- From the Alps to the Riviera
- 25-28 November 1999
Thanksgiving by Lac Leman -- Instead of
turkey, I was grateful for a plate of grilled octopus tentacles at a cozy
Portuguese cafe, within 1km of the Cornavin train station in Geneva.
wouldn't have ordered it had I understood the menu, but the chef nodded most
approvingly upon my choice, since it was his specialty. Intriguingly marinated
and grilled to a firm yet tender consistency with charred edges, I enjoyed it
very much, all the more so because my host kept pouring port into my glass.
I had another lesson in Latin dining the following evening.
a plate of pasta, I knocked on the door of an Italian eatery at 6:00 pm. I was
seated and given a carafe of chianti and some bread, but nothing more for at
least an hour, during which the entire restaurant staff sat properly around a
long table to have their meal. The regular customers did not start arriving
until 8:00 pm or so, and many did not order right away, preferring to converse
with friends over many glasses of wine.
The lasagna was worth the
Over-indulgence must be checked, however. By re-crossing the Swiss border
at about 1:30 am, this foreigner had apparently broken an implicit curfew. The
guards kept me at the checkpoint for nearly twenty minutes before returning my U.S.
Do not believe in stereotypes. Throughout this hasty
excursion, every French-speaking person I met -- at the fuel station, atop the
Alps or in a cafe, be he or she Gallic, Iraqi or Libyan -- was polite and
kind. I would have lost my new digital camera at Chamonix without them.
- Gear - Canon Pro70 Digital, Nikon F100 with f2.8 28mm and f2.8 35-70mm zoom,
and Hasselblad Cx with Zeiss f2.8 80mm lens.
- Base - Geneva, Switzerland