Today was a day devoted to nostalgia. We took the girls on a pilgrimage to Talloires, the enchanted place where I met my husband 22 years ago and where I lived and worked immediately following graduation from college. My employer was my alma mater, Tufts University, which owns a European Center in the center of Talloires, bequeathed by an alumnus of the university in 1978. The center is housed in a centuries’ old priory, pictured here. Not a bad place to live and work – we literally lived in the rooms in the eaves, above the conference center facilities located on the floors below.
After retrieving my mom from Geneva Airport this morning, we took a drive to Chateau de Chillon on the Swiss side of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). The drive to the airport was itself a small adventure since we were studiously attempting to avoid the Swiss highways to get to our destination. Why would we avoid the Swiss highways, you justifiably ask. The Swiss have implemented a toll-free highway system, which sounds great in theory. Except if you’re just visiting Because in order to use the Swiss highways, you need to buy a special permit, which costs about $40/year. That’s fine if you’re spending your entire vacation exploring Switzerland. But kind of expensive if you’re just a day-tripper, like us.
It was a scorcher today. 90 degrees and counting in the bright sun. Which made it the perfect day to visit La Grotte de Seythenex, the only cave open to the public in Haute Savoie, the French province of which Annecy is the capital.
We picked up our car this morning. A Citroen C4 Picasso, which has plenty of room for all of us, including my Mom, when she arrives on Wednesday. My husband and I had our first vacation argument in the car (which is where most of our fights take place) because he lost the ticket to the parking lot after we had paid to exit. He still claims he never had it, but I saw him remove it from the machine with my own eyes. Luckily, the guy who worked at the lot let us exit without it.
Sophie captured the essence of this beautiful Alpine region, when she asked me, in all seriousness, if the mountain scenery was a poster. She didn’t comprehend that she was looking at real mountains, with vestiges of real snow and thousands of real trees.
We made it. The photo below depicts the gorgeous view from our apartment. Wow, does it feel good to be back in this city I love so much! The water in the canal is crystal clear and feeds into Lake Annecy, which is considered the cleanest lake in all of Europe. Can’t wait to go swimming!
We’ll be arriving in Geneva in about four hours. Our flight left the gate on time, but was then delayed for almost two hours on the tarmac because of stormy weather and simply because JFK Airport is JFK Airport, which really aspires to be a small town airfield in the middle of nowhere, with only a single operating runway. Seriously. But who am I to complain? I’m on vacation. After all, we did finally take off.