The Alps In Autumn

Chapter 1

Geneva to Lauterbrunnen

Saturday October 16, 2004

What a pleasure it was to join Marilyn Dolence for this trip to Switzerland and France! It was my first opportunity to travel with someone I knew. It was also my first trip to Europe, and Marilyn's second trip. She had visited her son in Ireland while he worked there.

Marilyn picked me up at 10:15 AM to get a good start to the airport and be assured to be through security in plenty of time. We left her car at an off-airport parking lot, and immediately got on the shuttle bus, which delivered us to the airport promptly. There was no line at all at the international check-in, nor at security. They did stop me and searched my camera bag, and took out the digital camera body. The man searching showed it to the woman operating the x-ray machine. Evidently she had never seen a digital pro camera. We had plenty of time to wait for our flight.

Our plane was a 737 with only a few empty seats. It functions like a shuttle bus between Newark and Cleveland. The flight attendants distributed headsets to plug into the armrests to listen to music or watch and listen to the TV on the seat back ahead of us. There was nothing worth looking at, so I just looked out the window. As we approached New York, we were able to identify the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty. They seemed very small from our altitude. Lunch was served to Marilyn and I first because we had both requested the Low Fat, Low Cholesterol meal, since we are both heart patients. It seemed nicer than what everyone else received.

The lights were dimmed as we began our flight across the Atlantic. I was unable to sleep at all, but Marilyn had a few winks.