Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Monday October 1 - Coming home Geneva to Ottawa

It was raining as we left Montreux by an early dreary train journey for Geneva Airport. The Brig - Geneva Airport trains are in need of renovation or replacement.  However, these 1970s era UIC cars run superbly although the interiors are shabby by Swiss standards. Geneva airport was efficient although the waiting areas are cramped and we had to be bused out to the plane.  We sat in the plane for about an hour waiting for a slot. Once in the air the Montreal crew were good and the eight hour flight to Montreal was very relaxed.

We seem to have mastered the art of getting the customs machines to take our photos and the process was pretty quick.  Although we arrived an hour late our puddle jumper to Ottawa was over an hour late so we arrived home late but on schedule.

As usual the worst part of the trip was the 97 bus which was uncomfortable on the bad roads. We were forces to wait outside in the cold until the driver arrived and then we had to wait even longer while she saw to her flask of coffee.

What a great trip. In the plane coming back I wrote out a list of the highlights. I couldn't believe there were so many.  The part with Paul was highly planned and it all worked while we were able t make adjustments as we wanted. The part with Mary was very relaxed and we enjoyed Montreux with the fantastic view over the lake from the apartment:

- Miniatur Wunderland. Arguably the largest model railway in the world - and the behind the scenes tour was a worthwhile add on.
- Narrow gauge ex-Portuguese Mallet steam locomotive for the Ste-Croix 125 anniversary.
- Luzern Transport Museum
- Paddle steamer on Lake Luzern then the incredible Post Bus journey from Andermatt to Meiringen.
- Riding behind a narrow gauge crocodile electric between Davos and Filisur. The ride back was on the back platform and this after the Trogen and Appenzell lines.
- Watching the action at Liestal, after the Waldenburgerbahn
- Spiez and Zweisimmen with the amazing descent over the mountain and down into Montreux.
- French National Railway Museum at Mulhouse.
- Riding through the new Gotthard base tunnel then on a tram through Italy and back through the Simplon tunnel.
- The Bern Lotschberg Simplon railway's heritage excursion behind a vintage electric locomotive.
- Aigle and Bex.
- Seeing the Portuguese Mallet again at Noirmont during our day on the Jura railway. It was in steam but this time there were no spectators.
- Riding the vintage Italian railcar on the line to Les Brenets then the old Swiss-built railcar on the line to Les Ponts de Martel
- Watching the standard to narrow gauge transfer at Morges.
- Watching three railways switch at Chavornay
- The Blonay-Chamby railway museum special event.
- Walking the cows at Blonay
- Walking through the UNESCO designated vineyards around Chexbres in gorgeous weather with wonderful views over Lake Leman.
- Walking along the promenade in Montreux to Chillon and enjoying the regular visits of the vintage paddle steamers Italie and La Suisse.
- the Plats du Jour at several locations, notably Biere and Montreux

Quite a trip which will be difficult to better.

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