Today is day four – my official start of the trip. Arrival day does not count. The next day is jetlag-hell. By day three we are functional and usually heading to the real destination. So day four starts the trip.
It seems the more I travel to Europe and the older I get, the worse the jetlag is. Our flights went well, but we were tired by the time we got to Geneva. Our luggage did not all make it with us – two bags delayed in Dallas, one in Gatwick. The only bag that made it was the one with most of our hiking gear. But the lost luggage line at the airport was short, we filled out our form and it all arrived our second night in Geneva.
Tap dancing through the streets of Geneva
We loved our hotel – Les Cours des Augustins. Wonderful people, beautiful room, excellent location just outside the main center in a good neighborhood full of shops and restaurants. And they brought breakfast to your room – essential during jetlag. We had a junior suite which was spacious and had a small kitchen. The kitchen had a fridge, 2 burner stove, coffee machine, kettle, microwave, and dishwasher. It was fully equipped. We did not use it, but it was a nice option to have. There is a Coop grocery store just a couple of blocks from the hotel. The room had three large windows overlooking a quiet pedestrian street.
Les Cours des Augustins
After we arrived at the hotel, around 2pm, we slept for 20 hours – minus a few hours where we got up and went out for dinner and a short walk!! The “Pauline Cure” for jetlag – sleep.
Geneva was cool and wet, but it was a welcome relief after a hot week in Santa Fe. When you are in hot weather, you forget how manageable rain and cooler weather is. Out came the jackets that I was positive we would not need and our umbrellas. It did not rain much.
On our day in Geneva we walked around our hotel neighborhood, the old town and along the lake. We did not see that much of Geneva, but liked it.
Switzerland seems to be the last European haven for smokers! The restaurants we went to in Geneva all had ashtrays at all the tables. Some have no-smoking areas, but many are all smoking. They must have good ventilation systems because the smoking did not bother us that much. You see people walking along the street smoking and smoking in their cars.
After two nights in Geneva, and feeling somewhat human, we picked up our rental car at the Geneva downtown office, fired up the GPS (Garmin NUVI – working well!!) and drove to Leysin, a mountain town just past Lake Geneva where we are staying in Chalet Damami for 2 1/2 weeks.
It was overcast and raining on and off as we drove to Leysin. We LOVE Chalet Damami and even got to meet the owner Richard (he lives in England) when we arrived. The apartment is light and spacious with an amazing view. It looks like there is good hiking here – perhaps not as great as Gstaad where you were spoiled for choice, but enough to do many good hikes. And it is only 30 minutes by car to Gstaad, so we will do some of our favorite hikes there.
View from Chalet Damami
Today, the official start of the trip, we woke up to brilliant sunshine and the most amazing view of the valley and mountains. Leysin is perched on a balcony on the side of a valley and faces south-east. There are several good looking restaurants in town, plus a few up on the trails, so we can do a hike and stop for lunch. We heard cow bells and saw the cows within five minutes of leaving the house this morning. The air is crisp, but it warmed up during the day.
Heaven (for me) is Switzerland!