So my track record is forever tarnished. I was unable to post a blog every day. To be honest I'm surprised I lasted this long, given my typical persistence and tendency to get bored of things easily. I do have a fairly reasonable excuse, though: we were at the Montreux Jazz Festival seeing Bob Dylan.
So, two days ago Scott and Dad finally got in at about 8:30pm, Scott having spent nine hours on a train after forgetting the tickets and going back, and Dad having driven up from Geneva. We had a lovely dinner at a fancy hotel restaurant overlooking the amazing Lake Geneva, which itself is ringed by Alps. The food and wine was pretty lovely, the company invigorating, and the service enjoyably bad. One waiter filled up a glass of red wine with a completely different wine (first world problem), while the table next to us had apparently been waiting five hours for their meal.
Yesterday we took the car and wound our way up tiny roads through the Swiss Alps. You know how you hear the phrase and it sounds rather lovely but doesn't quite register? Well, when you're in it, all you can do is sigh rather frustratedly in disbelief at yet another impossibly idyllic utopia out your window and cross your fingers for a rubbish dump or toxic waste plant to make things a bit fairer for the rest of us. It's like someone has photoshopped the background in. It's like they made a decoupage of every perfect postcard you've ever seen and rendered it in real time. It's like God asked a child to draw the biggest, bestest mountains they could imagine, and then put grass everywhere, and they added a little wooden house and a couple of cows too for good measure, and then God got bored and couldn't be arsed fixing up the bits that weren't realistic before handing the blueprints over to the engineers.
I mean, seriously, fuck you Switzerland.
After another glass of vino on another ridiculous panorama in the warm afternoon sunlight, we wound our way back to Montreux to prepare for the night. A quick, shitty Italian meal later we were queueing to get into the auditorium. The original plan had been Radiohead in Florence, with Scott and Dad visiting there too, and then in exchange we would see Dylan, of whom Scott is a huge fan. Despite the lack of counterpoint, the concert was enjoyable, with a highlight being All Along the Watchtower, mostly because it made me wonder who in the crowd was a Cylon drawn their for activation. I knew that his voice these days was bad, but sadly his vaguely tuneful spitting of the words was not as impressive as the album versions Scott had been showing us in preparation. Still, an icon, and one perhaps there won't be many more opportunities to see.
Today Scott left early to get to work (it is apparently a Monday, not that that means much to us), and Dad had to leave through Zurich, so we went on a road trip. Winding our way through the Alps, past glacial lakes, tiny wooden villages and with new Edens every few minutes, it was the most surreal and astounding road drive I think we've ever done. In a way it may have been a blessing that we had a deadline to reach Zurich by, because if we'd had the time to slowly wind up to the mountaintops and take in the views I'm pretty sure we may never have left.
Now Sam and I, alone again, are rattling our way across to Basel by train. Scott is putting us up for a few nights, and we'll have another couple of nice beds and, hopefully, my bag waiting for us. I did realise the other day that there were a couple of things in there that we'd really prefer to have, namely the JR Rail pass for Japan that saves us hundred of dollars in rail fares and is only available outside Japan, and the Studio Ghibli museum ticket. Not to mention spare credit cards etc. Still not an insurmountable loss, but more frustrating than a lack of clothes.
No clothes, no Radiohead, no mountain vistas, no fancy dinners, no new faces, no power chargers, no Dylan vocals. It's funny the way you start to miss things when they're taken away regardless of whether you've had them for five years or five minutes.