Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Friday 9th November - Geneva

We are fast becoming experts at this travel game so it was another uneventful trip to the airport at 7.40am. As usual that was of course some half an hour after Andrew's stipulated time of departure. Honestly he's such a fuss pot for timetabling our travels!!

Group B on Easyjet welcomed us aboard and regrettably we sat in front of the two biggest blethering woman to walk this planet. Yes it takes a lot for me to say that since I have been known to utter a word or two myself. But yak yak yak they did ALL the way to Geneva. Looking out the windows of the plane we could see the mountain peaks just poking above the clouds. Alas our relaxing view was suddenly shattered by some very bumpy turbulence which had the whole flight wooping and oooooowwwwing all the way up and down the aisles. My stomach was leaping around like a kangaroo. Really didn't care for it to be honest. Bit shaken to say the least. Of course Amber in her usual loud voice was asking me if we were going to crash and "DIDN'T THE PILOT KNOW HOW TO DRIVE A PLANE." Very embarassing.

What can one say about Geneva Airport? Well it really isn't anything special or different than any of the european airports we've passed through. Except for one thing. They appear to allow folk to bring their dogs into the airport. How weird. Now I am not talking about dogs for the blind....... I mean dogs of the house pet variety. The large expansive areas around the check in desks were looking a bit like the forecourt of Crufts!!! Ah well, must be a Swiss thing.

Headed down the to railway station below the airport to take us into the centre of Geneva and on to our hotel. Ticket machines for the trains are all automatic and we had 3 attempts at purchasing tickets to take us into Cornavin railway station....... but strangely enough it wasn't listed on the options. So Andrew headed to the ticket booth whilst I went for a wee seat to try and salvage my stomach which I'd lost on the plane a few moments earlier!! We all felt a bit dumb as Andrew headed back with the tickets and we looked up on the digital board only to read the LARGE words....... ALL TRAINS STOP AT CORNAVIN. Dooohhhhhhhh!! Nice trains by the way....... two stories tall. British Rail they are not!!

Arrived at Cornavin in what seemed like only a matter of minutes. Hopped on a bus to take us to the Hotel Tiffany where we were staying....... well......... that's stating the obvious why else would we go to the Hotel Tiffany!!! Being the accountant Andrew always has one eye on the pennies but he took it to the extreme as I enquired about how you pay for tickets on the bus and his response was to shrug his shoulders and I was told to "live a bit." Yip, we didn't pay for our bus tickets.......... hang our heads in shame......... we are the thieving gypsies!!!

Reception at the hotel was very warm and pleasant. The smiling receptionist looked up our booking and then asked to see our passports. My hand headed down to the zip pocket on my flight bag where I keep the passports. Yes, I always keep the passports in there, nowhere else just in the zip pocket. But lo and behold I was faced with an "open zip pocket" and no passports. Whallop there went my stomach again and I'd just regained it after the bumpy flight. There was I at reception flapping about saying THE PASSPORTS THEY ARE GONE, I always put them in this pocket and THEY ARE GONE. I must have said it about 10 times when the receptionist calmly asked if I wanted to take a seat over at the side and have a good look for them. Well I was distraught....... kept telling everyone within earshot of me THE PASSPORTS ARE GONE I ALWAYS KEEP THEM IN THIS POCKET AND THEY ARE GONE!!! I KEEP THEM NOWHERE ELSE ALWAYS IN THIS POCKET AND THE PASSPORTS ARE GONE. Andrew as usual was laughing his head off but also a bit concerned the passports were not where I thought they were. But then............. I found them......... in the other pocket......... OK OK........ so 99.9999% of the time they are always in the zip pocket but this odd time they were in the other pocket. Felt quite a tube!!!

Our hotel room was on the 3rd floor at the front of the hotel so we were soon to enjoy some nice views of the streetscene below us. But only after we crawled up the narrow circular stair case because the lift was broken. At this stage I'd truly lost track of where my stomach was but it was fast replaced by my pair of heaving lungs!!!! What a climb! Or rather............ how unfit I am.

Out we went exploring after that and stumbled across a fantastic wee cafe and had a lovely big cold meat salad with some very tasty rye and seed bread. The cafe was soon to become quite a firm favourite of ours.

After we'd eaten we headed out for a stroll through the streets of Geneva, across the bridges over the river. Weather wise there sure was a nip in the air. The shop fronts displayed what seemed like endless posh watches, clothes and handbags. I was glad I didn't have my glasses on to clock the prices on them but I gather from Andrew they were pretty darn expensive. I think that was his hint to me to not even consider an early Christmas gift from Geneva. Ah well, Argos it is this year.

Several bridges cross the left and right banks, here we are standing on one of them:

A tram system covers the centre of Geneva:

Theres a mix of different types of buildings in Geneva as the following pictures show:

One shop we did head into was the Coop....... yes....... the Coop. Just a few supplies for the hotel room in case we were peckish later. Back at the hotel all we had to do was order up the hot tray with teas and coffees and it was time to head to bed and rest after our day's travel.

Some great graffiti on the wall just down from the Coop:

And a building with intricate wall painting:

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