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Our Swiss holiday
Sunday, we've got up bright and early and made our way to Cardiff airport. A short flight later and we were in Geneva. Unfortunately, lots of people with English accents seemed to ignore the EU signs, and went through the "All nationalities" queue, making clearing passport control taking much longer than it needed to. Despite this, it wasn't too long before we had pickd up the car and were on our way to Andras' place.
I was driving, and it was the first time I'd ever driven on the wrong side of the road. Fortunately, everyone else was too, so it wasn't a problem. And let's face it: how dificult can it be? Millions of Americans and Europeans manage it!
We got to Andras' place, where we were spending the week, and met his neighbours, with whom he'd left the key. We then went down to Vevey, bought some food and esentials, and went back and relaxed.
Monday, we visited a couple of mountains, drinking vin chaud, and eating food like crepes and chestnuts. We also worked out what was what and prepared for the next day's skiing. Back at Andras' place, we booked skiis and tickets online and got some quite good savings.
Tuesday, we got up bright and early and headed to Villars for the day's skiing. It hasn't snowed in Switzerland for a while (indeed, during the time we've been in Switzerland, there's been no snow. Melbourne, on the other hand...) and the skiing was quite icy and hard. Despite this, I quickly remembered what I was doing, and only fell down 4 times for the entire day! Two of those falls were self imposed, to make sure I didn't hit someone who had fallen. We had a nice day's skiing. It was lovely and sunny and we had a couple of drinks through the day at a cafe at the top of the mountain. There were even people sunbaking up there! We then capped off the day by going for fondue. It is an evil dish - lots of hot cheese - I like it!
Wednesday, we were sore. Very sore. We went to the thermal baths at Ovronnaz, where, after lunch and a painful walk, we relaxed in the warm waters, set in the mountains with beautiful views all round.
Thursday, we explored Chardonne, the village near Andras' house. Chardonne is known in the region for wines, and they had really squeezed in vines everywhere they could! We also did some shopping in Vevey. Bec bought a birthday present for a friend, and we (she - I don't speak French) asked for a good place for a cheese dinner. We were told that the best place was right behind the store (we had to walk around the block to get there) and it was very nice. As a good sign, it had a notice saying that smoking kills, fondue doesn't. We had raclette - Bec had never had it and wanted to try. It was nice (another evil dish), but I prefer fondue.
Friday, we walked up Mont Pelerin, and again had lovely views (and vin chaud). We then drove to Adam and Jacqui's place. We had a little trouble getting there though - the map had pointed us to the wrong street (chemin de la... rather than chemin de ...). Fortunately, the person living there was the postlady - and knew where we supposed to go and showed us how to get there! We helped them with their Christmas leftovers and met baby Elizabeth and had a very pleasant evening.
Saturday, we went to Gruyere, where we saw how they make the local cheese. We also saw the local chatel, which was next to the Giger museum. Giger did the effects for Alien, Alien 3 and Poltergeist 2, and the museum was full of his artwork. It was pretty cool. We then had fondue for lunch, before heading to the bar next to the museum - it was decked out with skeletons and Alien-y type decorations.
We then headed back to Andras' place and packed before walking into Chardonne and dining at a little restaurant. The food was great, but even better were the local wine-based liquers made from local wild plants. A few of those later, and we were glad we had walked!
This morning, we got up early, made our way to the airport, and are now on a plane heading back home. It was a good holiday - lots of sun and very relaxing, and it was very nice of Andras to let us use his place.
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.