|The view from room 301|
Whenever people hear that Stephane is traveling to some exciting location for work, they frequently ask why I'm not going with him. The easy answer is that being in vacation mode while your husband is in work mode isn't conducive to a harmonious trip. Just imagine the reaction that I get when I interrupt Stephane, who is busy answering emails and poring over financial figures, to tell him about all the fun things that I plan to do while we're in X, Y or Z.
Circumstances were different, however, when he invited me to accompany him to Montreux for a conference because it's where we used to live. It's home! Plus, there was the added attraction of spending a couple of nights at the Montreux Palace, a hotel where we wouldn't stay if we were paying for it ourselves. I'm a bargain hunter when it comes to accommodation.
The hotel, which is where Sir Peter Ustinov filmed Lady L starring Sophia Loren and David Niven, also played a major role in my life when I returned to Switzerland after caring for my mother while she was dying from brain cancer. People react to grief in different ways. After months of feeling utterly and completely helpless in the face of death, I lost the joy in being alive. Fortunately, Stephane proposed that we join the health club at the Montreux Palace as a way of bringing me slowly back to myself.
|The treadmill - a good spot for reflection|
Studying the various shades of grey as clouds passed in front of the ancient mountains surrounding the Lake of Geneva, I used to spend hours contemplating the vagaries of life while walking on the treadmill and practicing yoga. Why is there so much suffering in the world? Why do the people we love have to leave us? What's the point of it all? Realizing that I would never find the answers to these timeless questions, I vowed to quietly enjoy the rest of my days in Montreux.
As so often happens, life had different plans. Stephane came home from work one day and told me that he had been offered a job in Paris. Now, I'm "Out and About", a phrase that my mother always used to describe her days away from home. In many ways, I think that Paris is a parting gift from her - exploring the city reminds me that life is good. We should enjoy it. I only wish that you were here...
And how is the hotel? Spectacular, particularly room number 301 because it's a corner room with 2 balconies and a veranda. But when we return for another conference in June, I'm bringing my own pillow because I don't like the overstuffed variety.
Fairmont Le Montreux Palace
Grand Rue 100
|The indoor pool, another place where I spent a lot of time searching for answers.|