Day 14 - 2013 Europe Trip - Last day of the trip - France and a visit to CERN

10:00 AM AirplaneFoodCritic 0 Comments

I got up at the usual time to find a miserable bf. He really can not sleep with any light at all. This room had tons of light, too. He decided to skip breakfast so I, once again, went alone. I was sleepy and did not know what I was doing. The waitress asked what I wanted and I said tea. She was a little put off and asked what kind, like black, green....? I said black was fine and found a place to sit after wandering around a little searching for a buffet that didn't exist. The lady finally saw my room key and realized what was going on.

This wins for cutest breakfast of the trip!
She brought me the sweetest breakfast. It was a cute big tray with cows all over it. On the tray were two mini fondue pots, one with butter and cherry jam, the other with berry yogurt. In the center of the tray was a plate of a bunch of cheeses in a starburst pattern. In the center of that was some cold bacon with a Swiss flag stabbed in the middle. I also got a basket of sliced bread that I ate in entirety. I had orange juice and the tea to finish off a wonderful breakfast.

When I returned to the room, I found the bf groggily awake. We packed up and headed out. I had paid for the hotel the day prior so I just returned the key. The lady came running after me. I did not know that breakfast needed to be paid for. Twelve dollars later, we were in the car, ready to drive the hour to Geneva to tour the CERN campus.
On the steps of CERN!
We missed the only guided tour of the day which was at 10:30 am. It was alright though since there is plenty to see for free. We spent a good three hours looking at displays, interacting with experiments and watching videos. I found a few cute things to buy in the shop. I bought us both little CERN pins for our German hats and I got myself a cute pink top that shows a collision array.
In the CERN collider tunnel.
It was lots of fun and TONS of information. There were two campuses to look at, both with plenty of hands on things to do. One had a room of audio answering scientific questions like parallel universes and dimensions. It also had a room where you can recreate breakthrough experiments done in the past. For example, you can prove that electrons have a negative charge. They even have a sign that says you are welcome to as the reception for paper and pencil to do your equations. Oh boy! Get out of my way! No, I didn't do the calculations, but I did turn lots of dials. The other venue was still under construction and was a building shaped like a huge wooden sphere.
More CERN stuff to see.
It was dark as we entered. The room was playing soothing, futuristic music and was filled with white orbs of varying sizes. Inside some were original pieces of equipment like the first internet router or modem or something. Then, some orbs were chairs. Other orbs were interactive with projections of images on them that you could touch and manipulate.  We grabbed a snack as we left at around three pm and then drove the fourth five minutes to Yvoire, France, where we would stay the night.
The view from our little hotel room balcony in Yvoire.
Yvoire is a super darling medieval town with, once again, no cars allowed. We found great handicap parking and walked down the the edge of a massive, beautiful lake. The air smelled of cool marine air as it brushed across our overheated cheeks. We wound through very old stone buildings, down cobbled stone streets and to The Hotel Du Port. What a beauty this place is!
Our hotel, Hotel du Port.
We checked in and got room three. It has french doors that open to a carpeted patio and a table an chairs. The cool, perfumed air wafted into the room. It was well welcome too, as the temperature was upwards of 26°C and we needed a cool down. I ordered a bottle of wine to be sent to our room for us to enjoy as we took on the daunting task of packing up all our gifts. A long, elegant, blue bottle was delivered in an ice filled champagne bucket. I was not expecting such a lovely bottle. I wish I could have kept it but not so much after I glanced over to the bed that was covered with things we picked up in the last two weeks. We sat on the patio, held hands, drank wine and really enjoyed ourselves for a little bit. After one glass we tackled the seemingly impossible task. I had the foresight to pack a rolled up duffle bag. I packed the duffle with all our fragile objects. It is kind of fun to go over our gifts one more time. We saw our hand blown vases, rock salt candle holder from the salt mines, my awesome tracht style top, and plenty of gifts for friends and family. It all went surprisingly smooth. The bf bought loads and loads of chocolate for everyone he knows and I am sad to say that it had ALL melted in the car. He managed to save almost  all of it. He found a cool corner of the room and tried to flatten it out. I sure hope it turns out OK because chocolate, although abundant here, is really expensive! We out our dirty clothes in our regular bags that we plan to check at the airport and we put together our airplane outfits. I was pleased at the results but I was way too hot. We went outside and took a stroll, hand in hand, along the water's edge. We looked at some restaurant menus along the way but our hotel still looked the best and, luckily, we had half board again, so dinner at the hotel was included.
The medieval town of Yvoire.
We returned to the hotel for another glass of wine and a rest. The hotel provided some bath crystals for free so I took a semi cool bath. The crystals smelled wonderful and made me feel super soft. I wrapped myself in one of the provided big, white, fluffy robes and sat on the patio with the bf as the sun began to lower.
The view from our dinner spot.

We were getting a little sleepy so we thought it would be a good idea to fill our bellies and get some good rest. Our flight tomorrow is from Geneva, 45 minutes away at 6:45am. Gross, I know! I was super disappointed because I read that they are happy to serve guests a private breakfast on the balcony. We were going to have to miss that but we will return for sure. We were seated along the railing so we had an unobstructed view across the lake. The sun was blazing but it didn't take too long to dip below some puffy clouds giving my eyes a rest. The restaurant was very nice, fancy, even, like the rest of the hotel. We learned from Triberg to tell the restaurant that one of us is a vegetarian before to avoid any trouble. The waitress came to our table to discuss the vegetarian options which was really nice. He had some really good options and chose really yummy things I was almost jealous of. His first course was an asparagus mold that was creamy, a little foamy and cold. It was a little better, but not that much, than my cold white fish terrine with ratatouille. I ordered a Campari to start then a half bottle of local Viognier that went perfectly with the fish meal.
I got the favorite meal of the restaurant. So decadent, so good.
We noticed that everyone around us were ordering one particular meal so I was super excited to see that is what I got for my main course. I it obviously is popular. And for good reason! It was little strips of battered and fried white fish. It came with a side of fries. This alone would have been divine as the fries were perfect and the fish was so flavorful and the batter so light and balanced BUT lest we forget we are in France. The sauce that accompanied the dish defies all nature. It was both creamy-buttery and fresh-citrusy at the same time. How they did that and kept it smooth, I do not know. Any attempt I could ever make would end up in sour, runny curdles. Not the French. I think it is in their DNA or something. At first, I gently drizzled the butter delight over the fish. Then there was the occasional fork load dunk. Once I was down to a sauce-heavy misproportioned of food I went a little bonkers. I should never be given a small gravy boat, whatever the size. In the wrong hands those can be lethal and I am the wrong hands. I was eating french fry-butter soup by the end of my meal. No regrets though. I may have sweated a little butter the next day at the airport but that is a small price to pay for what my taste buds did tonight.
Veggie mousse, chilled to perfection.
Vegetable selection.
The bf? Oh he had only the most incredible array of salads placed in petal shapes around a center of fresh grilled vegetables. I can only recall a couple as I could not see across the table through the haze of butter but there was a lentil salad and a quinoa one. I'm sorry, I was blinded by sauce and can not remember many events after I was served. I do know that he was very pleased. For dessert the bf got a divine, perfectly crisped creme brulee. I ordered a meringue with a ball of blueberry sorbet and a ball of something, I forget, all covered in fresh cream. It was so good, I am forever shamed that I forget what the other boule was. Guess I have to go back!
Goodnight, Yvoire, A bientot!

We waddled up to our room. The sun, by this time was almost fully set so that it cast a deep amber hue across the water and the clouds had a dusting of pink. I took lots of photos as the the colors rapidly changed before our eyes. I had saved a glass each of the wine from earlier. We enjoyed one more romantic moment on our balcony before we retired to the bed. We set the trusty Xoom up and watched Dr. Katz episodes until I feel asleep.

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