Greetings from Lyon where I’m launching a long French vacation for the fifth year in a row.
I left Sunday night out of Newark on a non-stop to Geneva with the home team airline. Six hours and 47 minutes in the air. As always seems to be the case, I sat next to the sick guy. He sniffled, sneezed and coughed almost the entire flight.
The approach to Geneva on descent was spectacular. I had a window – right side. The sun peeked over the Alps as the 767-300 dropped below 10-thousand feet. Jagged snow-capped mountains looked and felt menacing as we neared them but then we glided softly into a gorgeous valley.
A bus greeted us planeside for a short ride to a Swiss customs counter. Agents swiftly processed inbound pax without much interference.
At baggage claim, ticket machines spit out free public transit tickets good for 80 minutes anywhere in Geneva. The train connecting the airport to the main train station in the city (Geneve-Cornavin) is frequent and just a ten-minute ride.
From there, you can catch trains all over Switzerland, France and beyond. The ease of both the airport and public transit experience would make Geneva a great airport to go into for any traveler who wants to launch a Euro vacation from the center of the continent.
I had a couple hours to kill in Geneva so I bought a quiche and coffee and watched the morning rush go by.
About an hour before my 1122 AM departure to Lyon, I saw on the information board that the train had been cancelled. I went up to the French departure gate and two Swiss rail employees were informing those impacted by the cancellation that we could reroute through Chambéry. The woman I spoke to said the tracks connecting Geneva with Lyon had been shut down for the day. She was very helpful and I ended up only losing a couple hours from the service change.
I’m staying at a budget hotel near the main Lyon train station. The room is tiny but quiet and clean.
I spoke to my parents from Newark airport about 90 minutes before my flight left. They were babysitting my youngest brother’s two daughters in suburban Chicago. My Mom put my eldest niece on the line. She spoke a few words of French. There was a perfectly pronounced “Bonjour” and a “Bon Voyage!”
I laughed and said: “Merci beaucoup!”
“What’s that mean?” my niece said.