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Aligning the Particles: La Cour des Augustins Geneva

March 18, 2011

After Heidelberg, I was off to Switzerland (and France) through Munich. This involved a very early breakfast with Markus, a drive to Mannheim, and a longish train ride.

Our meetings in Munich had a perfect Spring day as a setting with hundreds of crocuses blooming and forsythia bushes bursting in firecracker sparkles. But we were not long in Munich before it was time to catch a flight to Geneva.

In Geneva we made a very small pit stop by the hip boutique La Cour des Augustins to drop off our stuff and check in. There was just enough time for me to poke my head into room 401, the incredibly cool loft suite discovered by our very own cosmogirl. The proprietors’ attention to detail and welcoming style is very nice. They left me a note and some Swiss chocolate. The sparkling water (!) was free…as it should be. Then it was off to a memorable dinner at the Michelin star Restaurant Le Vallon, which, frankly was not worth the money. It’s a good thing the company was so much fun.

By the time we finished dinner and headed out in search of a drink, it was getting late and the place we wanted to go (Salon de Theophile) was closed. We ended up at a small crappy bar nearby where I attempted to engineer a decent drink from their weak selection. At least the tall blond bartender was willing to play along.

Back to La Cour. Room 401 is built as a loft and has a very interesting ceiling in an open design. The Design Hotels group shares the same gestalt which is a bit on the sparse modern side for me, but it is an experience. Here are a couple of pictures of the room.

You’re here for the showers of course, and the bathroom unit built right into the loft did not disappoint. Typical Euro-shower with gorgeous black tiles and a bathtub so high that getting in and out is actually dangerous. When the window is open, the view from the shower is very quaint. Showers within sight of churches seems to be some kind of minor theme for this trip.

The next day was a two performance day. I hosted a workshop in the city and gave an invited talk at CERN. As a tit for tat, my excellent host Stefan gave three of us an extensive three hour VIP tour of the facilities. The tour was detailed and extremely informative (nothing like a physicist to get things straight).

All of the big money going into CERN is spent on the accelerators resulting in some dilapidated-looking Star-Wars-esque scenes between incredibly expensive machines running at 1.6 Kelvin and 4+Tev. Higgs boson here we come.  Here is a picture of the control room…we were in it.

After the superb evening at CERN, we went to the beautiful and trendy Mo Bar, situated inside a 5 star hotel.  BTW, thanks for the mixology pointers Simon! Mo is a great bar with a superb (but Euro-limited) selection of drinks. I taught them to make a Liberal (with orange bitters in the house) and a Corpse Reviver #2. Great mixology in Geneva!

All in all the travel experience in Geneva was awesome. When we left very early the next morning, La Cour provided croissants and coffee at 5 in the morning (they knew we were off to London early). What a great staff! Five showerheads and a place high on the list of hotels where I hope to spend more time for La Cour.

2 Responses to “Aligning the Particles: La Cour des Augustins Geneva”


  1. […] stayed here last March when I got a tour of CERN during a fantastic week that included aerobatics over Heidelberg. Thanks […]


  2. […] pretending based on CRM software.) In this case, what transpired was quote striking. After I wrote a blog entry in March about La Cour des Augustins, I got an email response from Jérôme CIVET. He liked my feedback and said, “You could […]


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