I WAS 12km from Venice today.
It was 12km straight up, so there was no chance I could pop in for a limonata at one of the cafes in St Mark’s Square, with my Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi to Geneva passing right over the top of the enchanting Italian city.
I was flying to Geneva to visit the newest Club Med resort, which is in the French Alps, and I flew into the Swiss city because it’s the closest airport to this new international ski destination which is just south of Albertville in the Savoie region of France.
The flight was delightful – it always is in long-haul business class – and I didn’t see much of the view during the seven-hour flight from the UAE because I was stretched out in my oh-so-indulgent flat bed snoozing.
But when I did slide the window shade up the plane was over Croatia and I had a beautiful view of the Adriatic coast, with the islands stretching out before me on a carpet of silver laid by the midday sun.
The plane then flew over Venice, across northern Italy passing over Lake Garda and beside Milano, and then we descended into the cloud that was hovering above the Alps.
My next view of the ground came when we dropped below the dense soup of snow clouds to land at Geneva, and we flew over Lac Leman – that’s Lake Leman for those of you not getting into the French language thing – which drifts away from the Swiss city like a plume of smoke rising from a bushfire.
Well, that’s at least how it looks on my map of the Alps.