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Packed and settled up, we set off for the last time to the city of Geneva, this time in a taxi to avoid injury and undue strain in handling the luggage.  Once in town, our first stop was the locker hall in the train station, where we stashed the large suitcases, minus what we intended to mail home.  The next stop was the post office, whence we sent a number of items we didn't want to carry or break on the way home.  When those chores were finished, we had one more small errand to run: Christopher had asked for cheese to be brought home for him.  We found a little fromagèrie where the shopkeeper was very kind in selling us just a shaving of an assortment of cheeses for him to taste.  Included in the mix were Appenzeller, Brie, Chèvre, and Marechal, among others--but no Swiss!

For the remainder of our time, we sauntered around the rest of the center city, visited Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, stopped in at an antiquarian bookseller where we found a copy of an old Genevan Psalter, and mused on the fact that "Purgatory Street" was only blocks downhill from the cathedral.  (Yes, really!)

C. H. Dufour, hero of Geneva, with an anonymous cellist.

The piazza upstairs from the train station.

This is the hill one climbs to get to "old city" Geneva.

This plaque honors a housewife who, in 1632, helped defend Geneva by pouring hot soup over the heads of her attackers.  Her children went hungry that evening, but at least they were free.

This statute commemorates Geneva's joining the Swiss federation.  It stands opposite the flower clock and the English Garden near the waterfront.

Monument Brunswick

View of the lake from
Terrasse Agrippa d'Aubigné near St. Peter's cathedral.


So this is why cheese smells funky!

Nave of Holy Trinity Anglican church

8 Rue Guillame Farel: home of the Company of Preachers.  (With a doff of the hat to Handel and his chorus in Messiah)

Having taken our last look around and gotten a bite of lunch, it was time to scoot toward the train station, collect our belongings, and go through customs.  While we were emptying the lockers that held our possessions, we were interrupted by a person who appeared to be less than functionally intelligent, asking for help several times as to how to work the lockers and how much it would cost to rent one.  Our attention thus diverted, his confederate made off with one of our bags: the one containing my laptop computer and all the backup drives I had assiduously kept, including every file for this web site and all the notes and preparatory files I had for my sabbatical projects.  I haven't even begun to calculate the loss of personal and archive materials.

So join me in praying for the reclamation of these two souls who find it necessary to steal for a living, and if you happen to be in Geneva, keep a lookout for a seven year old blue Toshiba Satellite laptop with a U. S. three prong plug and a power transformer that is frayed and held together with electrical tape. There is a STUFFBAK reward label just below the screen.  I don't really care if I get the machine back, I just want the information on it; same with the seven thumb drives, strung together on a faux gold chain. They contain literally years of unique work, precious to me, but worthless to most others.  Whatever other items were in the sack are relatively unimportant.

Well, after that blow, "moments from a clean getaway", as James said, I had no heart to do anything but wait for customs to open, get on the train, and endure the hours it would take to finish the journey.  So that is what we did.

The train that would whisk us away from Switzerland.  Our seats were in the very last car, not even visible in this scene.

Our late evening arrival in Roissy-en-France was unremarkable, except that the first driver we hired at the Gare de Lyon did not know how to get "from here to there", and so asked a colleague to take us instead.  After the barbarity of the locker hall incident, I was heartened by his compassion and gave him a generous tip to show some fellow-feeling and gratitude.

Next day: 

This page was last edited on November 08, 2010
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