Well, we’ve had better starts! Usually, our training involves some sturdy walking up hill & down dale, carrying heavy loads. However, we’re now minded to add some navigational training to the list, as it’s the biggest wonder we managed to make it on to the plane this morning at all!
Before we’d even left Leicester last night, Mike & I had managed to lose each-other at church! We’d both been on duty & had touched base before the service, agreeing to wait for each-other after the service before heading off. However, Mike lost sight of me, I lost sight of Mike, Mike thought I’d gone so went, I thought Mike was still there so was keeping myself busy with jobs… until there were only about 5 of us left & I asked “has anyone seen Mike?” At which point I realised he’d gone!
As I pulled up outside his house, his bag was parked on the drive & a confused looking Mike was stood next to it scratching his head!
An uneventful, but very wet, journey down to Heathrow followed & we successfully managed to find our rented driveway. An Uber was duly booked & we sat & waited. It was only after several minutes of sitting there staring at the screen that said the driver was there, that I realised I’d dropped the location pin somewhere completely different to where we were parked!
So I went in search of the driver… & found him down the road & round the corner. He looked quite dazed when we arrived at his window from the complete opposite direction he was expecting! A short drive later we arrived at the hotel.
Although navigation to our room was a little challenging – up, left, left, along, left, along, left – we made it. Imagine our surprise when we opened the door to see a large double bed! I doubled checked my reservation & was relieved to see it wasn’t my mistake (unusual!), so made my way back to reception – right, along, right, along, right, right, down.
Fortunately there was one twin room left, so with their apologies I collected new key cards & went back to fetch Mike – up, left, left, along, left, along, left – where he was still standing looking bemused in room 104. We collected up our bags again & headed back to reception – right, along, right, along, right, right, down – & made our way to room 10, situated on the ground floor, just to the left of the check-in desk!
Obviously exhausted by this point – feeling like we’d already completed the first leg of the trek – we turned in (in our respective twin beds!) around 11.30pm, with alarms set for 3.45am.
After taking a wrong turn out of the room this morning (left instead of straight on), we then managed to miss the airport shuttle bus (that was parked right outside the hotel front door). Uber came to the rescue however & we managed to get to the airport, drop our bags, grab a bacon buttie, down a strong coffee & board the plane without further problem. As I write this, mid air between the UK & Switzerland, my next task will be to re-visit (a) the route from Geneva Airport & Trient, which is where we’ll be starting from proper in the morning & (b) the map from Trient to Chamonix!
8pm (7pm UK time): Well, we made it here! After 14 hours of travelling we rocked in at about 6pm. After landing at Geneva Airport, we needed to kill a few hours before catching the train at 2.30pm. So we decided to grab a boat tour around Lake Geneva – well, less of a tour & more of a ride. The free Wi-fi on the boat that would have enabled us to download the app that would give us the spoken guide didn’t work, so we didn’t really know what we were looking at – other than lots of water & nice houses around the edge!
I was also nursing a splinter wound, having quickly changed in to my shorts in a small lakeside cafe which was floored with OSD board. Needless to say I lost my balance – as I was standing in the open, hopping around, trying to do it quickly before anyone saw -& the result was a splinter in my foot. I only noticed the splinter as we were running to catch the boat, that was the other side of the bridge. Once boarded, the boat went over to the cafe side – where we’d been sat – to pick up more passengers. So we needn’t have bothered anyway!
After the boat trip, we went in search of something ‘Geneva’ish’ to do… but failed. What a bland place Geneva is! The most interesting thing seemed to be the (endless) watch shops… & before you ask Polly, no, I didn’t. I know I’ve pushed my luck coming back again as it is! Lol!
Using my fluent French language skills – honestly, it’s like I’ve never been away, it’s all just come flooding back – I obtained a map from the information kiosk at the station: “avez vous un map touriste, s’il vous plait?”. To which I received a very warm smile. I think he thought I was local…
But alas, nothing interesting doing on the map. So we settled for a Starbuck’s & a toastie, before making our way back to the train station (via an antiperspirant selling shop as I forgot mine – a bad mistake for such a trip!) to get the train. Here’s a snapshot of that – the bit I stayed awake for was very picturesque!placeholder://
Sadly the weather has gone from bad to worse all day, with clouds turning to rain. By the time we arrived in Martigny it was torrential & we sat waiting for the bus (under a shelter thankfully) in disbelief as the mountains around us – that we’d come all this way to revisit – lay hidden in raincloud.
Our bus arrived & the rain started to subside as we boarded, but it was still very overcast as we arrived in Betty (the village, not my dog), in Trient. The odd glimmer of hope came during the bus journey – mainly that we’d get to Trient alive! How that bus managed to negotiate all those tight, winding hairpins all the way to Trient at 1279m I’ll never know! Top marks to Monsieur Bus Driver!
Betty seems unchanged, with everything as we left it. We’ve spent this evening with map & books spread, desperately trying to remember what/where/how/who/when we did last time… & I think we’ve about got it. I just hope the donkey we turned left at 2 years ago hasn’t moved – or worse!
So, alarms are set for 6.30am tomorrow, with departure about 7.30am after breakfast. Let’s see what tomorrow holds… I’m hoping we don’t just re-live the nightmare we had last time, with the weather & zero visibility. But that’s just the way it goes here – the weather just has a mind of its own. Send us some prayers, if you do that. They’d really be appreciated!
Night all x