Debbie and Robin, Episode II

May 26, 2001

On the Saturday after Lauterbrunnen, we took a ferry from Ouchy (the shoreside resort area I mentioned in an earlier account) across the lake to (France!) Evian-les-Bains (France!). A pleasant little tourist town as well as the source of the famous waters, it boasts a spa, a casino, an elaborate outdoor swim complex, a rumored elaborate indoor swim complex that we didn't find, a set of mysterious ramps that look like those used by stunt snow-skiers except that they stand over the lake, and a remarkably beautiful putt-putt golf course. We had lunch at a cafe with a Tintin theme, much to Dave's delight (Tintin is his favorite comic series), then hiked all over town and ended with a round of the miniature golf - which I won, wonder of wonders, beating even Dave by five strokes.

My favorite image of the day is one that I will probably remember every time I go fishing or see fishermen for a long time to come. Imagine a small motorboat anchored close to shore. There are two rather serious- looking sport-fishermen standing in it, shirts off, casting their lines and waiting with focused concentration. And between the boat and the shore, behind the oblivious backs of the anglers, dozens of large, placid fish swim unconcernedly.

Second favorite image: two swans guarding a little swarm of cygnets, one of which tries to imitate its mother's foraging behavior by plunging its head into the water, tail in the air. Although the motion is perfect, the baby's neck is unfortunately not yet the requisite two feet long; it's closer to three inches, so the little bill comes nowhere near the bottom and its delicacies buried in the muck. The little one flips its tail in disgust and gives up on the venture.

* * *

When we left Evian at 9:30 for the 45-minute ferry ride home, we imagined reasonably enough that the day was more or less over. No fear, as Anna Russell would say. We'd have sworn that there was no giant ferris wheel near Ouchy the last time we were down there in the evening, but there was clearly one now, so of course we had to investigate. And there it was: Luna Park, a brilliant, brazen, fly-by-night amusement park inhabiting the shores of Lausanne from mid-May to mid-June. All the rides I described in my earlier entry about the Festival du Soleil were here, and many, many more. We ventured first into "Future World", a funhouse with a futuristic theme, complete with toxic waste, laser beams, and a collapsing pseudo-shuttle whose lights flashed on and off while the floor shook violently and a voice intoned (in French) that engines 1 and 3 had exploded, but that we mustn't panic. After this rather surreal experience, Dave, Robin and I tried a more conventional ride that took us about 100 feet in the air, meandered halfway down, wandered back up, then dropped us so fast that we half expected the fillings from our teeth to come rattling down after us. Finally, Dave and I braved the centrifugal ride that had thrilled me before, though we couldn't persuade Robin and Debbie to join us for that one. Of course we had to try the additional challenge of remaining upright in the center. Equally unsurprisingly, Dave had far more success than I, but we both milked the experience. We danced, we tumbled, we stood up, we fell again, and we left the ride laughing like maniacs. Safety - feh.

Eventually we did go home and go to bed.

Till next time,
-- Lyn

Copyright 2001 Lyn Pierce