Sunday, September 29, 2013

Reality bites

Someone hit me, and hit me fast! Tomorrow is Monday and I need to get back to reality. For, after 18 days of travelling and pinching myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming, only a punch in the face can bring me back to the ground.

On our latest trip we had company that we were most grateful for. When we first announced our impending move to France, my brother and his wife were the first to announce and confirm that they'll be visiting us before the year was up. And visit they did! After a few months of deciding which places to visit while they were here (which was some what influenced by travel shows on TV and pictures posted by other people on FB), we picked Switzerland, Black Forest in Germany, Paris and of course Marseille and the French Riviera. It was the first time around in Europe for all of us and we were as excited as we can be!

Except for when they flew in to Zurich, we were on land to get from point to point. We used the Swiss Pass in Switzerland, rented a car to get to Germany and drive around Baden-Baden and onto Paris where we used the lovely metro system, reserved ourselves some seats in the TGV to get back home to Marseille and rented a car again to drive along the southern coast of France.

We reached Switzerland via Geneva on the 13th and met them in Interlaken to begin this memorable adventure. The first few days, they were without fresh clothes since their bags hadn't reached them. But we had loads of extra warm clothing and this little hiccup didn't seem to matter at all.

The first 8 days of our trip looked like the map below. We looked online for cheap, clean places to stay in Interlaken, Lucerne, Baden-Baden and Paris for this leg of the tour. I can say from the bottom of my heart that a little room in a warm, wooden cottage in a village offers more pleasure and adds lovely vignettes to your memories than a standard sized room in a hotel in the middle of a city.

After we spent 5 days in Paris and got back home, we drove to lake Sainte-Croix and the region around it (which the two of us visited some time back and I wrote about it here.) It was very different at this time of the year and we were able to stop at a vineyard to taste some wine and buy a bottle or two! The two-day drive along the coast that we ventured out on looked like the map below. We took the scenic route when we started and took the freeway to get home faster.

I am tired and a little sad because the house is back to its silent self after they left this afternoon. But I have a prayer in my heart for the safe trip we had, for the places we saw and the people we met along the way, for the ability and the means we are given to see these beautiful foreign lands, for the times we spent together, for making our dreams come true. I do not take it for granted one bit. Yes, travel is much more common today than before. Yes, people rattle off names of countries they've visited like they do the months of a year. But that is not for me and I am ever so thankful.

I'll post some pictures soon and try and talk about how each place was different from the other.

1 comment:

Nishaad Anantani said...

Speechless about the trip!! We enjoyed and are overloaded with memories of each day!!