July 11, 2007

Road Trip to Megeve

My London friend Lucrecia spends about 6 weeks at her vacation home in Megeve (France, near Geneva) in the summer. She invited me to drive with her to Megeve and then stay to see the sights. I had never travelled on the car ferry from Dover to Calais, so this was an adventure. We stopped in the Champagne region for the night. My room in Le Val Moret was spacious with a nice view. We had a fantastic meal (fresh fish) in the hotel restaurant.

We were tempted to visit some neighboring champagne caves but decided to drive straight to Megeve. We bought groceries / printer ink cartridges at the local Carrefour and ate a light meal at the adjacent Cresendo restaurant. We reached "home" in time to see the town a bit and relax on the balcony.

The next day, we went on a long hike. We started a long ascent in an area known as the Calvaire which has a dozen religious buildings of various sizes. We reached a telecabine that took us up to Le Mont D'Arbois. We enjoyed a very nice lunch on the terrace and then started our hike to the Bettex telecabine. The views of Mount Blanc were incredible and the wildflowers were at their prime. Two telecabine rides later we were back at the Calvaire. I got quite a bit of sunburn that day and our legs were sore for three full days. We rewarded ourselves with a fabulous dinner at Le Cintra in town.

The next day it was raining when we went to Annecy Lake. We ate a charcroute lunch under an awning and walked around the pretty town.

The next day, we drove through the Mount Blanc tunnel to Couermayeur in Italy. We had the requisite pasta & pizza and then explored the town. Mount Blanc was very much a presence but we did not think the Italian side was as pretty as the French side. I admired the slate roofs and the loyal dog statue.

The next day we rested, or at least I rested. Lucrecia had to unpack for the summer and get ready for the next series of guests. You can see Mount Blanc from her home and I could watch paragliders on other mountains. Lucrecia's friend Ann arrived early evening and we walked to dinner in the hotel Ferme de Marie. Here the specialty was lamb, in very generous portions.

On my last day, we went to Yvoire on Lac Leman and had the most wonderful perch I have ever tasted. The lake was beautiful and the town was charming. Lucrecia and Ann drove me to the Geneva airport and assisted me through check-in on my maiden voyage on Easy Jet. Then, Lucrecia was off to Arrivals to pick up her next guest.

July 05, 2007

KCWC Henley Regatta from Phyllis Court Club

I forgot to take a photo of the beautiful Phyllis Court Club House itself. We were just across the river from the Steward's enclosure and had a great view of the races and other boats travelling up and down the Thames. We enjoyed coffee, then lunch, watched the rowing regatta, and later enjoyed a cream tea. Georgetown beat Dartmouth, and my two neighborbood clubs (Putney Town and Mortlake) also were defeated. The American teams did fairly well on this first racing day which also happened to be our Independence Day!

July 03, 2007

Lords County Cricket - Middlesex vs. Surrey

Kris's work colleague organised an after-work County Cricket outing at the historic Lord's Cricket Ground (near St John's Wood tube station). The object that looks like a propane bullet in the sky is the media centre. It was a stormy evening, and we spent the pre-match huddled under the champagne bar consuming bottles of £55 champagne. The weather cleared and we took our seats. The ground and pitch covers were removed and play began. It shortly began to pour, the game suspended, and the pitch covered. Eventually the rain stopped, an abbreviated game resumed, and Middlesex won. Note: I witnessed not one, but two wickets felled.