Switzerland – Bec in Bex

Jules told us about the markets last night.

Its about a 10 minute walk away, but there is literally everything you could imagine needing in the one spot.

We decide to get up earlier than holiday waking times permit, and head to the markets to pick up some delicious fresh french goods for breakfast. The markets start down the street, with the stores that are permanently set up on the street even setting up stalls to grab the customers. There is everything from bakers, to flowers, through to the mandatory fresh vegetable stalls as at any market.

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We wander through, and there is everything from monstrous artichokes, to the freshest of fresh tomatoes, to stacks upon stacks of radishes. It kinda reminds us of a smaller version of the Queen Vic Markets, in Melbourne, but just on a slightly smaller scale.

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You can walk in into the building, itself, and smell the freshness in the air. There is the pungent smell of the fresh tomatoes just lingering in the air around us, and the subtle suggestion of the fresh meats nearby, inducing a greater sense of hunger than you were anticipating.

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We are tempted to buy so much more than we needed, but stuck with the plan. Bec has planned to cook up sautéed white asparagus in garlic olive oil, with poached eggs, grated fresh cheese on top cracked pepper, a side of avocado and one freshly cooked, torn baguette. It is as perfect as it sounds.

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We come home, Julien is already up and drawing at the dining table.

This is pretty much how he spends his spare time, and I reckon it is absolutely awesome. He has got this absolutely brilliant playlist playing the background, and it is the exact right way to start the morning. He pretty much starts with nothing really in mind, and just sees where it takes him. We have breakfast with him, and chat over a cup of coffee.

The coffee really isn’t that great, so while we are admiring the pieces of art around his house, I do a little switcheroo with Bec’s cup, so that she doesn’t have to finish it, herself. Without skipping a beat, she just picks up the cup I swapped with her, and goes to take a drink.

I am thinking, “Damn… She’s playing this really cool”.

I would later learn that she had no idea that I had switched the cups yet, and she was actually going to take a sip of the coffee.

Pretty damn good, I reckon.

We sit there, chatting with Julien, and he shows us things like his favourite comic and the things that he admires most in comic artists. He tells us about the guests that he is had, and he is very much the “Don’t really mind what you do”, CS host. On CS, you’ve got the kinda hosts that want to hang out and actually get to know you, or the kind that are putting you up so that you can travel, and don’t mind if you spend time together or not.

Jules is the latter.

He is happy to just chill out and do his thing, as well as hang out with you. Regardless, he is always smiling, and laughing. He even told us about this one time that he had a Korean family come and stay with him. How good is that? He’s got a few stories, and he is all laughs and good times.

Bec and I get the feeling that we should probably look at the time, and we are lucky that we did, because we only had about 10 mins to get our stuff together, and get walking to the bus station.

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We say goodbye to Jules and thank him for such an awesome night in Dijon. We have had a great time with him, and we look forward to coming and seeing more of Burgundy on another trip to France. We end up running to get to the bus on time, and get on with still a few minutes to spare. The bus is semi-full, so we occupy two seats each, so that we can sprawl out a little bit.

Bec drew the short straw, though.

Right in front of her, there was this kid who was playing this game which had some kind of shooting involved. Within the space of about 20 seconds, everybody on the bus knew that his was the kinda game that he was playing. The sounds were more than obnoxious, and there was an abomination of a repetition of the sound of shots being fired and bombs going off.

His mum was definitely the “just give him the game to shut him up” type.

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I pick up my camera, and just as fate would have it, Bec slowly turns to me and blesses me with the most perfect summary of her seat in one look.

I just watched, amused, and plugged my headphones in while I started to blog. Lucky for everyone though, the kid’s mum got a sense of hearing, and turned the volume down. I swapped between sleeping and blogging the whole way through, and every time that I woke, I was stunned by the scenery. Bec took the liberty to manning the camera, and did a damn good job it.

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We arrive in Geneva soon enough, collect our gear, and make our way to the station. We have a good hour or so before our train arrives, so we head down to this big body of water, where there is this fountain shooting water straight up in the air, what looks like at least a good 60m. Its an absolute beast.

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We don’t have much time to spare, so we make our way to the train station.

We have already booked out tickets two nights ago, but there is literally no detail on the only thing that resembles a ticket. On top of that, there is literally no one who can give a rats ass about helping. This is surprising, being that my impression of Swiss is that they are very ordered, polite and a respectable society all round.

So far, we have only met wankers who wont point us in the direction we need to go. Admittedly, it may not be their job and problem, but I would think that there would be a sense of common decency to help someone. This is the first time that we have even had anything like since Bulgaria.  We finally find someone who is helpful, and it becomes apparent that swiss train staff either want to help you with giant smile on their face, or they consider you to be oxygen thieves.

We head to our platform, and jump on our train.

The train skirts around the edge of the lake, showcasing the best views I have seen in years. I mean, we have seen Icelandic mountains, the Scottish Highlands, Bulgarian Mountain Ranges, but there is a real majesty to these swiss mountains that the others just don’t have, and I can’t explain why.

It is just mesmerising.

People are hopping on and off at stations left right and centre, and then the coolest thing ever happens. These two dues hop on the train, and one of them is holding a miniature cardboard guitar. Bec turns to me and says “Oh, those guys look like Miguel and Tulio from…” her jaw drops, and she gasps.

“Billy! They are Miguel and Tulio from The Road To Eldorado!”
“Ha! True!”

These guys had nailed their outfit, and whatever party there were going to, they were going to win best dressed. Being a disney kid, Bec is keen as a bean to get a photo with them, so at the next stop, where they hop off, we leave our gear for a moment with the other passenger, and run off the train for about 5 seconds to get a photo with them.

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When asked for a photo, Tulio said “Oh finally, someone knows who we are!”, but the real question, how could you not know who they are?

We hop back on the train and Bec is as happy as you can get.

About half an hour later, we arrive in Bex, which is pronounced more like “Beh”, than Bex. We have no idea where to go, or how to interpret the tram system here, and then like a beacon of hope, this random chick just comes up to us and helps us out, and shows us how to get to the exact place we need to get to. She even goes and asks the tram driver in French for us, just to be sure.

She is a legend.

The sour taste of the useless staff in Geneva is slowly wearing off.

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We get off the tram, and have to hike this abomination of a hill to get to Emilie & Damien’s place. These guys have got us staying with them for about a week, and the deal is that we give them 4 hours work, and the’ll feed us and house us, then the rest of the day is ours to do with what we will.

Not a bad deal at all.

For those who haven’t heard of HelpX, or Wooffing, thats how it works.

You work, and the hosts look after you. Its a pretty decent trade off.

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The road finally comes to an end, and we knock the door, unsure of what to expect on the other side. We hear a little shrill of excitement from what is obviously a young child, and Bec and I look at each other with a smile, knowing that this is going to be fun, if they’ve got a little tacker running around in the home

The door opens, and we are greeted with big hugs and three kisses each.

Get this.

We went to Italy, and that is just one kiss, then to France, which is two, and now we are in Switzerland, and we are throwing kisses around they’re going out of fashion. I stop at two, and Emilie and Damien must have learnt that the three kiss rule isn’t that common around the rest of the world, so they graciously inform us that there is more of this to come.

We head down stairs with Damien, and drop our stuff into our room, cleanse our souls in the shower, and put on the least dirty clothes that we have in our possession.

Currently, that is only one and a half day’s use.

That’s pretty much mint condition, as far as I am concerned.

We head up stairs, and dinner isn’t that far off being ready. Their little girl, Clelie,who is nearly two really isn’t digging me. She’s chill with hanging out with Bec, but even Damien mentions that maybe it is the beard.

Not quite sure, to be honest, but I roll with it.

I know that we’ll be good mates by the time we are done with our time here.

We wrap up the evening by hanging out with Damien & Emilie, chatting about each other’s travels and all the crazy things we’ve seen. For instance, they got to see three snakes during their time in Australia. I know that most Australians don’t get to see that many snakes.

We enjoy the evening, and make our way to bed.

We’re having an Easter breakfast with the guys tomorrow, and then getting stuck into some work after that, so we don’t wanna be too tired.

But…

I stayed up till 3am blogging.

Wtf…

Come back for the next story,

Billy

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