After the graduation we had planned on spending the rest of our Christmas holidays in Courchevel to enjoy some skiing in the Alps!
For some reason instead of driving from Fontainebleau to Courchevel (a relatively easy, but long 6 hour drive), we had booked flights to Geneva via Zurich. Pick up the rental vans in Geneva, a quick 2 hour drive to Courchevel, and we're there! Easy, right? What could possibly go wrong?
The same cab driver who picked us up from Charles de Gaul the week before met us at 6 in the morning outside our hotel in the same van he had driven before...except now we had two more people (Nat & Jeremy) plus luggage. Seven adults plus driver and two kids with luggage in an 8 seater van is...a tight squeeze! The kids ended up on our laps, and everybody had luggage piled on top of them. It was a relief to get to the airport and be able to move again!
Remember that vicious snowstorm that crippled the Frankfurt airport? Yeah, most of Europe was still getting snow and airports were struggling to cope and our flight from Paris to Zurich was a bit late taking off as a result. When we arrived in Zurich we were informated that our flight to Geneva had been cancelled, and all the of the other flights that day were full. The very helpful Swiss Air agent offered to put us on a train to Geneva instead. No problem, we said, let's just get our luggage first. It's about 1pm at this point.
And so began the Great Waiting.
We were instructed to head on down to the luggage pickup area and await our luggage at a special carousel reserved just for
suckers redirected luggage.
An hour or so later with none of our luggage in sight (but plenty of other folks' luggage stacked up along the walls...not a good sign!), further inquiries to the luggage folks lead us to believe that maybe our luggage got sent to Geneva without us. No wait, it's still here. Oh, now we don't know where it is at all...it must be lost along with the tens of thousands of other pieces we haven't dealt with in the back.
The good side to all this is that the two boys were having a blast. No, really.
Something I never realized before was that the luggage claim area is mostly deserted. The time between when flights arrive offers two young boys a giant playground all to themselves: all kinds of interesting things to climb on and lots of room to run around and throw toys.
At around 5pm we finally give up and decide to take the train to Geneva. I think the boys were kind of sad when we finally left! However, their mood quickly improved with the discovery of a playground on the train!.
Three hours later, we're in Geneva, at the airport, and our luggage is waiting for us! We wonder how long it's been there...probably all day :P
Picking up the rental vans was relatively painless, and the drive to Courchevel uneventful. It was pouring rain for much of the drive though, which didn't bode well for skiing. And at this point the frantic pace of the past few days really caught up with us, several of us were sick now with colds or fever.