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Phil's Travels - Montreux, Switzerland

29/11/2014

Phil's Travels - Montreux, Switzerland

 

This year I flew to Montreux with BA from the beauty of Heathrow T5, albeit slightly disfigured at the moment as they develop more super luxury retail units. As a mere mortal on a regular budget, there is increasingly less stuff at T5 to tempt my poor wallet. The flight was delayed due to very heavy rain and security vans running up and down the runways checking for standing water.

 

I landed in Geneva with a stiff back and legs after being sandwiched between two large mountain folk, only to receive an email from my wife telling me that on her flight to Athens she had ridden in a chair with a massage function. Whereas she has a driver in Athens, I headed to the train station for an efficient service to Montreux. Unfortunately, it was late and dark and I did see a thing of Lake Geneva and its crown of Alpine peaks. I shared seats with the Swiss Army, who completely ignored me and spent the 1 hour 10 minute journey chatting-up a primary school teacher trying to mark homework.

 

 Phil's Travels - Montreux, Switzerland

 

The morning revealed low clouds and an obscured view of the French southern shore of Lake Geneva. The event, which I was privileged to chair, was a great success, with multiple speakers and delegates from around the world, including a chap with a deep passion for watches. We spent two glasses of wine discussing horlogerie and his crowd-funding participation in a reincarnation of one of the oldest names in the trade, DuBois et Fils. The next day he was going to spend in the Hublot factory before flying home. Who needs T5 luxury retail?

 

The hotel I stayed in should be a grand old lady, but recent refurbishment efforts have left it wanting. The lobby on arrival does not work. The first floor (where reception used to be) is a wasteland of large empty rooms and lounges. The bedrooms lack sockets for the desk, none near the bed and the shower (on a plastic hose) persistently redirected itself to face the gap in the glass doors so as to create my own in-room swimming pool on the bathroom floor.

 

Trip back to London was quick and efficient. I happened to travel back with the conference organiser, from Cyprus, who wanted to visit Winter Wonderland with her boyfriend for his birthday. Given her massage-seat standards, I suspect my Cypriot wife would rather chose somewhere sunny, hot and with a beach, rather than wet and grey London in November.