Motoring Across America

With James "Alex" Alexander

with James "Alex" Alexander


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Blog 175: Quick Trip to Geneva

I spent the week working in Geneva launching a client project. Our group contained people from Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the U.K., Sweden, Czech, Poland, China, with one guy from the U.S.--me! Quite a diverse, interesting, and fun group (most of the time!).

My hotel was in Thoiry, France, just a few miles from my client’s Switzerland headquarters. Upon my Sunday arrival, I was greeted with this rainbow view from my room’s balcony--excellent omen. Nice room but the painting over my bed gave me pause--I felt that tingle in the back of my neck indicating that I was being watched!


The Watchers

I was fortunate to experience some great food this week. I was in walking distance of a nice Italian restaurant that served a delightful “chef’s special” gnocchi. Another evening I was treated to a “wild game” special (it is the season, you know) of venison. These are just a couple of the fine meals that I enjoyed.



Wine Tasting
After a full day of work, our host took us out for a wine tasting at a local winery (there are hundreds of acres in this area, both in France and in Switzerland). Here are a couple of my best students enjoying the tasting. My favorite wine was Gamaret, which I was told is only found in this part of Switzerland.

Wine Tasters


Oh, Alex...

My client was kind enough to provide me with a car for the weekend. Saturday, I drove into Geneva, along the lake and down and through the old town. A very pretty area, yet the cloudy skies and cold wind cast a slight gloom on the area. I had intended to walk to the old town and take pictures, but decided to drive north along the lake shore. I stopped for lunch and a short walk around town at Nyon. Here are two shots taken from the castle and one of a man walking toward it.

Castle View #1

Castle View #2

Walking to the Castle

Old Vans
Try as I might, I found no old trucks this week in Switzerland or France. The best I could do were these two old vans.

Old Van #1

Old Van #2

Old Trucks
Here are three old trucks from the Old Truck Reserve.

Old Truck #1

Old Truck #2

Old Truck #3

See you next week after another trip.

Blog 168: Quick Trip to Dusseldorf and Lund

Sunday: Day Seven of the European Tour
Sunday was a travel day as I made my way from London to Dusseldorf. I was fairly well rested, and the use of the hotel laundry service meant that my bag was once again full of clean clothes.


By late afternoon I was in my hotel. Too tired to walk the mile or so to a nice restaurant and too lazy to bother with a taxi, I walked a couple hundred yards to a huge MacDonald’s, anticipating a ten-minute round trip. Wrong, Alex! I think everyone in Germany was in line, with each person ordering at least ten meals! An hour later I was back in my room feasting on a Big Mac hybrid and a large fries.

Monday and Tuesday: Session in Dusseldorf
Working for the same client as last week, I facilitated a two-day session for the German team.

German Receptionist

View from German Training Room

It's True!

Great group, and things went very well. However, after the session things got a little more challenging. My plan was to fly from Dusseldorf to Copenhagen, and then take a taxi over the bridge to Lund, Sweden.

Bomb Threat!
I arrived at the Dusseldorf airport in plenty of time, however, the flashing red lights of police cars were the first indicator of trouble. People were queued up for hundreds of meters outside the locked doors of the airport. Later, people were let inside…later still, we were all kicked to the curb.

Bomb Threat #1

Bomb Threat #2

Bomb Threat #3

Bomb Threat #4

Uh, Oh...

Here’s a short video of the event:

When traveling, stuff happens. However, I had a session planned the next morning, so remedial action was required. I walked away from the airport mob until I found a taxi that transported me to the train station. I took the train to Munich that, after an hour or so, stopped at the Frankfort airport. Here, I dashed to the Lufthansa ticket counter, catching them as they prepared to close. An hour later, I was in the air, and I landed in Copenhagen airport a little after midnight. From there, I took a 30-minute cab drive and I was in my hotel by 1:30 in the morning--plenty of time for my next morning’s session.

Wednesday and Thursday: Session in Lund
Wednesday and Thursday was my final session of this two-week trek, facilitating the Nordic team. Another great session, with a smart, fun group. Since my journey home the next day started with a 6 a.m. flight, I took a taxi to the Copenhagen airport and stayed at the Hilton on premise. Here is a pic from my room.

View from Hilton

Friday, Day 13: Trip Home
Janny and the Kids picked me up in Traverse City, where they hauled me back to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Wonderful trip, but so nice to be back. Tired and a little jet-lagged, I started my rejuvenation.

Back at Camp
Gorgeous weather back in Michigan and it was good to sit around a campfire again. Here is a shot of Angel, another volunteer pup of our fellow camp host, Ramona. Also, here is a pic taken by Jan of Chico in retirement.



Old Signs
Here are two old signs from the Old Sign reserve.

Old Sign #1

Old Sign #2

Old Trucks
Here are three old trucks from the Old Truck Reserve.

Old Truck #1

Old Truck #2

Old Truck #3

See you next week as plans change!