Edit Blog Post
Published: October 9th 2019
Well, this was an interesting SERVAS stay...when I emailed, I mentioned our two preferred nights, and they replied, well, come for one night, and we will see about the next...turns out that this young couple (with a three-year-old) had just joined SERVAS...apparently, the interviewer blabbed on and on about how great it was to get someone young and never really mentioned how it works.
As in...the expected stay is for two nights. The host, not the traveller, can suggest additional nights. So we got out the SERVAS list from France and showed them that French very often indicate that one night is NOT OKAY. We explained that the first night is not really for visiting. One New Zealand host summed it up nicely as she turned us down, stating, “I am only here for one of your requested two nights, and in my experience, it is the second night when we have ”the” conversation. Clearly, we were staying for two nights.
We came, thinking that we wanted to walk along some canals, written about in the Sunday The NY Times travel section. Hosts were not so keen on this, and discussed better options, and what they suggested turned out to be wonderful...and that is the way that SERVAS works... The next day, we took a bus to a famous funicular train, then hiked up to an old hotel (built in 1882), inadvertently taking the hard way, not the easy road.
During the night before, they were surprised that we were unaware of Swiss wines, and then they asked us what do Americans think of when they think of Switzerland? Well, of course, the Alps, Hannibal and his elephant, skiing...and then at the last minute, I said FONDUE...whereupon, Blaise said, “I will make you the BEST fondue,” and he did: sautéing onions, garlic, adding tomatoes, a fruit aperitif, before adding the wine. It was WONDERFUL!
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