switzerland is known for its quality chocolate and corina (that's me) is known for eating quality chocolate. we arrived in geneva fairly late in the evening and caught a train our to our couchsurfer hosts' near satnigy. unfortunately we missed out on a poker game with gus & corinne and their friends. i was really looking forward to gleening some tips from them so i could test out my skills against our avid gaming friends, em & j.r. back home. our hosts also let us borrow their electric bikes for an afternoon of exploring the hills and villages. we took the opportunity to break out the toblerone bar, our travel towel and our lastest paperback to enjoy the perfect lazy afternoon.
the weather held out for another couple of days as we explored geneva and the surrounding areas. there is an extensive boardwalk along the shores of the lake geneva (with free wifi...yay!). the jet d'eau fountain shoots water 140m into the air and proved to be a great way finder for us. we would be wandering around the city getting lost and then we would see the tip of the fountain and know exactly which way to turn.
our next hosts, dajana & greg, suggested that we go to le saleve which is a small mountain just over the border into france. from the top you can see all of geneva spread out below you. we took 'le telepherique du saleve' up to the top. jason thought it was pretty funny that i was willing to get into another gondolier after my last experience in barcelona. le saleve was actually steeper and a longer climb than barcelona's montjuic but the sturdiness and size of the carriage made it seem safer to me.
we spent the afternoon getting lost in the forest, hiking the trails and once again laying out under the sunny skies with our lunch and paperbacks. as a side note, jason has become quite the reader in the last little while. i guess he's gotten tired of staring into space while i am fully engrossed in a book.
our last day in geneva was cold and rainy so we took in a museum, had lunch at dajana's office and then headed to the airport. we were checked through to our gate and waited and waited. we were there hours too early because of the rain, then there was a 20 minute delay and finally the announcement that our flight had been cancelled due to technical difficulties. everyone swarmed the boarding desk and a flight attendant yelled over their heads that we were to make our way to the transfer desk and pointed in its direction. jay and i just looked at each other, shrugged and followed a pack of business men out of the boarding area. behind us people were clamouring to get the attention of the flight attendants..."what about those of us with connections to greece?" we were smug in our decision to stay in budapest for a few days.
we stumbled upon the transfer desk after i went through the 'wrong' doors. i thought we were still following the business men but two doors led to one area and the two doors we went through led to another. and behold the transfer desk! whoo hoo! we were 3rd in line, got our tickets for the next afternoon via munich, got our hotel room and hopped onto the shuttle to our home for the night. we stayed at the crowne plaza, ate our free dinner, slept in our free king size bed, ate our free delish buffet breakfast and jumped on our free shuttle back to the airport. we were finally on our way to budapest.
we had an apartment to ourselves for the first couple of days in budapest. our cs host, margit, was gracious to let us use her place while she was out of town. we only had one day of good weather in budapest which had we known it would be the only one we would have spent it more wisely. we did manage to walk down the waterfront on the buda side and through a bit of the pest side one afternoon.
we attempted to climb castle hill on a blustery, rainy day but we got lost on top of the wrong hill so we decided to call it a day and head home to make dinner. we arrived home to margit already in the kitchen chopping up some brussel sprouts for a soup. a combined effort between jay and margit produced our thanksgiving dinner of curried lentils and brussel sprout soup. it was tasty but i couldn't help thinking about the spread i knew would be on the tables at our parents' homes in winnipeg.