I was just in Geneva again – got back the two Fridays ago – and, apart from some stressful work involving the chaperoning of a couple of important personages, it was a rather fun trip. (Although, thinking back, I still wish I felt less stressed and more prepared.)
The only free weekend we had, we rented a car and drove all the way to Tasch, from which we took a train to Zermatt, from which we took another train to snow-capped Gornergrat. The thing I remember about Gornergrat, along with the snow and some unexplained swathes of bluish-green water that looked vaguely reminiscent of sulphur pools I saw in New Zealand, was an absolutely giant Saint Bernard – it was sitting there, tongue lolling, with another less impressive specimen, and would have made for a scary sight, except that like all Saint Bernards it looked utterly benign (if more or less ignorant of your presence) and bereft of ill will. I think if I got lost in the Swiss Alps and one of these trudged up to me with whiskey in the keg attached to its collar, I would be quite assured :) On the way back from Tasch, we had dinner at a great Italian restaurant at Montreux. (I’ll try to find out and post its name.) Now, I’m not a salad fan but the seafood salad – with an appetising vinaigrette and generous portions of grilled littleneck clams, octopus and squid – was absolutely delicious.
Speaking of Italian food, if you are ever in the old town part of Geneva – that’s across the bridge from Gare Cornavin – you may wish to try the seafood (fruits de mer) spaghetti at the Spaghetti Factory. It’s good too :)
And so after about 10 days, the work was over, and a colleague and I made our way back home via Heathrow. Okay. (I’m taking deep breaths now as I gather myself to talk about this objectively.) I don’t know if you know this, but if you’re flying SQ and you fly back to Singapore via Heathrow, you have to claim your baggage and then check it back in. In other words, you have to go through immigration so that you are in the London side of the airport for a good half hour to an hour and then check yourself and your luggage back in. And go through snaking queues leading up to metal detector gantries and the most un-chipper security personnel I’ve ever seen. Not a happy experience. The 13-hour plane ride back was comfortable – I was lucky enough to be on a flight that was about 75% full, and I was the only passenger on my set of three sets next to the window; I think that says something about the economy, no? – but I really wouldn’t want to fly through Heathrow again, ever.
P/S. Oh don’t think I did not take photographs – I did, but I stupidly updated the software in my phone without making back-ups. Sigh.