African Naval Museum—a naval museum with model ships, navigational equipment, old diving equipment, life-size boats, and a submarine; Naval Dockyard, St. George’s Street, Simon’s Town
  • George’s Cathedral—once the seat of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the country’s first black archbishop of Cape Town who criticized apartheid and strove for a democratic government, this cathedral contains the largest stained-glass window in the country and a 1,000-year-old Coptic cross; 5 Wale Street

Help Me Out: Great Holiday Season Skincare Tips

As someone who has suffered from terrible cystic acne, I have worked hard to maintain healthy skin all year long. Some may think that breakouts only occur during warm weather due to sweating but in reality acne breakouts can happen at all times of the year. As the holiday season rapidly approaches we are all left with a complicated dilemma—how can we keep our skin clear of acne during the holidays? No need to worry, there are plenty of tips for that and I’ll share some of my tricks with you as well.
A 2012 article by Danielle Emig of recommended moisturizer as one of your front lines of defense. Skin dries out very quickly during cold weather and dry crackly skin can lead to bacteria seeping into your pores resulting in breakouts. Another tip is to use gentle cleansers as harsh acne treatments will only dry out and further irritate your skin. One product recommended is Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser which will hydrate your skin and won’t lead to dryness like some other cleansers with irritants such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid as ingredients. You can purchase this cleanser at beauty specialty stores such as Ulta.
If you only have a few pimples you can always try a spot treatment like Neutrogena’s On-the-Spot Acne Treatment which you can get at your local drugstore. A natural and always beneficial trick is to stay hydrated and continue to drink 8-10 glasses of water daily as this will keep you healthy from the inside out. If you’re not a big fan of water you can always try something with a little more bounce like seltzer which I drink regularly no matter what the temperature is.
One good tip that was included in an article on was to use a creamy cleanser that contains alpha hydroxyl acids every other day which will remove any dead skin cells that can accumulate on the skin’s surface. It even works for sensitive skin and will help encourage what is referred to as cell turnover.
An interesting piece of advice published in an article on was to take shorter showers and use warm water. Long showers in steamy hot water can sap your skin of moisture instead of adding more moisture to your skin. When you’re done with your shower it was recommended that you pat dry instead of rub.
You should also wear sunscreen regularly even during the winter months as up to 80% of the sun’s rays can seep through clouds, snow, and fog. Exposure to sun rays over time can result in moles, wrinkles, and skin cancers. You should use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 that includes both UVA and UVB protection.
Hopefully these tips will enable you to have healthy skin all winter long. Winter can be one of the most taxing seasons on skin so being proactive and trying to find the right products can make all the difference. Also, remember that finding the right products is a trial and error process. You may have to try several different products before you find the ones that will be best for your skincare regimen.