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The flight over was a bit of a pain.  Granddad wasn’t expecting that we would be transferring planes in Montreal.  When he learned this he became skeptical as he has had his luggage lost on him 2 times before (and by how much my granddad travels – that’s about a .02 % loss ratio). 


We landed in Paris (luggage and all) and onto the car rental.  To get out of the airport with customs took about 2 minutes; to get our car – 2 hours.  The woman helping us was at a loss because her computer had gone down.  We needed to leave terminal 3 and over to the main terminal to get back on the system.  The system was still messed up as she couldn’t find our reservation number.  By this time I was doubting myself that I had ever pre-ordered the thing.  She started us a new order and we got to pick a new car.  Since we were in Europe and had plenty of European cars to choose from I decided to cash in the idea of a Volkswagen and picked up a Peugeot hatchback.  Its pimp.

We left the airport and we were on the road.  Now for those of you that don’t know Paris – its hell on wheels.  Before we knew it we were downtown and stuck between cars shooting in all directions.  Since this was about my 4th time driving manual I thought it would be a lovely time to test my newly acquired skills.  After only stalling the thing every other stop (Granddad recons about 100 times) I must say I thought I was getting the hang of things.


Eventually we left that hole (I mean Paris) and we were on our way.  Since the French need to get places fast you can travel down the auto routes at a nice pace of 160 Km/h which isn’t different from my driving in Canada; except that it’s legal in France.  Unfortunately if you decide to take this route over the scenic one you have to pay a pretty penny.


Chaumonte was our first stop.  Arriving Sunday night in the evening we came to realize that everything was closed.  It appears these French people have something figured out in regards to relaxation over labor.  During the week, everything is closed at 5 and everything closes down for lunch.  On the weekends, only the greedy are open. 

After a night in Chaumonte (Granddad wanted me to mention that the hotel was fabulous and the food was excellent and cheap) we were on to the Medieval town of Langres.  Napoleons soldiers built the place.  It’s very old and full of history. 

After a brief stop in Langres, we came to our resting place of Lousanne on the Swiss border.  Granddad has been coming here for years and knew the staff.  As he predicted, the dinner was FABULOUS.  Exhausted from travel and a couple wines later we were in bed by 9PM. 


The next morning we ventured right through Switzerland.  Just before we entered Switzerland we visited a spot where my Granddad holds close to his heart.  Granddad has been making this trip for 40 years.  In that time, he came to stop off at a picnic site on the side of the road.  He had carved his and his wife’s name with dates on the side of the tree.  Unfortionalty I didn’t have a knife to carve my name in along with theirs, not to worry, my next time through I will be sure to continue on the tradition.

Switzerland is amazing.  It was immaculate.  The Swiss know how to make chocolate, chemicals, electricity and money.  I knew if anywhere on my trip I was going to get any internet; this was the place.  Oh yes, I forgot to mention.  Apparently in Europe they don’t value the internet near as much as we Canadians do.  Ok, maybe they don’t value it as much as I do.  I needed my nerd fix and I found it at a local pub.  11AM, a pint of ale, a baguette and internet!  It felt good to catch up on all of my mail.  After we spent too much time in the pub, I was finally dragged away to enjoy the scenery of Montreux.  Wow, it was beautiful, almost as beautiful as me being able to connect to the internet.

Montraux is a historic and rich person blend.  The celebs come to relax, the tourists come to take pictures and the locals smile and ring in the sales.  Granddad got thirsty and picked up a nice clean bottle of water.  There must have been something special in that water because it cost $10.  Further down the road we came to a castle right on lake Geneva called Chatrau Chinon.  Apparently this famous poet of the 19th century (Lord Byron) purchased a house down the road from the castle and conversed with a political prisoner located in the castle.  I saw where the prisoner was tied to the ground for 19 yrs before his death.     


We ventured out of the city and now sit on the Italian border.  Another hotel that my Granddad is quite familiar with.  We sit in another room, sipping wine, reading and typing.  Will go for dinner, retire early and continue over the entire alps tomorrow and rest on lake Garda in Italy. 



Ron and Granddad.