I came back from Switzerland a week ago, and since then I have been thinking about how to write this blog post. I kept putting it off because I couldn’t find one unifying theme for the whole trip. Finally I just had to give up and admit to myself that a string of experiences doesn’t always have to have some great overarching meaning. Sometimes, it’s enough that they just make you happy.
The journey started off on a crowded bus that was far too small to accommodate my long legs. It was a long bumpy road to Geneva, but I slept a surprising five hours before arriving at 7am in a city that had not yet woken up. After a not-so-pleasant interaction with a rude attendant at the Eurolines office, I picked up a pain du chocolate at the only shop that was open. Tired and weighed down by heavy backpacks, we headed uphill away from the mountains, and towards our home for the weekend. Just as it was beginning to get hot, we reached the lovely apartment tucked away in a residential area with a beautiful view of the mountains. Barely registering our surroundings, we crashed on the large (but more importantly, long) queen bed to take a much needed nap.
That day, we spent a significant amount of time in the old city (which was fine, but had nothing particular to recommend itself), and then in the evening went to the northern part of the city, where we got to visit CERN (and the science nerd in me proceeded to freak out). Dinner that night was fondue at the Cafe du Soleil, which made us feel heavy and drowsy and completely content.
The next day was a blur of amazing things. In Vevey, we stumbled upon a farmer’s market where we pounced on the free samples: mango vinegar, bread and olive oil, apricots, and cheese. At one stand, I asked the man to give me a Swiss cheese that wasn’t too strong. Without saying a word, he cut a small piece from a large block of cheese and gave it to me to try. Heaven melted in my mouth. It was fresh, and delicious, and I immediately said I would take it. Of course, I didn’t ask the name of the cheese, so now I’ll never be able to have it again.
Our next stop was Montreux, where we somehow managed to find our way into a famous Chateau without buying entry tickets. The Chateau was situated on a lake, just in front of the mountains, and I noticed that Switzerland is exactly like what it is on the postcards. It is nothing short of incredible, because it makes you feel small. It makes you realize how beautiful the world is, and how insignificant all your worries can be.
We got back to town in time for a free outdoor concert, part of the Montreux Jazz Festival. There were people dancing by the stage, their feet tapping back and forth, and the girls’ skirts swishing around when they twirled. Everyone looked so silly and ridiculously foolish, but they were having so much fun.
On the way back to Geneva, we stopped in Lausanne. There, I had the best ice cream of my life while watching the sunset.
Sunday was a lazy day filled with more free samples, the jet d’eau, souvenir shopping, and Indian food (which was a blessing after weeks and weeks of sandwiches and crepes). The bus ride back wasn’t nearly as fun as the ride there, but I was able to sleep soundly with the wonderful memories I made on the trip floating around in my head. When I stumbled into class just a few hours after arriving in Paris, I was forced to admit that I was back in reality.