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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 46.2038, 6.13996
We started today bright and early in order to make it to Brussels Midi/Zuid train station, which meant hopping into a cab at 7:30am. We were a bit disappointed upon showing up for breakfast at 7am to learn that the coffee wasn't ready because, “Only the girl knows how to do it.” When, at 7:15, “the girl” showed up, we were able to enjoy a fast cup of joe just as the cab arrived.
Our train was a Thalys high speed electric bullet train that jetted us from Brussels to Paris-Nord in 1 hour 22 minutes. Even though we had already eaten breakfast at our hotel, they came along with another serving which we enjoyed, again, thinking, “Okay, this can be lunch.” Free WiFi on the train was a nice benefit as well.
After arriving at Paris-Nord, we needed to transfer to Paris Gare de Lyon, which was about a 25 minute cab ride away. The transfer was easy because the Thalys staff arranged to have a cab waiting for us in Paris. Once at Gare de Lyon, we enjoyed some frappes (milk shakes) and a sorbet while waiting for our next high speed train to depart at 12:11.
Shortly after boarding our second train, which was a double decker, along came the train attendants with carts of more food and drink. This third of the day was a choice of chicken or vegetarian. “Whatever!?” We ate again, now our third meal before 3pm. This journey reached speeds up up to 300 km/hour and whisked us through the French countryside and into the Alpine mountains. It was a pleasure to enjoy such a smooth ride through such scenic areas.
We de-trained in Geneva in search of our hotel. Oh boy, it's hot in Switzerland, we thought, as we huffed and puffed and carried our luggage to… the wrong hotel. Who would've thought there are two Ibis Gare something-or-other hotels within (thankfully) a few blocks of the train station. Ten minutes more walking and we were where we were supposed to be.
After getting settled, we walked uphill into Geneva's Old Town area, ultimately deciding to eat at an outdoor café across the street from the birthplace of Jean Jacques Rousseau. Jake and Jeannette opted for pasta while Rich and Barb shared a fondue made of two cheeses and with bread and potatoes for dipping. It was good!
After that, we set out to find a water taxi. That was a fruitless journey. After adding a few thousand steps to our total for the day, we opted to take a streetcar back to the area nearer to our hotel. It was time for some rest, laundry, and sleep. Tomorrow we venture up into the Alps to a town called Chemanix and then higher up from there.
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