A fortnight in Europe
Copyright Vladimir Kagan, October 25, 2014
The ubiquitous water fountain on Lake Geneva
I love to travel -- hate to fly … but fly I must. To make it more tolerable and assure that I arrive in one piece: luggage, computers, electronic paraphernalia and far, far too much clothing…I need a keeper… This makes it a perks for my kids … how often do you get to bond with your adult children for a fortnight?
Jessica and me at the vernissage
This time the lucky straw was drawn by Jessica. Of my three children, she’s the most fun loving and adventuresome, She’s imbued with joie de vivre. No grass grows under her feet. It’s a 24/7 adventure. “Oh Daddy, can’t we do this – go there – buy that??? She inherited her mother’s philosophy: “You can agree with me or you can be wrong!” The formula for happiness with Jessica is simply say YES. With that admonition we packed in a month of travel into ten days.
First stop: Geneva
A visit with my sister Tanya for her art show to celebrate the memory of her departed daughter Cathy, who died after a prolonged bout with cancer. The show was a gem. Tanya is an amazing artist; she has a sturdy hand, bold use of color and a wicked sense of humor.
Tanya Josefowitz's art show
The invitation to Tanya's vernissage opening of her show in Geneva's old town
Tanya's portrait of Cathy
Visiting with Tanya is a continuous food orgy. She loves to cook; she loves to eat; she loves to entertain. Between meals we promised each other to go on a diet... Ha, ha!
A small dinner party at Tanya's house - there were fourteen at the table - some had gotten up when I took this photo
A visit to to the Marche au Puce
Jessica does not stand still - Our first outing was to the Marche au Puce. I am obliged to keep up with her. It’s “swim or perish” as she bravely pushes me in a wheelchair. I could have done the show in ten minutes and see nothing that I need or want… Jessica managed to spend three hours and brought home two shopping bags full of “must have – can’t live without” stuff…. This was our warm-up session for saving Europe’s sagging economy.
Where I could find nothing, Jessica found treasures
Some of Jessica's treasures - found in the first five minutes of our stroll
Second stop: Gstaad
The weather turned from a drizzly fall week into an unexpected sunny summer weekend. The lure of the mountains was irresistible. We extracted ourselves from Tanya’s culinary temptations and drove to Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland. You know how much I adore the mountains and Jessica does too. In two days we packed in a week of eating Fondues, fresh baked croissants, meringue with “berg rahm” and hot chocolate.
Even the rest stops are magnificent where we stopped for lunch..."A selfie"
...And finally up the twisting mountain road over the Mt. Diablore pass, the highest peak in the region.
My feeble attempt at landscape sketching
Enjoying a hot chocolate with meringue and “berg rahm” at Early Beck, the best bake shop in the area
On Sunday, we reluctantly drove to Geneva and caught the TGV to Paris arriving in time for a mid-night snack and off to bed… The next morning there was serious shopping to be done by Jessica … (She manages to ferret out every thrift shop in town, no matter how small or hidden) while I met with Julien Lombard, the creative director and co-owner of the Carpenters Workshop Gallery, who are planning an exhibit of my latest designs: Art-furniture cast in bronze and aluminum combined with luxurious fabrics and precious woods. … How I wish that I could show you my sketches… but I must keep them under wraps to surprise you next September.
Beautiful Paris architecture
Return to Geneva
As you can see, Jessica and I travel light for a two-day visit to Paris! (the big black bag is my portable wheel chair)
There was still shopping to be one in Geneva… the Marche is open Wednesday as well as the weekend. As there were stands not yet visited, Jessica managed a return visit and still met me on time for a luncheon given by one of my glamorous clients… impeccably served by a white-gloved butler.
That night we packed our purchases and twice as much clothing than we arrived with… Early next morning we headed for the airport and flight home.
Back in New York
Our reentry into the real world is best described in one word: “Yuk”
...… And we were hardly missed!
Note: many of the best photos in this blog posting were taken by my daughter Jessica