Published: April 17th 2009April 15th 2009
The Jet d'Eau
Geneva's iconic man-made geiser
Six months. It took me six months and the decision to go back to Canada before I finally visited another Calgary friend, Quentin, living just an overnight bus ride (less by any other, more expensive mode of transportation) from Paris in the middle of the stunningly Rockies-like Swiss Alps. And if I had been more organized, I might not be leaving France as I expect to next Friday.
As we stood on the edge of Lac Leman last Friday morning catching up about the three years that had passed since we met through the Calgary Outdoors Club and discussing the similar activities we could do on an extended Easter weekend, I suddenly realized that maybe I hadn't considered ALL my options before deciding to come home. We talked of snowshoeing, rock-climbing, hiking, even some end-of-season skiing and Quentin tantalized me with offers to host me and assurances that I would no problem finding work with my bilingualism.
Later that night and on Saturday morning, some of Quentin's friends joined us - a boisterous, sporty, travel-loving crew - and I was further persuaded that it could be a very interesting summer if I were to join them in even half
Residents of the Lac Leman
A gaggle of geese enjoying the sun in still-chilly waters
the outings they were planning together. As we hiked through the valley of Sixt Fer a Cheval, strolled along cobblestone streets in Yvoire and danced our hearts out at giant Macumba club http://www.macumba.net/
, I made mental calculations of the cost of postponing my flight home until September.
It didn't help that I met a soul-mate among the friends - one of those rare people with whom you share a mysteriously deep spontaneous connection. Our common ground was as wide as the valleys we stood over and our three-day love story left us dreaming about what could be if we had just a little more time together...
Alas, I discovered all the right reasons to complete my year in France at precisely the wrong time. With my return to Canada now fully coordinated, there is no more room for whimsy. The cost to both my bank account and credibility make it unthinkable to stay. But even as I lament my premature departure, I have to admit that deep down as I admired the beauty of our surroundings and envisioned myself exploring them with Quentin and company, I was aware that I will feel the same sense of excitement and
At Geneva's Botanical Garden
satisfaction as I rediscover the Rockies with my own friends this summer. No doubt, as I marvel at the joy of being back in the Canadian wilderness, I'll think back to the wonderful weekend I spent in Geneva and dream about coming back for a longer visit some day.
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