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Lisa's birthday and lunch in Thonon
It's Swiss National Day, 1 August, time for celebrations. And (as every year) it's Lisa's birthday as well. We're off to Thonon across the lake in France for still more celebrations; we're looking for paella; and we're going to shop!
may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a
good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught
up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
Congregating from around the Canton de Vaud, we descend upon the lakeside village of Morges on market day -- with the tourist train coursing up and down the thoroughfares -- and we begin our shopping here.
But we've pulled ourselves away from the unbelievable bargains, with a sackful of them, and got to the embarcadère just before the lake boat steams in to fetch us.
So we're all awaiting the arrival of the boat together.
Today we're getting the NaviBus the Coppet, one of the very fast commuter boats partially funded by and named after the lakeside villages. There is another one named the Morges, but here in Morges we're getting the Coppet. Perhaps in Coppet they're getting the Morges.
The Coppet operates at 50km/hr at full tilt. Lovely boat. Elegant color scheme.
We're ready to leave Morges now, and we're ready to get deeply involved in some French shopping and paella.
We're off, passing by the Château de Morges and the faded collection of pleasure boats in the marina.
The Château of Morges is presently a military museum, with ancient armaments and collections of tiny tin soldiers in battle array. All well done, if you like that sort of thing. (That's a red and orange "bouncy castle" in front of the real one.)
Andrea's friend [and, subsequently, wife] Téa holding onto her hat, eyes on Thonon, as Morges recedes
Mere seconds later, it seems, we're across the lake and entering Thonon harbor. The city is up on the hill.
The Navibus Coppet sprints off to bring joy into the lives of still more people.
A castle in the port area of Thonon, perhaps once a customs station or something. We're not lingering -- the shops are up the hill a ways.
Ceremonial photos get underway. Andrea captures his mom's birthday joie de vivre and elegant costume before we get all sweaty hiking up to the town.
No help for it (except for the funiculaire rail line just next door). Téa is way out in the lead.
Photo ops on the esplanade overlooking the lake -- birthday Lisa and Téa
Téa and Andrea
Lisa (squinting, right) receiving birthday good wishes from a passerby
And Happy Swiss National Day!
Dante has promised his mom whatever she'd like for lunch today, and what she'd like is paella . . .
. . . so whilst looking all about for bargains on market day, we're also trying to hunt up a Spanish restaurant or, better, a Catalan one.
Bargains on shoes
-- Hold this for a second while I try this on.
Kebab and ice cream on the right. No paella so far.
-- Where is everybody?
-- We've moved on to the next shop.
A brief pause for a ride on the merry-go-round "Star Stop"
Thonon residents enjoying the day off
A young busker dutifully practicing her violin lessons and picking up some spare change at the same time
A break from the market stalls: we'll stop in and see what bargains God's got for us today.
"All is forgiven." That's a bargain!!
A very old baptismal font. The rest of the place is not terribly interesting.
-- Does this look okay? -- Are you kidding? Does it look "okay"?!!?
More and more shopping bags to carry. And we've left some of them to be held in the shops until we're ready to leave town.
Birthday Lisa and another smooth-tongued lying devil
Pinocchio and two friends. Téa's shirt celebrates Hajdun, a Croatian football team.
Good deals on assorted items.
Still looking but getting very hungry
We found the Spanish restaurant, and we found the paella for Lisa and André. Happy birthday!
At least one un-fan of paella had a Spanish mountain peasant specialty, and Téa had an enormous fish.
We're lumbering back down the hill in a semi-undignified manner to catch the only boat back across the lake, dragging our shopping bags behind us.
Down in the port
Out of the sun as we await our Navibus.
To take us back to Switzerland.
-- some of the photos were taken by Andrea Durham
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 25 September 2009, revised 30 August 2014.