Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Austria - 2001

September 29, Saturday

Left Grindelwald after a good breakfast (on the house) for Montreaux. Drove through Interlaken then headed South. The miles are long and it was 1 o’clock before reaching Lurchers (?) in Montreaux for lunch. It certainly resembles the Riviera in topography, but was rather old and tired looking by comparison. It had started to rain so perhaps that colored my viewpoint. We toured the Chateau of Chillon, which is very interesting and drove to Cully. Nice little town – our hotel on Lake Geneva has a pretty view, but not up to Karen Browns’ usual superb choices. Four stories – no elevators, ugh. We’re only here one night. It is called Major Davel. I was frightened by a Mid Eastern looking kitchen worker who gave me a menacing stare after listening to a conversation in the bar between John and an English gentleman about September 11th.

September 30, Sunday

We were glad to leave Lausanne and head toward Geneva. It is damp from the nights’ rain and the mountains are invisible in the morning mist. Taking a red road that goes through each little village made our trip about an hour. We found a great stop for the next two nights in a darling village, Celigny. It feels like France as everyone speaks French and the villages have a French ambience. We drove into Geneva and tried to find the Notre Dame Cathedral, but got trapped in wrong turns and finally gave up. We found the Red Cross Museum and it was interesting, but depressing. The sun came out while we were there and we came out to a beautiful day. 

We went to Lake Geneva – called Lac Leman and it is magnificent. There were lots of people strolling and even some in swimming. It must be mighty cold as it is fed from glaciers. We walked along with the crowds and it could have been anywhere in the world as the crowds are diverse. This is an international city with visitors from the whale world. We came back to our hotel – Hotel du Soleil in Cigny. Richard Burton is buried here so we took a walk to the graveyard. His grave is very simple. A large rough stone has his name and dates cut into it 1925-1984. I understand Liz Taylor sends flowers but I don’t know how often. We had a good dinner here in the hotel and will be early to bed.

October 1, Monday

Left early for Geneva and our cruise on Lac Leaon (Lake Geneva). Our Flexi Rail Pass entitles us to use them on the cruise, but security is so tight here, we had to go to the train station and have them verified against our passports before we could board a lake cruise boat. Each hotel takes our passport number and home address and birth date. It is much more careful than U.S. The cruise was beautiful as it is a sunny clear day. We could see Mont Blanc – in France from Geneva. It is a lovely city. We drove back to Nyon, a small city near our hotel and had supper. We had not had much lunch and it was difficult to wait until 6:30 before any restaurant starts to serve. They have their customs and you have to comply.

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