Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 15 - La Vallee Village, France (2011)

Our last day in Paris (not technically out of France though since we will be staying in a hotel somewhere south of Lake Geneve which is still a part of France). Since it was somehow on the way to our hotel, we passed by the famous outlet shop - La Vallee Village. 

we got this brochure from Disney Village the previous night

We went around the area, window shopping and hoped to get a good buy, while the kids enjoyed the playground. Hours have passed, dozens of shops checked out, browsed through hundreds of products. At the end of the day, I didn't go home with anything hahaha. They were still too expensive for me, I guess. Well, there is always a next time.

We headed back to the road, on our long drive to our accommodation near Lake Geneva but still in French territory.

our LONG drive to our accommodation in Thonon-Les-Bains

clear blue skies... clear motorway as well...

our travel companions in the other car....

passed by a wind turbine somewhere in France

Ira still in a good (awake) mood

we're heading to Geneve. That makes it 250 more kilometers to go. That's a good percentage of the total 600-so-kms to Thonon-les-Bains, France.

While researching, we found out that they charge high for using the h-way. So we decided we would try to take the inner route and probably discover something interesting. Unfortunately, there was a parade of sorts on the inner road that we took. And it seemed that they wouldn't be clearing the streets anytime soon. We ended up going back to the main h-way (which was a short drive from where we took off) and paid a little over 10 euros for it. Bummer!

A long drive it was, past 10 pm and we were still on the road. Even with our GPS we think we're lost! We had a very late dinner (11pm) at a diner somewhere along the borders of Switzerland and France. The diner had tacos so we settled for it. Unfortunately, the person in the diner only spoke little English. Good thing his friend, who stopped by for a visit, knew how to speak in English. He became our interpreter. He also gave us some driving tips in Switzerland. Nice guy, he was.

After our late dinner, we continued our drive. The later it was in the night, the farther the place it seemed. We drove past Geneva. That was quick! The headed up to the mountains again. It was pitch dark. No one else was on the road but us (of course, it was already 1 am!). Then the GPS finally said, "You have reached your destination". We stopped, looked around, and nowhere in sight was an accommodation. We drove around the area again, reset the GPS, and for the second time, stopped at the same place which looked like an abandoned house. We thought the spirits maybe playing tricks on us. So for the last time, we drove around, ever so slowly, and finally, for real, we reached our accommodation. It was almost 2am. The house was dark. We were worried everyone's already asleep and we would be sleeping in the cars. We knocked on the front door. Then on the back door. After 10mins, someone from the inside turned on the lights and voila! the owner of the house was awakened. She was already wearing her night gown but was still perky and smiling to us. Thank goodness she was in a good mood. So we apologized for being soooo late, got our keys and headed to our respective rooms on the second floor, with luggage bags in tow. We were too tired to think of anything else.

At last, we were home. That was our home for the next 2 days.

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