Helen Findlay

My adventures in Middle Europe and The Colonies. This blog contains my own views and opinions and does not represent those of my employers, or any other organisation with which I am involved. Remember, just because it isn't Singletrackworld, doesn't mean it isn't shite !

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Leith Hill, Mrs Kieren, Swiss Dance Parties and France

Right - have found an English keyboard - will make more sense now.

Have been in Morzine a few days now, have settled into my campsite. I was a day late, but the charming Monsieur Maxim saved me a lovely spot, right on the edge of the terrace, with a great view out over the mountains. Haven't really communicated with my neighbours yet, but they have a wee white dog that appears to be called "w**ker" which makes me smile when I wake up each morning and hear them calling on it.

Had a days mountain biking in Surrey before I left, and I have to say I was somewhat underwhelmed by Leith Hill. The map I had wasn't brilliant, so I headed for what the Bike Shop Guy described as the "best trail in Surrey". Mucho disappointment. Flowed nicely but lacked any kind of technical challenge. No wonder they all flood up to Glentress.

Went to visit Kieren's mum Christine in Dorking for a cup of tea on my way back. A lovely woman, didn't look nearly old enough to be Kieren's mum. She worried me a bit, was concerned about me camping on my own, but I am too knackered from either driving or riding all day so far to feel nervous, and the campsite is totally full.

The most bizarre experience so far of my holiday has been the Street Dance Party in Zurich. The main street of Zurich runs along the river Lim, and was packed with I swear close to a million German speaking teenagers in the most terrible fashions I have ever seen ! It seems the 80's are back with a vengeance in the German speaking world - or more likely - they never went away. Bright colors as far as you could see, tragic tragic bogan mullet haircuts, on the women to. The big fashion (for boys AND girls) is to wear a short kilt style skirt, then some trousers that start at the knee and flare out over your shoes, leaving the knee to thigh area bare. I am hoping and praying that this is just some fringe Swiss teenager fad, and not something that will eventually catch on and we will all be wearing it. (the horror)

Anyways, lots of loud music, lots of drugs, lots of people snogging, usual street party form. Wandered about a bit with Liz and Kaium, then went for a drink in Spanish bar with some friends of theirs Blos(American) and Magdalena (Polish). Finished up at B & M's flat drinking some vodka that tasted like grass. They didn't seem to be offended that I wasn't drinking it. Staggered back to L & K's flat at about 3-4ish, so bit of a slow start the next day.

Sunday morning went for a wander around Zurich (s0me of the party-goers were still at it) through "Needle Park" then took a boat trip around Lake Zurich. Train back to Basle.

Just a few thoughts about France:
1. Who exactly is meant to "Cedez Le Passage" ? It appears only to apply to foreigners and people on bikes.
2. What is the word for: A big coffee, with some milk on the side.
3. France is very like Switzerland, but less cheesy.

And no doubt a few more but running out of time now...