What a busy couple of days so far, let me fill you in.
My flight from Washington to Geneva landed on time, right around 7:00 AM local time, so that was good. Ed picked me up from the airport and we headed straight to Nyon where he lives--in a very Swiss feeling house up a narrow lane. A lane so narrow in fact that he must retract the side view mirrors on his borrowed car to drive up the lane, otherwise they would scrape on the walls and homes that line the driveway.
After settling in with a shower and large cup of delicious coffee that Shirley made for me, we headed off to the Geneva Motor Show. After I woke up on Sunday, stayed up the entire day, headed to the airport at 3:00 AM and then flew to Geneva (via IAD) without really sleeping in between, the Geneva Motor Show was perhaps the most effective stimulant imaginable for keeping me awake.
So far in my life I've attended a couple seasons of both the New York and Los Angeles auto shows, but Geneva's easily blew both of those out of the water. It's gigantic and filled every one of Palexpo's 102,000 square meters. The show features automakers, both high and low volume, that cater to every market in Europe so there were roughly 50-75% more exhibitors than at any U.S. auto show. To make the most of my time at the show, I limited myself to only looking at exotic cars, concepts and makes and models that I knew I would never see in the U.S. I'll try and write up my impressions in a later post when I post pictures from the show.
After the show Ed and I headed off to the home of one of his friends to have dinner. This friend had a 16-year-old daughter whose nickname was pronounced in a similar way as my last name, so that was kind of a "small world" experience. After staying awake for roughly 50 hours straight, I finally headed to bed around 10 PM local time.
On Wednesday, after I slept in and caught up with the time difference, Ed and I headed off on an a day trip around lake Geneva. Driving along the lake's north shore, our first stop was in Lausanne to have lunch at a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant. Afterwards we toured the halls and basked in the sun shining through the stained glass of the Lausanne Cathedral. Then we got back in the car and headed towards Château de Chillon via a quick detour to quickly see the the sculpted gardens along Montreux's shore with Lake Geneva.
Once at Château de Chillon Ed and I toured as much as we could of the old castle in the 90 minutes before it closed for the day. I saw dungeons, the crypt, a dining hall, various bedrooms, a bathing room, latrines, court yards, turrets, ammunition and weapons storage rooms among many others not listed here. The view of the Alps and Lake Geneva out of the castle were brilliant and quintessentially Swiss. As the sun was setting, the light was dancing off the lake and the snowy mountain peaks which made for some excellent photos--that I will share later once they're edited.
Ed and I got back to Nyon around 7:30 that night where Shirley, who had stayed home for the day, prepared a savory dinner experience that appealed to all senses. We started out with a cheese plate featuring Gruyère, Sbrinz, Appenzeller and Saint Agur Blue. I typically don't care for blue cheese but this double cream Saint Agur Blue was quite good and was easily the surprise of the bunch. Following the cheese plate was a salad of avocado, sweet bell peppers and blueberries topped with an apple cider and maple vinaigrette. The main course was an expertly roasted rack of lamb complemented by a current and berry sauce, rice with onion and bacon, and a medley of Taiwanese mushrooms and vegetables. The meal ended with some rich vanilla and caramel Swiss ice cream paired with dessert wines.
A long day followed by an excellent meal left no reason for me to continue to stay away, I was asleep by 10 PM.
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