Bent Pegs

Trip Start Apr 08, 2007
Trip End Dec 22, 2007

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Geneva - 11th - 12th July 2007

We left Loz and Seb a little worse for wear after numerous late nights, and didn't get away until midday. Our destination was Switzerland, but realistically we would have to split the drive into two days, one because of the lateness of our departure, and two because we continue to avoid the costly toll roads. Summer temperatures are apparently just around the corner but during our drive the dashboard thermometer read 8 degrees.... at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, which over here is like the mid afternoon. We stayed overnight in a cheap motel and continued the next day for Geneva.

As we drove into Geneva we found ourselves in the city all of a sudden surrounded by cars, pedestrians, trams and electric buses attached to overhead wires. Confusing doesn't even begin to describe the chaos. I'm sure the locals all knew what was going on, but looking for street signs to find our way, trying not to run anyone over and avoid being cleaned up by trams, buses and all the rest, was all a bit too much after 2 days solid driving. We then resorted to the $4 dollar compass we bought in Spain, which has gotten us out of trouble many times already, to guide us generally in the right direction, and what do you know, within minutes we were on the right road and headed for our campground.

The fun was not over yet, with our site being a bit uneven we erected our tent on the most level area. This also must be the rockiest pitch ever. We bent almost all our pegs trying put it up before the impending rain squall we could see approaching across the lake. We finished the job just in time, and were forced back into the car until it passed. But wait, there's more, the most level area of our campsite also happened to be the lowest point of it as well, and within minutes our tent was sitting in two inches of water and rising fast. Thankfully the rain eased before it drowned and so we were forced to unpeg it all again and reposition on higher ground. The joys of camping in the rain...

Thursday dawned clear and warm, wooohooo summer. We planned to spend the day in Geneva. We left the car behind and took the bus for a change, which delivered us directly to the centre of the city. Ahh no driving or parking to worry about. One of first stops was a Swiss Chocolate shop. Hundreds and hundreds of chocolates were looking at us saying "Eat Me!!!". We bought six and were glad we stopped at that cos they cost over a dollar each!!!

Mandy spent the rest of the morning wreaking my carefully planned budget making this week our most expensive of the trip so far. Her shopping skills have been honed by now to a fine art and once she has spent her allotted amount she starts spending mine. ***
I had to act quick while we were still solvent, so suggested we have some lunch and then walk along the shoreline of Lake Geneva to the Botanical Gardens. Along the way we passed the Jet d'aeu, a massive water jet that shoots into the air up to 140 metres (or out my mouth hehe) found a great park for a lie down (hey this tourist stuff is tiring you know) and a throw of the Frisbee and visited a Science Museum. The Botanical Gardens turned out to be a lot further than we thought and was a little disappointing when we got there, so by the time we walked all the way back to the city we were exhausted.

We jumped on a packed bus and headed for home, standing room only. A few stops later this smacked out druggo freak got on and started staring at everyone on the bus. Once he locked onto me I just decided to stare back until he cracked. 60 loooong seconds later he finally looked away first. Ha, sucker, one nil. I never gave him a chance to even up the score by never looking back at him once, but I could feel his eyes on me trying to coax me back for round two and he was banging a one and a half metre metal cylinder into the floor of the bus. We weren't the only nervous people on the bus, he had everyone on edge. We never thought the most uncomfortable we would feel on this trip would be in Geneva, but you never know. Thankfully he didn't follow us off the bus when we got off. So long sucker...

As we left Geneva the next morning we took a detour to a field of Sunflowers Mandy had spotted the day before, to take a few photos. They are one of her favourite flowers so she was a little excited to be surrounded by thousands of them.

More Switzerland next time...

*** The truth may have been left out of this sentence to increase levels of attempted humour
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