(This post follows ‘Driving back to Geneva – Part 1’ posted on 27 Feb 2017)
We started driving southwest towards Lausanne. At some place (we don’t know the location), we stopped at a rest area. There was a big convenience store that also sold hot food in a buffet and a small convenience store.
We headed to the big convenience store to buy food. However, again, no one spoke English. There were no name cards either. We had to take a good look at the food to assure what we were going to put in our plates. For vegetarian food, they had steamed vegetables and french fries. I had that. Vinod had some chicken dish and some fresh fruits from the store. After that, we bought some more chocolates from the small convenience store. Vinod’s excuse for another round of shopping was to spend the remainder francs and euros without having to take them back to the UAE! We resumed our drive.
It was beautiful with pastures on both sides of the road. We reached Geneva city early evening. Now, our mission was to fill the petrol tank (to replace the petrol we used – a standard condition with rental car), return the car and make our way to the airport. We used the GPS navigation system and found a petrol station. However, it was a self-service station.
After a long drive, we were tired to try filling petrol on our own. However, what option did we have?! We asked a kind-looking lady. She replied with a question and with obvious surprise. “How is it that you have a car and you don’t know how to fill petrol?” We replied that we were tourists. She explained to us that we needed to pay at the convenience store beside and fill petrol from the allotted pump. Somehow, Vinod managed all that.
We continued our drive to the airport closely watching our direction; we didn’t want to get lost and risk getting delayed. We had until 6pm to return the car; beyond which we could be charged for a whole day! So, there we were, following the road, one landmark after other.
We passed by the quirkily named ‘Kiss & Fly’ quick drop-off area and then by World Trade Center. After almost missing the correct exit, we managed to make it to the rental car company’s office in car park P51 well before 6pm.
Now, came another dreaded part. We were hoping that the rental company doesn’t discover any scratch or any other issue to charge damages for. However, it was all fine. After driving through hundreds of tunnels and over a hundred viaducts, we had covered 957 kms in 9 days!
We took the free shuttle bus to the airport. When we were approaching the airline counter, I opened my handbag to get our passports. I couldn’t find it. I emptied the handbag. I still couldn’t find it. We panicked. We decided to check our luggage. I started flinging out stuff that we had packed haphazardly in the morning. And there were our blue passports! It was such a relief! Unfortunately, the stuff that was flung out had no better destiny than to be packed in again, haphazardly.
We completed the immigration procedures.There was one final task still pending before leaving Switzerland. We had to buy watches for my sister and brother-in-law. We finally found two nice ones for which we used the final lot of remainder currencies; paying in a combination of currencies.
The flight to Abu Dhabi was boarding. Finally, our beautiful and adventurous 3-country trip came to an end.