Back in Nice, where it’s actually less hot than in Annecy or Geneva where there was no air conditioning. I guess my plan for escaping the summer heat was a failure, though Libby and I had a nice time. One day we swam in Lake Annecy and another day we took a boat trip on it. Some great meals as well.
Of course I couldn’t rent a car without some sort of incident. Fortunately, this one involves emotional distress rather than any damage. Read on for the gory details.
It is supposed to be a 40 minute drive from Annecy to Geneva. Libby and I left around 9 :15 am. We arrived at the airport around 11 after taking several wrong routes that took us 30-40 km out of our way. Fortunately Libby’s flight was at 1 so she had enough time.
I managed to spend 3 hours driving back and forth cross the Swiss French border, finally returning the car around 2. I could have driven back to Nice in about the same amount of time.
Geneva is somewhat unique in having an airport in 2 countries. I chose to rent on the French side for several reasons, one of which was a desire to avoid paying 45 Swiss francs (around $50) for s vignette that is required to drive on Swiss highways. The first time Libby and I crossed the Swiss border, I tried to turn back but found myself blocked so I bought the damn vignette. Good thing because I crossed the Swiss border at least 13 more times.
I kept circling the airport but not finding the French side. Ultimately I decided to return the car to the Swiss side (there is a hertz on each side) but was told that I would have to pay a 300 euro surcharge. The lady told me it was simple and explained the 37 steps I had to follow to find the French side hertz. In fact, everyone I asked said it was simple, including the Swiss border police. But what no one told me was that the road I needed to find was unmarked!
In tears, I tried to get some random guy to drive his car to lead me. He refused. I was about to pay the 300€ and just return it in Switzerland but then I couldn’t find that either. I remembered Abby had once paid a Spanish cabdriver to lead her where she needed to go so when a taxi started honking because I was blocking 2 lanes I asked him to do the same. I followed him to the unmarked road, just before/after the border and gladly gave him 30€ for the help