A few hours’ drive from Grasse we realized we’d be arriving late to our hotel in Annecy, the P’tit Dej, (www.Samhotel.com). It was one of only two that had been pre-arranged and pre-paid before our departure from Salt Lake City. As Keith navigated tortuous mountain paths, I called to advise them of our timing, since our confirmation said there was no check-in after ten o’clock. We discovered to our chagrin they were true to their word. There was nothing left to do but keep driving as far as we could until we located a different place to sleep.
At eleven-thirty we found a hotel in Claix, south of Grenoble, part of the “Logis” chain. After explaining what had happened with our other reservation, the front desk clerk proudly announced the Logis establishments were open 24-7. We grabbed bread, cheese, bottled water and protein powder from our car for dinner, and our host provided ice which we put to use with pastis, a licorice-flavored aperitif we’d purchased from our friend in Le Castellet. Soon after we collapsed into bed.
In the late morning we had packed up and were looking for a spot to have coffee. Finding a cute bistro, I ordered a cappucino and a croque monsieur, my go-to ham and cheesey comfort lunch. The problem was our server didn’t comprehend the combo. I either had to have a coffee and cookie, or a sandwich and a glass of wine. We compromised: I had everything.
On our way to Switzerland, we passed through the center of Geneva without stopping, our goal being to have an early dinner in Bern and then continue on for several hours before stopping for the night. We asked a local if the parking spot we’d found on the street was a legal one. It was a tow-away zone, but he directed us to both a parking garage and a restaurant serving authentic Swiss fare, where we (including Carson) shared a bratwurst plate. (Froh Sinn! Münstergasse 54 3011 Bern Tel: 031 311 37 68 www.froh-sinn.ch)
Heading back to the garage, we admired the architecture, statues, a church, and a fountain. We’d return to Bern in a heartbeat.
Perhaps we should have just stayed there. Because it wasn’t fun when we were stopped a few hours later by the Swiss police …