Marseille to Geneva
Before I get started on this part I want to mention that I am falling behind. I am writing about day 3 and it is already day 6 with little chance of catching up at the rate I’m going. this means i am going to have to cut short my posts a little and just try to show you with photos what I am seeing.
The day we left Marseille, we got up very early. As in, really early. Before the sunrise which I havent done in God knows how long. I only got up so that I would have enough time to pack up my stuff and leave which meant I didn’t have any breakfast, with the idea that I would have some on the train, and I also didn’t have a shower. The consequence of both of these actions combined meant I was feeling pretty crap. Anyway, I ramble. Just like I said I wouldn’t.
As it turns out, the trip wasnt going to be as smooth sailing as I hoped. We had to take a train up to Lyon with a 2 hour layover before a bus would take us the rest of the way to Geneva. Having said that, both the legs of the journey had their highlights. The train ride took us right up to the Rhone river and through the valley with all the wineries and green rolling hills on the opposite side rising up into mountains. What i really liked about what i saw in this area was not just the nice hills and mountains but the wineries and where they were planted; how they were set up in terraces and just how ridiculous the whole system seemed to be for some of them. Seeing in real life what I had learnt about at Tafe and also at Jacksons just made so many of the ideas that weren’t clear seem so obvious.
Once we left the Rhone, it was uneventful until we got into Lyon. We found where our bus would be leaving from, found some food and then until we could get onto the bus. The bus trip itself was definitely… noteworthy. It started off like any other trip (actually that’s not true. I had a couple of younger people sitting in from of me that made it pretty apparent from an early stage in the trip that they were a little more than just good friends and not siblings either. It was pretty much a soft core pawn between the seats) but then we started to ascend into the mountains. We were driving along some pretty spectacular roads as it was, weaving up into the mountains, and then we went into a tunnel. When we popped out, we had mountains thrown up in front, beside and behind us. The tunnel exit itself seemed to have been a mistake as it was halfway up the mountain as if the drillers had ‘missed’ the bottom of the mountain so to cover up their mistake, they just built a giant bridge spanning the entire length of the valley. I’m talking a good 100m off the valley floor and maybe one K in length. It is a huge feet of human engineering. Unfortunately i wasnt really able to get any photos worth publishing from this leg of the trip as the bus was so rocky and there was somebody else in the window seat.
After a very scenic and enjoyable trip (especially for the couple in front of me), we arrived in Geneva where we walked to our hostel (a horrible HI hostel) and then caught a tram to the port where we could see a giant fountain just shoots water just straight up into the air (Cass tends to refer to it as the sprayee/squirty thing). That wasnt actually as interesting as one might think. Cool from a distance but not much better close up. You can’t touch it so how can it be? Once we got bored with the fountain, we started up the hill to the old town. This was a really neat little area with lots of winding streets that would come out into open areas where people would be sitting and having after-work drinks in the shaded, mid-afternoon sun. We wandered about these parts for close to an hour, discovering little treasures (like an antiques store) and stumbling upon larger, more obvious cathedrals. We had a grand time and I think we had all decided already that Geneva was our favourite so far.
We eventually came out of the old town area and caught a tram back to the hole (yes, I meant to say hole. You know? That place we paid money to sleep in) where we had some dinner and pottered around before hitting the sack. Done. End of day. I think I failed pretty hard at trying to keep it short…