Arriving in Geneva

Geneva Travel Blog

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waiting in the airport
I had never traveled in a large group before.  Having seen large groups walking around cities gawking at buildings  and laughing in unison on airplanes, I was afraid I would be involved in one of these rather annoying groups of people. But I was surprised as I rather enjoyed this entire trip, it was relaxing to have the day planned out ahead of time, a little too regimented maybe, but we also had free time to explore the cities on our own.
The fact that we were such a large group and most of us were only acquainted with the others before the journey made it somewhat akin to a reality tv show. Drama, secrets, intrigue, it all unfolded during the quiet hours at our hotel and the supper tables of the various community cafeterias.

At arrival to the Newark airport we went in a special check-in location and it took us around an hour to check in 30 students with instruments. once we passed security (another long wait after I had passed the metal detector) we went to a waiting room where we got free snacks. Quite to my disgust it was here that James (a fellow violin player) pulled out the speakers, laptop, and 100 cd's that would torment me on the frequent bus rides across France.
About ten minutes before boarding we made our way across the airport to our gate. A parade of 16-18 year old people hauling violins, cellos, violas you name it. It was glorious.
Our seats were all relatively together and the people exhausted, I quickly fell asleep right after I received my supper. It was a pretty gross supper compared to other airplane food, usually I look forward to it.

When we got to Geneva, it was overwhelming. Completely over the top. As we walked towards customs and out of the airport the halls were decorated with advertisements for watches and banks. Nothing but watches and banks. Every twenty feet there was a clock hanging off the ceiling, sponsored by Rolex. If I lived in Switzerland, I would never have to buy a watch, they are everywhere and all perfectly synchronized to the exact time.
I walked through customs where I didn't even get a stamp, and we were greeted by Lothar our tour guide. We were immediately in love, he knew the way so well through that airport, leading us through secret doors and deserted hallways. Sneaking into France since there was no guard on duty.
Oh the thrills.
Outside we met our bus driver Wolfgang, known for his fashion-forward moustache slightly curled upwards at the ends as well as the shiny vests, his wife Andrea, a grown version of Pipi Longstockings, this vision transported us to the wooded hills of Bavaria where they lead their happy lives.
Excpet for the fact that we hit the road in the opposite direction, towards Lyon France. A drive a few short hours the duration of which loud pop music was enforced on everyone's ears by James' speakers and the voices of the few who actually appreciated this favor. While I partially drifting off to sleep was awoken every five minutes by the sudden change in tone and tempo as they switched songs fifteen seconds into each one.
Apart from this, I believe it to have been a very pleasant view from the road. Of course all of us are accustomed to the factories and smoke columns that are associated with New Jersey's highways and the boring flatness of the trees that usually line each side. On this road there were mountains on either side of us and we occasionally passed some small villages were we could see bakeries and newspaper stands.
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waiting in the airport
waiting in the airport
then begins our long bus ride
then begins our long bus ride
photo by: DADKA