2300: board a bus at the plaza de armas in sevilla. destination: madrid.
2400: the bus smells of BO and a strange man behind us keeps sucking air through his teeth,
making the world´s most disgusting noise. also, he has gotten up to smoke in the bathroom four times already. it´s only been an hour. his lungs must literally be black.
0455: awake to the bus finally arriving in madrid. estacion de sur. my god, it´s cold here.
0515: we sit and wait for the metro to open. people in this country must not be able to read. there are "fumar prohibido/no smoking" signs everywhere. everyone is smoking. it still smells like BO.
0600: the metro opens. we wander in, clueless as to our next step.
0615: we still can´t figure out what to do. we have purchased tickets from the machine. they don´t work. a bag lady gets through and holds the gate open for us.
0700: we arrive at barajas airport, madrid. walk for what literally must have been hours to get to our gate. this airport is unnecessarily large.
0830: board plane. destination: switzerland.
1045: step off plane in geneva, switzerland. it´s raining. it´s very cold. realize that i should have gotten that coat yesterday.
1115: try to figure out the train. we don´t speak french. are trying to put 50 swiss francs in the machine when a lovely little british man says, "come with me, i´ll help you." he uses his card to buy us tickets and we pay him back. he gets us to our platform and we make it to the city center. my love of the elderly is reaffirmed.
1245: arrive at saint pierre´s cathedral. the place where john calvin preached some of his most important sermons.
1330: after hundreds of steps, arrive at the top of the north tower. the view is worth it. lac lémac, nestled in the midst of mountains and a quaint city, looks haunting in the cold swiss rain. the mountains are covered by clouds so close it seems as though you could reach out and touch them.
1700: after some more exploring of the city, we check into our hostel. we´re all sick.
2045: wake up from our naps, shaking with cold, to find that the window has been left open. shower. bed.
0245: awake in a cold sweat. my face is radiating heat, but the rest of my body is shaking with cold. i have a fever.
0400: awake wanting to rip my nine layers of clothing off for fear of combustion. i literally might catch on fire. my fever is breaking.
0830: awake, feeling somewhat better, but not 100%. go to breakfast and meet an old man from holland, who is fascinated by the fact that we´re american.
0930: the sun is shining! what a gorgeous day. more mountains are visible. we sit by lac lémac and take in the incredible surroundings.
1100: due to my instincts and savvy map reading skills, i get us to plan de planplains flea market. we browse for hours. we still don´t speak french, but it seems that most of the natives speak english, or spanish at the very least.
1330: still not feeling so hot. we decide to head to the country.
1400: catch a bus to mont saléve. we are determined to see some alps.
1500: ride the cable car to the top. a sliver of apls looms in the background.
1501: we decide to hike. my face is beginning to radiate again. onset of fever number 2. and i´m hiking a mountain.
1545: a clearing in the trees. the view literally takes my breath away.
1600: we decide to keep going for a better view.
1615: thank god we did. we walked right into a painting from a fairy tale book. i break into a little sound of music, as i feel it is only appropriate. we sit, enjoy the stunning view, and eat swiss chocolate. the air is fresh and crisp and there is no BO, no moped exhaust, no dog poop. only pure air. i feel like i might hurl, but it´s worth it.
1800: after exploring the town of saléve, also story book worthy, we head back to geneva.
1900: search desperately for cheap food. every café window we pass has a sign that says "french, french, french, blah, blah, blah...all for only 19 swiss fracs!" as though that´s a good deal. and these are the cheap places.
1945: finally find paninis for 8 CHF. not the best price, but at this point i literally don´t care. my fever is raging. i think my head might explode.
2100: walk back to the lake to see the jet de´eau lit up at night. it´s a fountain that shoots straight into the air at 124 mph. it´s pretty impressive.
0315: time to get up. our taxi comes at 0400.
0400: try to speak spanish to the taxi driver, praying that he´s actually taking us to the airport. i´m too tired to care either way.
0430: arrive at the airport to find out that our flight doesn´t actually leave at 0615, but at 0730 instead. we´re there at least an hour earlier than we need to be.
0730: repeat day one in reverse order, only this time without the metro issues.
2045: arrive to my house to find my señora cooking tortillas de españa. god bless this woman.
2400: bed, finally. and i´m no longer sick.
that´s right. i saw the alps.