Destination: NYON (CH) – YVOIRE (France)
Have you ever tried to travel with a toddler who either accidentally (or on purpose?? mind you…) decides to wreck just about everything (naturally with a little help from his sibling)? Every single plan, every single detail, everything? Well, I have. And every time it happens I swear from now on I will just stay at home until he’s eighteen… until the next possibility arrives and we make another journey… :D
So this time we were on a few-day-excursion with visitors from our faraway-home. We had spent a great day in Europe’s largest freshwater aquarium Aquatis.ch in Lausanne (read the story here) and landed afterwards to our base, Nyon Hostel. Our Little Prince Charming was dead tired but still going on full throttle, just out of the pure excitement of being on a holiday. And staying on a cool hostel with long corridors where you can endlessly RUUUUN (or that’s what he thought, anyway. Poor fellow hostel guests!)… Time for bed and Little Prince Charming’s feet were still running, even if he was actually lying in his comfy hostel bed. He could not fall asleep. After all, it was not his own bed. The room sounded different, the lighting was different, and the bed cushions were different. Let me just mention this, it is NOT the first time this little fellow was sleeping at some other place than home… Seems like he somehow mysteriously forgotten that. After two hours of trying, he was still rolling around in his bed unable to fall asleep. At this point, my frustration levels exploded and I went out for a walk, leaving my dear husband to deal with the little rolling runner.
As you can imagine with this setup, we had BIG trouble coming our way the next day… We had planned to take a boat ride across Lake Geneva to a beautiful village called Yvoire on the French side of the lake. There is a connection going from the port of Nyon every half an hour or so. Little Prince Charming woke up not happy at all in the morning. After a night too short he was grumpier than his mommy ever even imagined to be – although my grumpiness levels often equal with the amount and quality of my morning coffee moments, or lack of them anyways (read one story about that here)… And so the little guy did what he often does in this state of mind: refused to eat. Somehow I was way too distracted while caring about everyone else, and didn’t pay enough attention to this little but naturally very important detail. We finished our tasty hostel breakfast (except little Prince Charming, who was just throwing food on the floor amongst other things) and gathered our belongings, getting ready to go to Port Nyon. The day was steaming hot from early stages of the morning. We found a parking hall and walked about half a kilometer to the port. We bought our tickets, catched the boat and off we went to beautiful Lake Geneva. If I’d known this was about to become the last peaceful moment of my day, I would definitely have enjoyed it more…
We landed to Yvoire, France and were absolutely blown away by the beauty of this little village. Only problem was that getting inside the village required some walking uphill under a steaming hot sun. Little Prince Charming (who usually loves to walk) took five steps and stopped. He ABSOLUTELY refused to go any further. I used all my charm and all the other means while trying to lure him walk onwards. Unfortunately NOTHING worked. I knew instantly what was wrong – the little fellow was hungry – but unfortunately I had forgotten to pack any snacks with. Everyone (except him) had eaten such a big breakfast that I’d completely forgot my normal precautions. So there we were, standing on the rock bottom of the hill, and instead of taking a step forward, he decided to take on crying. Not just some soft weeps but a monstrous grizzle instead. I could just feel all eyes turning on me and carving through the skin on my back. Yes, it is a tourist village, and yes, there were LOTS of tourists on the move. I knew I wouldn’t be able to carry him uphill all the way so I just picked him up and carried him to where my dear Husband was standing. Then he did some of the carrying and the echo of his wailing was following us through the stone corridors.
Luckily we found a little store with a variety of snacks right on the edge of the village. The only difficulty was that our little Prince Charming didn’t want anything from their selection – he had a picture of ice cream stuck in front of his very eyes. I wasn’t ready to give up just quite yet, because I knew ice cream would just create some more ”I scream”. So instead I bought a pack of potato crisps and almost forced the still screaming little fellow to sit next to me on a small stair close by. But the boy refused to eat. Damn, why do I have such a stubborn child? I thought. Almost three years of experience with this kiddo has taught me what he thinks: it is either his way or no way. So there I was, and waited until he was screaming his mouth wide open, and then I just quickly put a piece of potato crisp on his tongue. A moment of sudden disbelief on his behalf occurred. And then… I DON’T WANT THIS!!!! I ignored and just held the open bag on his direction. I DON’T WANT THIS!!!! He repeated rather loudly, but at the same time his little hand went inside of the bag and fished out a rather large potato crisp. I looked the other way. There we sat, he declaring how he hated the potato crisps but eating them anyway, and me holding the bag looking the other way…
After eating the whole bag he was a bit more open to other food products as well, and after a short service break we were on the move again. The village was magical. Only little Prince Charming didn’t see the magic. He was getting his hands on every possible thing like flower arrangings, souvenirs, cards, everything. And I was losing the feel of magic too, while trying to keep my dear little monster under control. He’s tired, I kept on telling myself, trying not to lose my temper. Then I spotted a shore line where we could actually stick our toes into the green cooling water of Lake Geneva. And that we did. We kicked our shoes and socks off and washed away the heat of the day from our feet. I sighed in relief. Finally peace… until I heard the voice of our Sweet little Princess, saying she needed to go to the toilet. NOT NOW! I moaned inside of my head. Ignoring my mood, I pointed out quite calmly that I’d seen a public toilet -sign somewhere close by. I did not want to drag little Prince Charming out of the water, so my dear husband went to look for the toilet instead. Some short moments later they came back, and this time it was our Sweet Little Princess who was screaming. Now what?
It is a hole on the floor, my dear husband said, rolling his eyes, she just couldn’t pee there. WHAT? A MEDIEVAL TOILET? I was ready to jump into the lake and swim back to Switzerland. But instead, we gathered our belongings and headed back to village, this time with two wining kids (yes, he just didn’t want to come out of the water.) Finally we ended at a restaurant close to the port (where they had a real toilet) and since we were there, decided to eat before anyone else would get super hungry and start screaming. Restaurant was full. And we waited forever for the food to arrive, but once it came, it was delicious. We also waited forever for the bill to arrive, and once it came it was already time to head back to Nyon.
We were all enjoying the boat ride at the bow of the ship. Some wind felt so good after a sweaty day. Even Little Prince Charming wasn’t causing any trouble during the boat ride. Another thing was to get him to walk to the car through busy streets without getting hit by a car or some other vehicle. Somehow we succeeded. Back at the hostel, he just wanted to run through the corridors again, and was seriously offended when we told him it is time for bed. It didn’t go without other truckload of screaming and kicking, but at least he was dead tired. And fell asleep before his head hit the pillow. (A traveling parent-tip: Always stay at least two nights in the same place. You might actually get some rest on the second night!)
And me? I left my fellow travelers on guarding duty and went to the reception area, bought a big bottle of coca cola and sat on the corner table for a loooong time, trying to shake off the stresses of the day.
And what did I think of Yvoire? Without all these little details we experienced on the way, I would have loved it. If you do like medieval villages, it is a must.