Flight was on-time. I had two friendly well-behaved teenagers as co-passengers who kept the flying experience going with their witty comments. A little prelude to the upcoming few days with my dear friend from undergrad days and as her husband often comments "you guys giggle a lot but leave no stone unturned in pulling each other's legs".
|Air France magazine cover - temple and priest of Karnataka|
A little jet-lagged coz no matter how tired I am, flying acts like caffeine for me and I am a wide-eyed owl through the trip! I make the exit and lo-and-behold, my friend is waiting there for me. I was seeing her after a good gap of 2.5 yrs! She is like a sister to me - so even though in the current age, 2.5 yrs is not that long a gap to meet anyone, this was quite long for me. We wanted to do this with a few of my other sister-friends (just coined this term - my copyright now! ;) ) but that did not work out - we will do some other place with them sometime soon! :)
Back to Geneva, we both immediately got chittering-chattering with no concern of where we are. There was so much to catch up on! Immediately we hit the SBB CH (Switzerland Railways) counter with our numerous questions - one thing that hit me immediately was that the lady in the counter was so relaxed, patiently answering our questions and no display of expression to shoo us away as soon as possible and move on to the next-in-line which is so visible in most US service counters (don't get me wrong - US service counters are also very helpful but the hurried and stressed look is very prevalent). She explained to us our options and when we explained our itinerary to her, she gave us the best deal and included the 15% discount they have ongoing when two people travel together without our asking for it. When I remembered and asked her if it was included, she graciously clarified that it was already provided for.
We took the 8 day Swiss-pass which includes all the trains except the special ones like Jungfrau and Glacier express (you have to pay reservation for these but your Swiss pass does get you a discount) With the rail tickets out of the way, we were hungry! We hit the Tea Shop right next to the SBB counter and had one of the best pizza and hot sandwich there - with some friendly banter as condiments! :)
New place and since we were not sure how far and convenient it will be to reach our resort, instead of going around Geneva tagging the luggage, we decided to head towards the resort. After the breakfast (or dinner - whatever you want to call - my body-clock was all messed up anyways) we ran and caught the first train towards the resort.
The refreshing views of Geneva lake with the mountains in the background and the number of weekenders enjoying the sun and the water is exhilarating. I felt a surge of excitement that shooed away my jetlag for some time. The clear blue waters with the long lines of old-time houses and vineries lining the mountain from Lausanne to Montreux is quite a sight. It was reassuring that we are in the right place for a vacation.
The bus ride from Martigny to Leytron was equally fun-filled! I was just immersed in the greenery and lovely scenery - everything looked like a picture postcard! It all felt so peaceful as well. Luckily there was a scrolldown monitor in the bus that showed the next upcoming 4-5 stops so you knew when exactly to expect your stop. There is a small red button available for each seat so as your stop is highlighted in the monitor, you press the button and the bus will stop there.
|Right across the Leytron Bus Stop - Ovronnaz is in the left mountain|
We had about an hour-long stop in Leytron before the next bus to our resort in Ovronnaz which is up in the mountains and you can see it from Leytron actually. I had the grand idea of walking down one of those days - no time for that since as you will soon read, we got ourselves a tight plan once we got down to planning our trips for the rest of the vacation! :) We continued our friendly banter while waiting half-realizing that this bus stop will remain an integral part of our trip! No matter where we go, we will spend a few mins here in the morning as well as evening...and ofcourse, God forbid if we miss our last connection from here to our resort! :) I named it our "hub" while my friend had serious doubts on my understanding of what a hub actually was! ;)
|View during the bus ride from Leytron to Ovronnaz|
|View during the bus ride from Leytron to Ovronnaz - Grape vines adorn!|
Checkin was done in a jiffy..we realized very few people speak English in the resort and in the coming days, I could almost hear the heartbeats fasten as they would see us approaching them with our "English" questions! :) But the staff was more than helpful - they were such sweethearts! Language is no barrier if you have the right intentions..hope you are nodding! :)
So we hit the room next - it was a spacious room for four with a huge personal balcony with awesome views of the mountains. And yes, there was a kitchen...cooking can be a chore in normal days, but I love it during vacations! Love the challenge to make up something quick with limited resources - treat it as my "ingredients basket" challenge that is a part of most of the current cooking competition shows! ;)
|View from our room in the resort|
|Beautiful houses of Ovronnaz|
COOP and Migros are the prime grocery stores that you can find almost anywhere in Switzerland.
|Items in the COOP Store - wanted to bring them all!|
|Fried Maggi for my buddy!|
With some frenzied "homework" involving iPad, pen, paper, brochures planning out the next two days! We were up till 11pm planning it out - can you believe it? We just don't know how to take it easy is what I feel at times! BUT it was fun...can't wait to share the rest of the days with ya all!
Day 1 - Geneva to Resort in Ovronnaz, ValaisDay 2 - Trummelbach Falls and Isenfluh, Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken
Day 3 - Jungfrau and Grindelwald
Day 4 - Basel and Bern
Day 5 - Lucerne, Golden Pass Tour through Zweissimen, Saanen, Gstaad, Montbovon, Montreux
Day 6 - Zermatt and Glacier Express to Andermatt
Day 7 - Back to Geneva and home
Day 1 Travel was primarily this: