Monday, February 13, 2006

Coupe Davis, Geneva

Jumping on the train from one end of London to the other on Thursday afternoon, I only just managed to make my flight to Geneva. Trains delays (same old), and narrowly avoiding a no-ticket fine at the station (Aussie accent still works!), I made the check-in with 5 minutes to spare....ohhh! Lucky. Not sure I have been that close to missing a flight before...well, maybe in Colombo, but I was blissfully unaware!! Hee hee.

I met Nat at our hotel, ready for a huge weekend. We were in Geneva for the first round of the Davis Cup, Australia verses Switzerland. Now when we booked, this had promised to be a clash of the tennis kings, but since the Australian Open, both Hewitt and Federer had opted out of the clash, leaving both teams sporting their up and coming stars - and they did not disappoint!

Our hotel was situated across from the main train station, and all other transport connections, and walking distance to the lake. Very good! Overlooking the Basilica of Notre Dame - and facing the snow capping mountain ranges from our window!

Actually the city is surrounded by snow capped mountains, making our wander down to Lake Geneva on Friday morning very pretty indeed. Crossing the Rhone which flows from Lake Geneva, we walked along the edge to await the late winter start time of the Jet d'eau - to no avail! Must have been too cold at that time!! We wandered along the Jardin Anglais and found the Flower Clock eventually - which wasn't in full bloom, but impressive nonetheless. We then walked though the Old Town, through the cobbled streets, past Saint Peter's Cathedral, before finding the big chess boards in Bastions Park. Had to have a quick game!! Was very funny playing chess with big pieces, in a park surrounded by mountains!

After city exploring, it was time to get the train back out to the airport, where the Geneva Arena is - for the tennis! This venue was situated right next to the runway for the airport, with the snow capped mountains over looking it! Very sereal!

Day one saw the first two singles matches, with Peter Luczac and Chris Guccione playing for Australia. The new up and comer, I have watched Pete in one of his first 5 setters back at the Open...last year, I think. And he had a good Open this year. I was looking forward to seeing him step up. And he did well - after a very shaky first set. The Gucc lost the second match of the day, despite serving up a storm, which left the tie at 1-1.

Saturday morning we headed out on the tram to see the UN buildings. Closed to tours on the weekends, we did get to peep through the gates - much like Jenny and I did at the NATO! Across the road however, was the Musee International De La Croix-Rouge Et Du Croissant-Rouge, which was amazing. The boxes at the end of the walk through tour, covering what the Red Cross does today, was really good.

Following this, we headed back out to the tennis for the doubles match. Arthurs and Hanley did so well in this match, and we left the stadium with a 2-1 lead for the tie. The crowd was, as expected, very one sided, and very red and very loud!! The Swiss were quite amusing, although I have to admit that their "Hopp Suisse!" sounded a lot like "Aus-sie" to me!!

Catching the sunset behind the mountain range by the lake, Nat and I caught a boat across the lake and walked along the shore, before defrosting with hot chocolate to die for and dinner at a posh restuarant by the lake. As the sun set, and the lights came on along the lake - how romantic for Nat and I! Hee hee.

Sunday morning we caught a bus out to the outskirts of Geneva, where we could walk across to France (!!) and get a cable car up to see the city from the top of the mountain. Cool! The Téléphérique du Salève took us up the 1125m to the top of Mont Salève. Not much of a view in amongst the clouds, but we got to marvel at the snow up there - and freeze!!



Pumped for a nervy final day of tennis, we traveled out to the Arena with a group of Fanatics, who were in their usual full vocal force for the weekend. Taking our seats and feeling the tense atmosphere around the arena, we stressed our way through the first match, which saw the Swiss even the tie at 2-2.

And then The Gucc played the game of his life to win the tie for Australia! Was awesome! So tense, and with 39 aces Chris Guccione powered through to win in three sets. The Swiss crowd started to get very nasty as the loss seemed evident, with even a few boos for the last couple of aces! For a time there I did start to wonder whether my newly purchased travel insurance would cover a missed flight due to the in completion of the tennis - but didn't have to worry in the end! Guccione's win topped off an amazing weekend! (More photos)

4 comments:

  1. Sounds awesome! I'm glad you had fun. Thanks for the update and for posting all those pics. What pic software do you use?

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  2. Me again. Thanks for the tip about bloglines - I have signed up and added your blog as a feed. I have also put bloglines subscription buttons on the sidebar of all my blogs.

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  3. Hi, a nice blog you have here. You will surely get an bookmark :) Atteva

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  4. Hi, a nice blog you have here. You will surely get an bookmark :) Atteva

    ReplyDelete

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