Swiss Miss in Montreux

Trip Start Sep 27, 2012
Trip End Oct 12, 2012

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Flag of Switzerland  , Vaud,
Saturday, September 29, 2012

You really have to be mad to do the flight from Australia to Europe. It just goes on for ever and you feel more and more tired and confused about the time and where you are. In another way, it is amazing to be able to get on a plane and get off on the other side of the world in just one day; I will try to see it that way!

There was nothing really notable about the flight except that there was a family of small children with just a non-coping mum who were pretty well out of control and noisy the whole way and were on both flights.  I must remember that seats close to the front have a chance of being near a family because of the bassinet there. Still, because it was mostly a night flight to Doha, they slept some of the way. I would dearly have loved a snooze on the Geneva leg, but the kids were invasively noisy all the way.  I told myself that it was better for me not to sleep so that I can start to adjust to the changed time - it helps to be positive!

I felt so uncomfortable a little way into the long flight that I decided to undo some of my clothing of the inside kind to make it easier to sleep.  It felt so much better that I left everything undone all the way, intending to go to the loo and sort myself out before disembarking.  When the time came, the queue was too long and I didn't get a chance, so I arrived in Doha feeling like a loose woman!  I told myself that no one was looking at me.

Qatar Airways is as good as its reputation - very good service, some nice touches in economy class and definitely more spacious seats than Qantas. It is interesting how you immediately feel unsure about things when the writing is Arabic everywhere and a lot of women were wearing head scarves. I sat next to a man returning home to Saudi Arabia after a year of study in Melbourne without his wife and children. He is trying to find a way of bringing them all out for his next course in Sydney. On the Geneva flight the young couple next to me were both psychologists who were heading home to Portugal after an extensive honeymoon trip.  It was kind of nice to feel the love!

Travelling solo is a new experience for me, at least overseas (I do plenty of short trips at home). It is different to have do all the thinking without someone else, to stay alert, work out where to go and not lose anything. I also found it very different not to be able to cuddle up and lean on each other on the plane - the space feels very narrow when you are trying not to let your body press on a stranger!

I would have liked to have seen more of Doha. The airport is being renovated so we took a bus trip to the terminal and then a very long one out to the next plane. We seemed to be out on the main road and I could see the city skyline through the thick smog air. It was incredibly hot and reminded me of being on buses in Indonesian airports. I tried to take a photo of the plane with Doha in the background but they wouldn't let me - not sure why that would be a security threat! I just managed to snap a couple of the plane before the man said 'No' very loudly.

Flying into Geneva was stunning, approaching across the French Alps which are sparkling with snow even in autumn.  I was so relieved to see Vicki, my friend, waiting for me, and we were soon on the sleek regional train from the airport with Swiss francs in our pockets. It was so easy! The view as we wended our way along the lake to Montreux was stunning - water and alps on one side and vineyards and alps on the other. It began to dawn on me that each town we went through was on the side of a mountain and, sure enough, so is Montreux!  It wasn't very far from the station but we looked up the steep slope and down at our luggage and went to look for a taxi! The driver never actually did understand that we were saying 'dixhuit' so he dropped us at number 34 instead and we rolled our gear back down the hill and then lugged it up at least 30 steep steps. I am used to having a chivalrous husband who carries my case when needed!

It is a lovely apartment with stunning and extensive views of the lake and I would be quite happy to sit out on the porch all day and enjoy the view - but we have lots more to see so I am going to have to get myself up and down that hill!  The sunset over Lac Leman (tha'ts Lake Geneva) took my breath away last night and I wonder yet again at the beautiful variety of Gods creation. It is 5.30am here as I write, and I know I will wake early for a few days, but am feeling pretty good considering the body turnaround involved.

Today I plan to explore Montreux.
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