Our last day.

A leisurely breakfast, in the once more uncrowded breakfast room at the hotel. It’s funny when you arrive and no one else is there, as we did on Thursday; suddenly when there is an invasion of other guests, you hate them all. Well I do; they have sort of invaded your privacy. Silly really but, anyone else ever get that? No? OK, just me then.

They must have been well wrapped up in that balloon, this morning! Anyway, I digress. Off to the Christmas market we went in Montreaux. We parked, more by luck than good judgement, in exactly the right spot in an underground car park. We popped up two flights of stairs and came out almost bang in the middle of the market by a statue of Freddie Mercury, bedecked with tributes, as the anniversary of his death was last Saturday.

The entrance to the car park was just to the left of his statue and the market was beautifully quiet. When we came last year at the weekend, it was heaving. A stroll round the stalls and blow me down there was our ceramic plate maker. We have purchased over the years a number of these red jigsaw pieces, from his shop in Fribourg and there he was with his stall all laid out with his many products.

We had a good old mooch round, as my dear old granny used to say and made one or two purchases and then headed for lunch.

A drive back to Geneva along by the lake, which made a lovely change from our normal motorway approach, despite the weather being pretty grey and drab. We arrived amazingly early at the airport but eventually checked the luggage in and went airside. A very uneventful flight and landed bang on time at 9-15 pm. We left the airport just before ten past ten. So our record breaking time of thirty minutes from landing and then out of the door still stands.

Now Heathrow does confuse me. If you end up landing at a C Gate at Terminal 5, it will take you longer to get out because you have to catch the shuttle. But someone in passport control must know a great crowd of folk are heading towards them, mustn’t they? Then in that case why are all the eye scanning machines not already turned on? As we rounded the corner into the customs hall a maximum of six (?) must have been lit up green and ready to go. All the rest were showing red; result complete turmoil. People realising this, so suddenly back tracking and heading for the normal passport exit, where the real live person checks your passport. People standing hopefully in front of machines showing red and then getting angry because nothing was happening. People running in different directions not knowing where to go for the best and a load of customs people, looking just as confused as the passengers. Happy days. Once more, more by luck than good judgement, we happened to be standing in front of a machine in the queue for the real checker, when it magically turned green and we both dived for it. Freedom!

That just about wraps it up.  As always thank you for reading, and until next time take lots of care. M & M 🇨🇭🇨🇭🇨🇭🥂

And finally, a remarkably empty Geneva airport and one more shot of those adorable monkeys!

Day four; goodbye daughters and grandchildren.😢

Breakfast amid a crowded room; just amazing the contrast from Friday morning, when it was only Mary and me! This morning, we got down early enough to get a table but, if you recall blogs from the past, the egg boiler had already been mullered by twits having the water temperature too high and eggs had exploded and gone all over the place. I decided my boiled eggs were off the menu this morning and sure enough the contraption was taken away for cleaning as I downed my muesli.

It was packed (the restaurant not the egg bath) with a complete mixture of Italian families, German families, some big parties of ten or so in both groups. But wait, they could be Swiss! Because this crazy country has people speaking three different languages, (French, German, Italian) depending on how close to the other countries border you are AND a fourth, which is Romansh the south eastern tongue of the Canton of Grisons. Confused? Zach is learning German at school, but as he put it, “It is German, German and not Swiss German.” I think we’ll leave that there, eh?

Zach got on with his homework, while Safi sketched happy faces! Zach’s two favourite subjects are German and Maths; methinks that this grandfathers DNA, is not affecting this side of his brain. You can see, as we came down into Laura’s valley from bright sunshine, the mist engulfed her little village; see the bar opposite (so handy that) and the misty church behind!

We put Laura and Hannah’s bags in our car and the grandchildren were dropped off at the other grandparents and we all headed off for a quick sandwich before Laura and Hannah boarded the train. No tears today as we are all meeting up again when they (the grandchildren) come to our gaff on the 28th of December. And this will include Hannah and Dean; Christmas, as you know it Jim, will come just a tad late to Treen Towers.

So, what to do with the rest of the day? A drive up into the mountains and just gasp at the scenery, why not? It was clear, it was bright, it was just perfect.

So there we have it, folks. Dinner tonight in Gruyeres, who have started to charge you for parking, even though you are parking at the hotel. But luckily, when we got back tonight and ran the road block (oops!) of the one 👮‍♂️ policeman (so, sorry officer) he let us carry on, because I had the Hotel Gruyeres discount bracelet round my wrist, thus proving we were staying where I said we were. Phew!

That leaves me with two photos, I didn’t use. Where else would you expect to find Highland Cattle? I think he’s looking at me! 🤔 😆🤣

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And a lovely group shot of Auntie Hannah and those smashing kids, taken by Mary.

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It’s been a blast. A much too short a blast but a great joy. Tomorrow the Christmas market in Montreaux, that we have been to before, and then home. I’ll post those pictures and words tomorrow night.

Thank you for reading M & M 🎄🎄⛄️⛄️🇨🇭🇨🇭

 

Day Four, left over day three.

Good morning, well let’s try again. Where had I got to? Ah yes lunch! Overlooking the lake with the stunning view. And although the words seem OK. When I go to upload a photograph, it says “no photos or videos” This is so, so frustrating.  I managed one of the lake and then it refused any more. So while I ponder this, here is the one of the lake.

And the group shot! It has now temporarily (?) started working again. I went from new editor back to classic; don’t ask! 😱😱😱

So, an excellent lunch and back to Laura’s; she having stopped on the way to purchase a Christmas tree. Decorated, lights on, games played.

 

I am writing this faster than a shopping list, in the hope the pictures keep downloading and I can get to the end!

Two lots of pictures have disappeared, they may return! Who knows? For the moment my fight with technology is over. Thank you to the people who talked, stomped and generally had no consideration at all, when they came back to the hotel at one o’clock this morning! 

Today goodbye Laura and Hannah, back to blighty; we are staying on until tomorrow. Let’s hope breakfast will be quieter than today, as well as the evening corridor wandering!

Thanks for reading M & M 🇨🇭💤🤔😡

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day three. Lunch with the gang🇨🇭🇨🇭🇨🇭🍷

The day dawned amazingly, in the valley and on the hills once more. Away to meet everyone at Laura’s flat and then head for lunch.

A restaurant we had frequented more than once overlooking a beautiful lake. Everyone ate well and Safi sketched away pictures of butterflies and bridges and Zach impressed with his dialogue and reassured air; methinks the lad is finding himself, if that makes sense.

Too many people in the hotel tonight to get a sensible connection. Even my Vodafone wi-fi box has let me down. So I’ll pick this up tomorrow.

 

Sorry, thanks for reading M & M 😱🇨🇭🇨🇭

Day two. Fribourg.🇨🇭🇨🇭

This is going to be so quick tonight, sorry folks but the mountain air has kicked in. The bottle of rosé, has nothing to do with it! Dawn in the valley outside the hotel was just fantastic. Complete with the biggest herd of deer we have ever seen here.

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Fribourg was just great; the busiest we have ever seen it but just great. Who knew Black Friday spread this far?

The offer of the day looked a bit dubious, but the view from the bridge never ceases to please. We then had a walking holiday of the Museum of art and history but value for money it was superb. One very strange exhibit was the jewelled skeleton, which as none of the explanations were in English, I’m afraid if you ask , “Why?” I can’t possibly offer you an answer.

Perhaps if you google it, it must come up! The hotel de ville, was bedecked by chrysanthemums and the restaurant tonight was also absolutely as jam packed as the one last night!

We saw Safi and Zach before we ate and we are rendezvousing tomorrow for lunch, so pictures then! Meanwhile Gruyeres at night has lost none of its charm.

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Thank you for reading M & M 💤💤🇨🇭🇨🇭🍷

 

We made it! 🇨🇭🇨🇭🇨🇭🇨🇭

An interesting development yesterday trying to print our boarding passes on line, for this morning. Got as far as number of suitcases and then it said, sorry no further matey you will have to go to the airport and check in there. So, I thought I will just check our passport details because we still sometimes get accused of having duplicate passports when we get to the gate. Started to do this and changed things but again I only got so far before it (the computer) finally said, sorry matey no further you are now locked out for 24 hours! I telephoned and I must admit a very helpful guy, checked the passports and also moved our seats towards to the front of the plane, where Mary feels happier. As you can guess, despite the phone call, I approached the check in at Heathrow with trepidation!

Amazingly it worked! Took three goes (it’s all automated now) for the machine to recognise Mary’s passport but all was well. We printed off our own baggage labels and I mused on where eventually this automation will end. “Here we are, sir, the latest Boeing 737 manual and your pilots hat. Have a good flight.” 😱😱😱

But I digress. We arrived in Gruyeres, only partially Christmas decorated and no snow as on previous occasions. The Rampart Restaurant was hardly what you could call crowded!

But, a splendid Trout and almonds for me and Tagilatelle and Prawns for Mary, which was delicious. One bottle of wine, one sorbet, three coffees and that will be £98 thank you very much. Which is why we very rarely come for two weeks! 😆

Tomorrow, we shall return to Fribourg, where we have not been for ages and then go and meet Laura and Hannah at the railway station in Romont.

So, thank you for reading, sleep well!

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As always, comments very welcome. M & M ✈️🇨🇭🍷🍷🍷